TSS visas

The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS)(subclass 482) visa replaced the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa on 19 March 2018. It is the most commonly used visa by employers sponsoring skilled migrants to work in Australia on a temporary basis. The TSS visa program enables employers to address labour shortages by employing appropriately skilled overseas workers.

At Hartman Immigration we have extensive experience in guiding visa applicants through the technical criteria for the TSS visa, as well as the prescriptive visa application process.

We have assisted visa applicants across a large range of industries in obtaining TSS visas for themselves and accompanying family members.  We ensure that the application process runs as smoothly as possible, ensuring that visa applicants have the best chance of success in having their TSS visa granted.

Visa Process

This visa involves a three-step process:

  1. An employer applies to become a business sponsor;
  2. The business then nominates the overseas employee that they wish to sponsor; and
  3. The selected candidate then applies for a visa.

The TSS visa is available to Australian or overseas employers who run a business anywhere in Australia.  Employees must meet minimum levels of skill and English language requirements, in addition to character and health requirements.

Skilled Occupations

Only certain occupations are eligible to be nominated by an employer, namely, the occupation that the employer requires to be filled must appear on the Skilled Occupation List which includes a separate Medium to Long Term list which enables applicants to apply for up to four years and acts as a pathway to permanent residency, and a Short Term list which entitles applicants to a two year visa and is not a pathway to Australian permanent residency.

In some limited circumstances, other occupations may be nominated such as where the employer has entered into a Labour Agreement with the Department.

Salary Threshold

Employers will need to demonstrate that the market salary rate for the person they wish to sponsor is equal or higher than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). The TSMIT is described as the minimum amount required by the employee to be self reliant while living in Australia and is usually updated annually and is currently AU$53,900. Overseas workers are paid no less than an Australian worker would doing the same work in the same location, that is, the annual market salary rate (AMSR).

However, employers should be cautious not to approach the TSMIT as a benchmark for wages. If the market salary rate for the position is actually below the TSMIT, employers are prohibited from paying the TSMIT (or higher) in order to access the program.

Labour Market Testing

Business sponsors are required to “test” the local labour market before lodging their nomination. This means they need to provide information about their efforts to hire Australian workers (ie citizens and permanent residents) and on what basis they have determined there is no suitable local candidate.

Please note there are a number of exemptions to the Labour Market Testing requirement, including where it would conflict with Australia’s international trade obligations. At Hartman Immigration we can advise you further about whether an exemption applies to your circumstances.

English Language Requirement

Visa applicants will need to demonstrate that they can speak, read and understand a sufficient level of English. The Department of Immigration assess language proficiency based on the results of specified English language tests (including the International Language Testing System (IELTS), Occupational English Test (OET), Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT), Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic test and Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test).

There are some exceptions to the English language requirement, including visa applicants who hold a passport from an English-speaking country or who have previously studied at an institution where the instruction was in English.

Other features of the TSS Visa

Holders of the TSS visa may bring any eligible family members, who will have unrestricted work and study rights. Holders of the TSS visa have no limit on the number of times they travel in and out of Australia throughout the duration of their visa validity period.

For visa holders with an occupation appearing on the Medium to Long Term Occupation List, after three years a visa holder may be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Temporary Residence Transition scheme for permanent Employer Sponsored visas.