Temporary Skill Shortage Visa: Everything you may have missed
In April 2017 the Australian Government announced that it would be replacing the subclass 457 Visa with the Temporary Skill Shortage subclass 482 Visa. As of March 2018, this change was complete and the 457 visa ceased to exist. Since then the Skilling Australians Fund and Labour Market Testing has been introduced.
The Skill Shortage Lists
There are two lists which outline the occupations which have been identified as having a skill shortage in Australia, the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List and the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List. Previously there was one list and there was a pathway for permanent residency for every visa occupant – now only individuals on the Medium and Long-Term list have options to apply for PR.
This is for employers to source genuine temporary overseas skilled workers in occupations included on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) for a maximum of two years (or up to four years if an international trade obligation applies). The worker will not be eligible to apply for permanent residency via the Employer Nomination Scheme subclass 186 Visa or the Skilled Independent subclass 189 visa.
View the STSOL
Medium and Long-Term stream
This is for employers to source highly skilled overseas workers to fill medium-term critical skills in occupations included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) for up to four years, with eligibility to apply for permanent residence after three years through the Employer Nomination Scheme subclass 186 visa or directly via the Skilled Independent subclass 189 visa.
As a general rule, to apply for a Temporary Skill Shortage Visa and individual will need to have either 5 years relevant work experience OR a relevant degree and 2 years relevant work experience. However, it is important to check the Skill Shortage Lists to make sure no caveats apply.
Short term stream
For the short term stream, the required results are as follows:
- IELTS overall band score of at least 5.0 with a score of at least 4.5 in each of the test components.
- OET score of at least ‘B’ in each of the four components
- TOEFL iBT total score of at least 35 with a score of at least 3 for each of the test components of listening and reading, and a score of at least 12 for each of the test components of speaking and writing
- PTE Academic overall test score of at least 36 with a score of at least 30 in each of the test components
- CAE overall test score of at least 154 with a score of at least 147 in each of the test components.
Medium term stream
For the medium term stream, the required results are as follows:
- IELTS overall band score of at least 5.0 with a score of at least 5 in each of the test components.
- OET score of at least ‘B’ in each of the four components
- TOEFL iBT total score of at least 35 with a score of at least 4 for each of the test components of listening and reading, and a score of at least 14 for each of the test components of speaking and writing
- PTE Academic overall test score of at least 36 with a score of at least 36 in each of the test components
- CAE overall test score of at least 154 with a score of at least 154 in each of the test components.
Temporary Skill Shortage Visa Sponsorship
The business can nominate and sponsor the individuals visa, however there are number of requirements that must be met before a business is eligible to sponsor the visa.
A business must hold a current Standard Business Sponsorship in order to nominate and sponsor a skilled worker direct. If they do not have a current Standard Business Sponsorship, they may be able to make use of a company with a Labour On-Hire Agreement to sponsor the individual they are seeking to employ.
An employer can apply for Standard Business Sponsorship with the Department of Home Affairs, which will allow them to nominate and sponsor an individual under the TSS Visa.
To become a Standard Business Sponsor you must be a legally operating business with no relevant adverse information against your business. To prove this you must satisfy all business registration requirements and provide evidence of record keeping which demonstrates that your business is currently operating. The business ABN Registration Certificate and recent Financial Reports are examples of documents you may need to provide when applying for Business Sponsorship.
Importantly, there are a number of caveats associated with certain occupations which will prevent certain businesses from sponsoring an occupation. If your business has a turnover of less than $1 million or has fewer than 5 employees, you will not be able to sponsor a skilled overseas worker in certain occupations.
On-Hire Labour Agreement
An alternative to Standard Business Sponsorship is employing the services of an On-Hire Labour Agreement Company, who can sponsor your worker on your behalf.
An on-hire labour agreement allows an on-hire business to sponsor temporary skilled overseas workers in occupations on the combined list of eligible skilled occupations for Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa, where it can be demonstrated that there is no appropriately qualified Australian worker readily available. A business which enters into an on-hire labour agreement becomes an approved sponsor and is able to nominate and sponsor overseas workers in the approved occupations.
An approved sponsor with an on-hire business can assign overseas workers to work for a third party, for instance a business who was unable to sponsor the worker directly. The on-hire business has to comply with the mandatory conditions as required by law (Fair Work Act 2009) and the Department of Home Affairs Regulations.
Skilling Australians Fund (SAF)
The Skilling Australians Fund is an initiative of the Australian Government which aims to support the vocational education and training (VET) sector to develop the skills required by employers and to support apprentices and trainees.
The purpose of the levy is to require employers seeking to access skilled overseas workers to contribute to the skills development of Australians. This means that a ‘nomination training contribution charge’ is applicable to nominations on a variety of visas, in addition to the normal fees payable in the process of nomination and application.
The ‘nomination training contribution charge’ will apply to nominations for the following subclasses:
- Subclass 457 Temporary Work Skilled visa holder (refers to nomination to change sponsor for existing 457 visa holder)
- Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa holder or, applicant for this visa
- Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa
- Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa
The base amount for organisations with less than $10 million annual turnover is $1200, in any other case the base amount is $1800.
Labour Market Testing
For a nomination to be approved, the Department must be satisfied that a suitable qualified and experienced Australian worker is not available to fill the nominated position. The Labour Market Testing requirement has existed for a while, however the government has recently introduced stricter requirements.
Labour Market Testing demonstrates that a company tested the local market before lodging a nomination application for a skilled overseas worker. It requires that a company prove that they advertised and looked for a suitably skilled Australian worker before employing someone under the Temporary Skill Shortage subclass 482 visa.
The LMT Requirement calls for two types of evidence, or advertisements, be provided when you lodge a 482 visa nomination along with specification that the salary for the position also be outlined in the advertisements. Further, ads also need to have been live for at least 21 days prior to lodgement.
It is crucial to note that adverts on Gum Tree and classified ads, such as Facebook, will not be accepted.
Under policy, the Department would generally be satisfied that this requirement is met provided the advertising meets all of the below:
- the nominated position has been advertised in Australia
- the advertisement was in English and included the following information:
- the title, or a description, of the position
- the name of the approved sponsor or the name of the recruitment agency being used by the sponsor and
- the annual earnings for the position (unless the annual earnings will be greater than the Fair Work High Income Threshold)
at least two advertisements were published:
- on a national recruitment website (for example jobactive.gov.au). Note: a general classifieds website is not an acceptable method
- in national print media
- on national radio or
- if the sponsor is accredited – on the businesses’ website.
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