From March 2018, the Australian Government introduced a new work visa to replace 457, that is Subclass 482 T0emporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa. There are three steps to the application process.
Firstly, is by business sponsorship
Before the expiry of a current standard business sponsorship (SBS) approval, business sponsors can renew online two months earlier and receive approval within minutes. All sponsorship approvals are valid in 5 years, with the 18-month start-up company approval being removed. There will be one lifetime TRN which will continue through all subsequent approvals. However, the following conditions were excepted:
- First time sponsorship applications
- Integrity concerns exist
- Changing from accredited to standard business sponsorship status
- Overseas business sponsorships
The four categories of accredited sponsors will continue, and these sponsors will potentially receive automated nomination approvals and priority processing of 5 days or less. Sponsors who wish to change to accredited sponsor status must lodge a new sponsorship application.
Second, is TSS Nominations
Despite of International Trade Obligations (ITO) apply, all applications need labour market testing(LMT). The Skilling Australians Fund levy will be paid at the time of nomination. The ATO has advised that the levy will be tax deductible. The levy will be refunded where the nomination is refused or where an incorrect application is lodged and withdrawn. Further circumstances under which the levy may be refunded are being considered. The cost of the SAF levy cannot be passed on to the visa applicant and will be covered by the ‘paying for sponsorship’ regulations. Nominations lodged without associated visas lodged before the changeover date will become redundant, as a TSS visas cannot be lodged against them. These nomination applications can be withdrawn, and refund requested.
Last, TSS Visas
The nominee must demonstrate that they meet the requisite skill level for their occupation, as well as health and character requirements. Only 2 x STSOL TSS applications can be lodged onshore. A third may be lodged offshore. Only approved occupations will be included in the online application. Visas will no longer be able to be linked to a different nomination. Work experience caveats will be removed from the lists as redundant and regional caveats will be added to relevant occupations. The Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR) will be introduced and TSMIT will continue. The concept of base salary rate will be removed and all calculations will be based on guaranteed earnings. The guaranteed earning must not be less than the AMSR or TSMIT.
ENS and RSMS Changes
The March 2018 changes are expected to reduce the high risk percentage of the case load and provide an opportunity to achieve a better balance between mitigating program risks and streamlining processing arrangements.
AMSR and TSMIT will applied to ENS and RSMS applications replacing the more general terms and conditions. Additional discretionary power for VPO to reassess skills and genuineness at the permanent application stage and to request a skills assessment will be introduced.
TRT applicants will not lose continuity if they applied for a new TSS visa. If the occupation comes off the list and the applicant can’t access a TSS, the TRT pathway is broken. For currently lodged applications, sponsorship obligations require training benchmark expenditure to be maintained UNTIL the application is finally decided, even after the SAF comes into effect. Nominations can be lodged before the March changes and there will still be six months for associated visa applications to be lodged. Visa applications lodged after the March changes will be subject to the new regulations, unless subject to transition arrangements.