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With new TSS (Temporary Skills Shortage) subclass 482 visa coming to effect on 18/03/2018 to replace previous “sponsor visa” 457, here is the overview of most important changes.
 
Reading this please bear in mind that the legislation is still to be released and some details are at this stage still being discussed and will be confirmed by Department later in their policy.
 
  • There are 3 streams with the new TSS Visa: Short-Term Stream - STSOL, Medium-Term Stream – MLTSSL and Labour Agreement.
  • Occupations on the STSOL List (Short-Term Skilled Occupations) will be eligible for visas of up to two years with only 1 extension for a further 2 years (4 years maximum). To apply for another visa in this stream applicant will need to travel overseas. A “genuine temporary entrant” criterion will apply to applicants in the short-term stream and there is no pathway to Australian permanent residency through this stream.
  • Occupations on the MLTSSL (Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List) will be eligible for up to four years visa and there is still possibility to apply for permanent residency after 3 years of employment on this visa.
  • Changes for applicants: new English language requirements (at least IELTS 5 in each element for MLTSSL, 4.5 for STSOL), new visa fees ($1150 for Short-term option and $2400 for Medium-term) and stricter requirements regarding relevant work experience (at least 2 years) and skills assessment for some occupations and nationalities.
  • For sponsoring employers there will be updated requirements regarding training Australians. Exact nature of these new requirements is still to be confirmed as the bill is in parliament, but there will be mandatory contribution to “training fund” which makes the sponsoring of overseas workers more costly. Employers will also have stricter requirements regarding Labour Market Testing – showing evidence that they did considerable effort to employ Australians first.

As for the current holders of 457 visa, the old rules still apply for the reminder of their visa. However any extension or new sponsor visa will be based on TSS and new requirements. Those who held the subclass 457 visa or applied for this visa before changes were initially announced in April 2017, they will still be able to apply for permanent residency visa (subclass 186 or 187) under old rules in transition stream. The new requirements apply for anyone else. 

For any recent applicants of 457 visa (who have lodged the application and are still waiting for the outcome), their visas will be processed based on 457 regulations.

For any new applicants, including those who were in the process of preparing their 457 visa application (but not yet lodged), after 18/03/2018 you will need to apply for new 482 visa with updated requirements (if still eligible).

The current combined list of STSOL and MLTSSL can be viewed on https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/work/work/skills-assessment-and-assessing-authorities/skilled-occupations-lists/combined-stsol-mltssl, but there might be further changes to the list once the new visa is in effect.

 

Applying for a sponsorship visa may seem an overwhelmingly complex and detailed process at first. We are happy to assist you.

Recommendations

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