Temporary Skills Shortage Visa ( 482 Visa )
In 2018, the Skilled Migrant 457 Visa was abolished. It was replaced with the Temporary Skills Shortage 482 Visa. The 482 Visa is a short-term work visa that allows employers to nominate jobs to be filled by overseas workers in areas where there are critical skills shortages in the Australian community. To be granted a 482 Visa, an overseas worker must have the required level of relevant skills and fulfil the English language proficiency requirement for the visa, which is tighter than under the 457 Skilled Migrant visa. The applicant also has to undergo mandatory criminal history checks. There 482 Visa has three streams: the short-term stream, the medium-term stream and the Labour Agreement stream.
482 Visa – Short-term stream
The 482 visa short-term stream is available to applicants whose occupation is on the occupations list. Its duration is two years and can only be renewed from within Australia once. After four years on the TSS Visa, the applicant will have to leave Australia and reapply for the Visa. There is no pathway to Permanent Residency from the short-term stream of the 482 Visa.
Applicants for the 482 Visa must achieve an overall IELTS score of 5.00 with at least 4.5 in each test component (writing, reading, listening and speaking).
482 Visa – Medium-term stream
The medium-term TSS Visa is also available to applicants whose occupation is on the occupations list. This visa has a duration of up to four years. There is no limit to how many times a visa-holder can renew this visa. After three years on this visa, holders have access to a pathway to Permanent Residency via the ENS Temporary Transition 186 Visa or the RSMS Temporary Transition 187 Visa.
Applicants must attain a score of at least 5.00 in each IELTS test component.
482 Visa – Labour Agreement stream
A 482 Visa in the Labour Agreement stream is available to applicants whose occupations are not on the TSS occupations list. Labour Agreement Visas are only granted in exceptional circumstances where a need cannot be met by the Australian labour market. An employer can apply for a Labour Agreement to allow sponsorship of a specific occupation that is not on the list.
Who is eligible for a 482 Visa?
To be eligible for a 482 Visa, a person must have:
- At least two years’ experience in the relevant occupation;
- An approved sponsor for a position;
- The requisite skills and qualifications;
- The English language requirements;
- The health and character requirements;
- Complied with the conditions of any previous visas;
How do you apply?
The proposed employer must lodge a nomination application in respect of a person. To do this they must be an approved sponsor or have applied to be made a standard business sponsor. Once a person has been successfully nominated by an employer, they may apply for a 482 Visa by paying the fees and completing the application form.
What are the conditions of the visa?
The 482 Visa comes with conditions binding both the visa holder and the sponsor employer. The visa holder must:
- Work for the nominating employer in the job they were nominated for;
- Maintain any relevant registration and licensing required to work in the position;
- Start work within 90 days of the grant of the visa;
- Not cease working for a period of more than 90 days;
The sponsor must:
- Pay the person the Australian market salary rate;
- Have Labour Market Testing;
- Submit to a non-discriminatory workforce test;
- Comply with a training obligation to provide ‘enhanced training outcomes’ for Australians in high needs industries;
- Pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund. This is set at $1200 for small businesses and $1800 for other businesses;
What has changed?
The introduction of the new visa brings the following changes.
- The TSS Visa has a shorter list of occupations than the Skilled Migrant Visa, with 216 occupation have been removed and access to 24 other occupations being restricted to regional Australia;
- Compulsory criminal history checks have been introduced;
- There are tighter English language requirements;
- There are shorter validity periods;
- The residency period for transitioning to permanent residency has been lenthened to three years;
- Applicants who transition to permanent residency must be below the age of 45;
The Department of Home Affairs has also announced the following reforms:
- The Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Tax Office will share the Tax File Numbers of skilled workers from overseas;
- Sponsors which are sanctioned for non-compliance with their obligations will be publicly named.
The Department of Home Affairs has stated that the changes are designed to sharpen the focus of employer-sponsored skilled migration and to address public concerns about jobs being taken from Australians.
Current 457 visas will remain in effect and their holders will be able to access the new pathways to permanent residency under the 482 visa.
If you require legal advice or representation please contact Armstrong Legal.