Understanding Australia’s Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa

Australia, a land of diverse opportunities, attracts skilled workers from around the globe. The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa, introduced in March 2018, plays a pivotal role in addressing critical skill shortages by allowing businesses to sponsor skilled workers temporarily.

Understanding the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa:

The TSS visa, subclass 482, serves as a replacement for the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa subclass 457, which was phased out in 2018. It enables Australian employers to address skill shortages by sponsoring skilled workers from overseas for positions that cannot be filled by the local workforce.

The TSS visa is a three-tiered system, catering to various skill levels and employment durations.

Morgan Clifford are some of the best personal injury lawyer Brisbane team around.

Key Features of the TSS Visa:

  • Three Streams:
    • Short-Term Stream (STS): Designed for occupations on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), this stream allows a stay of up to two years with the possibility of renewal.
    • Medium-Term Stream (MTS): For occupations on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL), this stream allows a stay of up to four years with the possibility of renewal.
    • Labour Agreement Stream: For workers sponsored under a labour agreement with the Australian government.
  • Occupation Lists:
    • The TSS visa relies on occupation lists to determine eligibility. The STSOL and MLTSSL dictate which occupations are eligible for sponsorship under the respective streams.
  • Sponsorship:
    • To apply for a TSS visa, an employer must be approved as a Standard Business Sponsor (SBS). This involves meeting certain criteria and obligations to ensure compliance with Australian immigration laws.
  • Nomination:
    • Employers nominate a specific position for the prospective TSS visa applicant, aligning with the relevant stream and occupation list.
  • English Language Proficiency:
    • Depending on the occupation and stream, TSS visa applicants may need to demonstrate English language proficiency through an acceptable test.
  • Health and Character Checks:
    • TSS visa applicants must undergo health examinations and provide police clearance certificates to ensure they meet health and character requirements.

Eligibility Criteria:

For Employers (Sponsors):

  • Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS):
    • Businesses must apply for and be approved as an SBS to sponsor overseas workers.
  • Labour Market Testing (LMT):
    • In most cases, employers are required to demonstrate efforts to hire Australian workers first by conducting labour market testing unless exempt.

For Nominees (TSS Visa Applicants):

  • Skills and Qualifications:
    • Nominees must possess the necessary skills and qualifications for the nominated occupation.
  • English Language Proficiency:
    • Depending on the occupation and stream, applicants may need to meet minimum English language requirements.
  • Health and Character Requirements:
    • Nominees must undergo health examinations and provide police clearance certificates to meet health and character requirements.

Application Process:

  • Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) Application:
    • Employers initiate the process by applying for SBS approval, demonstrating their commitment to complying with immigration laws.
  • Nomination:
    • Once approved as an SBS, employers nominate a skilled worker for a specific position under the relevant stream and occupation list.
  • TSS Visa Application:
    • Following nomination, the prospective TSS visa holder lodges their visa application, providing necessary documentation and meeting health, character, and other requirements.
  • Decision and Notification:
    • The Department of Home Affairs assesses the application, and once processed, both the employer and the nominee are notified of the outcome.

Challenges and Considerations:

  • Changing Occupation Lists:
    • Occupation lists are subject to periodic updates, and changes may impact the eligibility of certain occupations for TSS sponsorship.
  • Minimum Salary Requirements:
    • Employers must offer salaries that meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT), ensuring that TSS visa holders are remunerated at market rates.
  • Training Contribution:
    • Employers may be required to contribute to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) to invest in training initiatives for the Australian workforce.

The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa plays a pivotal role in addressing critical skill shortages in Australia, providing a pathway for skilled workers to contribute to the nation’s economic growth.

Understanding the nuances of the TSS visa, from occupation lists and eligibility criteria to the application process, is essential for both employers and prospective visa holders.

Navigating the complexities with the guidance of experienced migration lawyers and staying informed about updates in immigration policies ensures a smoother and more successful sponsorship process.

As Australia continues to embrace global talent, the TSS visa remains a crucial tool for businesses seeking skilled professionals and for skilled workers eager to contribute their expertise to the vibrant Australian workforce.

Contact the Morgan Clifford Migration team if you are considering sponsoring a worker on a temporary skilled shortage visa.

Get in Touch

    This article is intended to provide general information in summary form on legal topics, current at the time of publication, for general informational purposes only. The material may not apply to all jurisdictions. The contents do not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek legal advice or other professional advice in relation to any particular matters you or your organisation may have.