It's here! TSS visa regulations released; 18 March 2018 rollout

Today, the legislative instrument repealing Subclass 457 – Temporary Work Skilled (457) visas and introducing the Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage (482) visa was released. The date these regulations will take effect is 18 March 2018.

ImmiAccount will be shutdown from 6pm Saturday 17th March until 1am Sunday 18th March 2018 to update their systems.

There are obviously many changes. Key features are below, however, many requirements are still to be revealed as other legislative instruments have yet to be released.

Temporary Skill Shortage (482) visas

  • Primary applicants must have worked in the nominated occupation or a related field for at least 2 years. Experience in related roles may be considered in the context of the occupation nominated;

  • There is a non-discriminatory workforce test, which can result in nominations being refused for employers not regarding Australian workers;

  • Applicants can apply for a health waiver without an employer undertaking. This is because Public Interest Criterion (PIC) 4006A will be replaced with PIC 4007, which is a common PIC for many permanent visas;

  • There will be a new mandatory condition 8607 for all primary applicants, which will replace condition 8107. The conditions are effectively the same, however, condition 8607 will require the visa holder to lodge a new 482 visa application if they want to change occupations. This is so their skills will be reassessed in the new occupation. This condition will also make it mandatory for any 482 visa holder nominated by an overseas business to only work for that specific entity;

  • Adverse information, which may affect sponsors has been expanded to include giving or causing to give a bogus document or false or misleading information of a material particular to either the Minister, Tribunal or an assessing authority;

  • Market salary rate provisions which required nominees to be provided with remuneration no less favourable than what an Australian citizen or permanent resident is, or would be paid, will be replaced with an annual market salary rate (AMSR), which is defined as the earnings an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident earns or would earn for performing equivalent work on a full-time basis for a year in the same workplace at the same location. This will also be an ongoing sponsor obligation.

There are three streams.

Short-term stream

  • For those nominated in an occupation on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL);

  • Can be granted for a maximum of two years or four years but only if two years is inconsistent with international trade obligations;

  • Unless exempted by international trade obligations, these can be renewed only once onshore, however, they may reapply from outside Australia; and

  • Primary applicants will be subject to a genuine temporary entrant criterion, which assesses their intention to stay in Australia temporarily with regard to their circumstances, immigration history, immigration compliance, and other relevant matters.

The Medium-term stream

  • For those on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL);

  • Can be granted a visa for up to four years; and

  • Require a higher standard of English, such as an IELTS test (or equivalent) scoring no less than 5 in each of the four modules.

Labour agreement stream 

For overseas workers to be nominated under an approved labour agreement.

Sponsor obligations

Sponsors must:

  • Notify the DHA if a sponsored worker does not commence employment within an agreed time; and

  • Ensure a sponsored worker works in the approved nominated occupation and does not work in a different occupation unless and until that occupation is approved in that nomination application.

Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme (186) and Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (187) visas

  • A labour agreement stream has been created. The Agreement stream for 187 visas has been repealed;

  • There are additional refund provisions;

  • Nominating employers must select one stream and only that stream will be assessed;

  • The primary applicant must be 45 years of age or younger;

  • The primary applicant has at least three years of relevant work experience;

  • The AMSR and Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) will apply. The AMSR must be no less than the TSMIT;

  • Adverse information will be expanded as already listed;

  • Any licensing or registration required for the nominated occupation must be held by the nominee at the time any nomination has been lodged;

  • Nominations for 187 visas under the Direct Entry Stream will require evidence the position cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or permanent resident who is either living in the area or willing to move to that area;

  • Only the Regional Certifying Bodies can provide advice for 187 nominations under the Direct Entry Stream where the postcode of employment is in their designated area;

  • The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will have the ability to refuse nominations where they have information the nominee has been working in a different occupation, or are not satisfied the nominating business has the capacity to lawfully and actively operate for at least two years and employ the nominee for that period and at least at the the AMSR.

Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) Stream

  • At the time they are nominated, the primary applicant has worked for at least three years out of the previous four in the position relating to either a 457 visa or 482 visa;

  • The applicant’s nominated occupation must be on the corresponding MLTSSL. There will be additional occupations for regional areas.

Transitional arrangements

Those who held, or had applied for, a Subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017, will need to wait until separate legislative instruments are released which will vary some requirements for the TRT stream. However, it has been previous slated that the age, employment and that the occupation does not need to be on an approved list will remain.

Further changes

Lastly, as the Skill Australia Fund Bill (2018) is still before the Senate, the abolition of the training benchmarks and reforms to labour market testing, will proceed at a later date if passed, of course.

 As the Senate is sitting next the day after these changes, we just might see further important changes in the very near future.