Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS) replaces 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa

Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS) replaces 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa

Temporary skilled work visa

In March 2018 the 457 visa will be abolished, replaced by the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa. The most important thing that you need to know is that the TSS is divided into two streams – short-term and medium-term.  Your occupation will determine the stream that you can apply for.

The short-term stream

This visa can be granted for up to 2 years, with a once-only renewal in Australia.  Although your maximum period of stay is 4 years, this does not offer you a pathway to permanent Australian residency.  You must satisfy the Department that you are a genuine temporary entrant and that you meet the character requirement – police checks will be mandatory.

If your occupation is included on the Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL), and you are not subject to inapplicability criteria, you can apply for a short-term visa.  This list will be reviewed every 6 months, so occupations may be added or removed.  You must have a suitable skills assessment issued by an authorised assessing authority and be able to show that you have at least two years’ relevant work experience.

You will have to meet the English language requirement by achieving an overall IELTS score of 5, with a minimum score of 4.5 in each component.  Alternatively, you may meet the requirement by undertaking one of the other specified language tests – e.g. TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE.

Applications made for occupations on the STSOL before the introduction of the TSS will only be granted visas for 2 years.

The medium-term stream

This visa can be granted for up to 4 years, with a once-only renewal in Australia.  It offers a pathway to permanent Australian residency after 3 years.

If your occupation is included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skilled List (MLTSSL), and you are not subject to inapplicability criteria, you can apply for a medium-term visa.  As with the STSOL, this list will also be reviewed every 6 months, so occupations may be added or removed.  You must have a suitable skills assessment issued by an authorised assessing authority and be able to show that you have at least two years’ relevant work experience.

You will have to meet the English language requirement by achieving a score of 5 in each component. Alternatively, you may meet the requirement by undertaking one of the other specified language tests – e.g. TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE.

You will also have to meet the character requirement –police checks will be mandatory.

What your employer must do

For your visa application to be successful, your employer will most likely have to show that they have performed labour market testing for the position and that they intend to pay you above the specified salary rate.  They may also have to show that their employment practices do not discriminate against Australian citizens or permanent residents.  Your employer will also have to pay the Skilling Australians Fund contribution in full and in advance.

What should you do?

The uncertainty created by the possibility of occupations being removed from the occupation lists at 6-monthly intervals is more than just a little unsettling. As always, you need to protect your interests. This is best done by engaging the help of a registered migration agent who is abreast of the changes and can guide you through this difficult process. Feel free to contact me to discuss your immigration situation.

Together we can negotiate the red-tape nightmare to give you the best opportunity of achieving your dreams.