Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa to Replace 457 Visa This Month

STANDARD DISCLAIMER: All information contained herein are as of press time and are thus subject to changes without prior notice. As the iRemit blog is merely an information resource rather than an authority on immigration matters, readers are still encouraged to seek professional counsel.

 

Last year, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the abolition of Visa 457, which allowed local business owners to employ skilled foreign workers in industries where the demand for their skills was unmet. The official line was that the move was part of the government’s “Australia First initiative,” as the said visa was sometimes being used to exploit cheap labor, thus leaving many Australians out of a job.

 

As an estimated 95,000 foreign workers were on Visa 457, there was a great deal of concern about their future. During that time, proposals on new regulations and requirements were still being put forward, so there was quite a bit of unease over how things would proceed.

 

Fast forward to March 2018, where a new visa program that took about a year to create is now poised to fill the void left by Visa 457. It’s called the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa, and its requirements include the following:

 
  • At least two (2) years’ work experience in their skilled occupation;
  • Mandatory labor market testing, unless they’re exempt from this due to international trade obligations;
  • The capacity for just one onshore visa renewal under the Short-Term stream;
  • The capacity for visa renewal onshore and permanent residence eligibility after three years under the Medium-Term stream;
  • Passing a non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers;
  • A contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund, pending the legislation for such.
 

Apart from the TSS visa, stricter eligibility requirements for employer-sponsored permanent skilled visas will also be implemented this month:

 
  • Tightened English language requirements, which may include having to pass an exam that includes questions on domestic violence and other such issues meant to determine if an applicant’s values are in line with those of Australia’s;
  • At least three years’ work experience in the applicant’s skilled occupation;
  • Less than 45 years of age at the time of application;
  • Proof that employers, potential or existing, are paying the Australian market salary rate and are meeting the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT);
  • A contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund, pending the legislation for such.
 

Just to clarify, if you already have an existing Visa 457, it will still remain valid until it expires. So, if the expiry date on your current visa is past this month, you can still remain in Australia and work for your employer.

 

However, if you plan to change employers soon, you will need a new nomination from the next one. Furthermore, the new nomination will have to meet post-July requirements, specifically that your occupation must be on the most updated version of either the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).

 

Otherwise, you will not be able to change employers without visa complications.

 

As a final note, it’s great if you possess an existing Visa 457 that won’t expire anytime soon. On the other hand, you should probably make use of the time you have left to lay the groundwork for a more permanent visa, should you wish to stay in Australia and if you’d like your family to receive social benefits like Medicare or to avoid school levies if your children attend public school.

Serena Estrella

Serena joined iRemit back in 2016, and has tormented its Marketing Head constantly ever since. To get through the rigors of writing about grave concerns like exchange rates, citizenship requirements, and PH-AU news, she likes to blast Mozart, Vivaldi, ONE OK ROCK, and Shigeru Umebayashi in the background. She does a mean Merida voice in her spare time too.

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