Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 Visa
The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) enables skilled applicants to apply for a Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa sponsored by their Australian or overseas employer and is the foundation of any international assignment and mobility program.
Outlined below is the most common process used to secure a Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa in Australia for expatriate employees of startup or established Australian or overseas businesses.
A. Australian Business Sponsorship
The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa Program enables skilled applicants to apply for a Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa sponsored by their Australian or overseas employer.
Outlined below is the most common process used to secure a Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa in Australia for expatriate employees for Australian or overseas businesses.
Applications are lodged electronically in Australia. Visa applicants may be inside or outside Australia at time of lodgement and decision of their visa application.
The process to obtain a Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa for expatriate employment in Australia for up to 2 to 4 years (depending on the nominated occupation) comprises the following three stages:
- Standard Business Sponsorship Application (or Overseas Business Sponsorship Application for businesses operating overseas please see section B);
- Position Nomination Application; and,
- Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa.
The three stages can be undertaken either sequentially or contemporaneously.
1. Standard Business Sponsorship Application
Any business seeking to employ an expatriate person requiring a visa for work in Australia must be approved as an Standard Business Sponsor.
The sponsorship application process includes an assessment by the Department of Home Affairs of the standing of the applicant company for Standard Business Sponsorship.
A business may be approved as a Sponsor by demonstrating to the Department of Home Affairs it meets the sponsorship criteria, including its ability to comply with all Standard Business Sponsorship Obligations.
A non-exhaustive summary of some of the additional requirements to be satisfied by an applicant for Standard Business Sponsorship includes but not limited to the following:
- Be lawfully and actively operating in Australia; and
- Have no adverse information about the business or any person associated with the business; and
- Have a strong record, or demonstrated commitment to employing local labour; and
- Have a strong record of or demonstrated commitment to non-discriminatory employment practices;
Additional requirements apply to start-up businesses that have been operating for 12 months or less.
The approval period for a Standard Business Sponsorship is 5 years.
The Standard Business Sponsorship Application must be lodged with the Department of Home Affairs before a Position Nomination and Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa Application can be lodged.
To ensure the Standard Business Sponsorship Obligations are being met, the Department of Home Affairs may require approved sponsors to provide monitoring information, including employment records. The Department of Home Affairs may also undertake announced and unannounced site visits to ensure compliance.
2. Position Nomination Application
Position Nominations are applications by approved Standard Business Sponsors for particular full time positions to be filled by expatriate employees.
The approved Standard Business Sponsor must nominate an occupation, from one of the Skilled Occupation Lists, for which the expatriate employee is appropriately qualified and competent to perform.
This is a very critical and important step of the process as the Skilled Occupation List from which the occupation is derived will determine the Stream of the subsequent Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa Application.
An occupation from the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) will enable Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa Applicants to apply in the Short-term stream.
The Short-term stream allows Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visas to be granted for a maximum of two (2) years (or up to four years if an international trade obligation applies) with a once off renewal application for a further Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa to be granted for a maximum of two (2) years. There is no transition to Australian Permanent Residence.
An occupation from the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) will enable Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa Applicants to apply in the Medium-term stream.
The Medium-term stream allows Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visas to be granted for a maximum of four (4) years with an unlimited number of applications for renewal of the visa. Subclass 482 Visa holders are then eligible to apply for Australian Permanent Residence after working with the same sponsoring employer in the nominated occupation for three (3) years.
The Skilled Occupation Lists may also prescribe conditions applicable to the nominated occupation which will need to be satisfied.
Other requirements include as follows:
The nominated position must be paid at least the Australian Market Salary Rate with employment terms and conditions no less favourable than those for equivalent Australian workers.
The Australian Market Salary Rate for a nominated position must be above the Temporary Skilled Migration Threshold (TSMIT) currently $53,900 per annum based on a 38 hour week.
The nominated position must also be advertised in accordance with the Department of Home Affairs requirements and at least 21 calendar days prior to the lodgement of the Position Nomination Application.
The employer needs to provide detailed submissions demonstrating that the nominated position is a “Genuine Position” that fits within the scope and scale of the business.
Finally, a new nomination training contribution charge, referred to as the Skilling Australians Fund levy (‘SAF levy’), has recently been approved by the Australian Parliament.
Whilst the associated Migration Regulations have yet to be released and finalised, the following Training requirements will need to be met:
- Businesses with turnover of less than $10 million per year will be required to:
- make an upfront payment of $1,200 per visa per year for each employee on a TSS visa;
- Businesses with turnover of $10 million or more per year will be required to:
- make an upfront payment of $1,800 per visa year for each employee on a TSS visa
The Position Nomination Application must be lodged with the Department of Home Affairs before a Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa can be lodged.
3. Subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa Application
An application for a visa to permit temporary employment in Australia is made by the expatriate employee to take up an approved Position Nomination for a role with an approved Business Sponsor.
The expatriate employee must demonstrate amongst other things that s/he possesses the skills and experience necessary to skilfully and competently perform the duties, tasks and responsibilities of the nominated position.
In particular, the expatriate employee must show that s/he has at least 2 years of relevant employment experience in the nominated occupation.
Under policy, it is generally expected that the work experience should have been undertaken on a full-time basis in the last five years. This period does not, however, need to be continuous. Employment experience may also be undertaken as a part-time employment that is equivalent to two years full-time.
The expatriate employee must also demonstrate Vocational level English language proficiency.
The expatriate employee, and any family members, need to be of good character by providing Police Checks and may need to be medically cleared by undertaking Medical Examinations.
The applicant for a Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa, and any accompanying family members, are required to demonstrate they have made adequate arrangements for appropriate Health Insurance Coverage for the period of the visa.
The expatriate employee will be restricted to working for the sponsoring employer for the period of the visa's validity. Under business sponsor arrangements the employer is not permitted to on-hire the visa holder to other employers, this would not preclude you consulting for other businesses.
Expatriate employees may stay in Australia for the length of the visa validity period chosen by the employer and consistent with any contract of employment (up to a maximum period of 2 to 4 years at a time depending on occupation) and in accordance with the visa granted.
B. Overseas Business Sponsorship
Similar to the Australian Standard Business Sponsorship, the Overseas Business Sponsorship is instead for businesses currently operating outside Australia that intend to either:
- Establish, or assist in establishing, on behalf of the applicant, a business operation in Australia with overseas connections; and / or
- Fulfil, or assist in fulfilling, a contractual obligation in Australia;
The Overseas Business Sponsorship Application must also be lodged with the Department of Home Affairs before a Position Nomination and Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa Application can be lodged.