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As you may be aware, the 457 Visa will be officially abolished and replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa as of March 2018.

Some of the changes include:

  • More targeted occupation lists which better align with skill requirements in the Australian labour market
  • A requirement for visa applicants to have at least two years’ work experience in their skilled occupation
  • Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) which ensures that overseas workers cannot be engaged to undercut Australian workers.
  • Mandatory labour market testing, proof that the company advertised to local workers but were unable to find a local Australian to fill the role, unless an international trade obligation applies
  • Under the Short-Term stream, there is capacity for only one on-shore visa renewal under the Short-Term stream, as well as no option to gain PR.
  • Under the Medium-Term stream, there is capacity for visa renewal on-shore and permanent residence eligibility after three years.
  • A non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers
  • A requirement to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund
  • The Department of Home Affairs will collect Tax File Numbers and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records, and
  • Mandatory penal clearance certificates to be provided.


Skilled Occupation Lists – STSOL and MLTSSL

Occupations fall into two lists, the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

Short-Term stream – this is for employers to source genuine temporary overseas skilled workers in occupations included on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) for a maximum of two years (or up to four years if an international trade obligation applies). You are not eligible to apply for permanent residency under this list.

Medium and Long-Term stream – this is for employers to source highly skilled overseas workers to fill medium-term critical skills in occupations included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) for up to four years, with eligibility to apply for permanent residence after three years

You are able to view the Skilled Occupation Lists here.


Current 457 Visa Holders

If you are currently on a 457 visa, you do not need to lodge a new visa application unless:

  • You change employer.
  • You change roles within the company within the company which is not in line with your existing 457 sponsored occupation
  • Your existing visa is expiring


Labour Market Testing (LMT) for TSS

LMT settings for the new TSS visa will seek to balance prioritising Australian workers and recognising industry practices, and will be informed by the approach taken by comparable countries.
LMT testing will be mandatory unless international trade obligations apply. Where LMT is required, the Government has indicated its intention that:

  • multiple methods of LMT will be recognised, and could include national recruitment websites and print media/radio, but are not expected to include a general classifieds website
  • LMT will need to be undertaken for a minimum duration and to have occurred within a specified period before lodging the nomination
  • the advertisement will need to be in English and
  • current policy flexibility will continue in respect of nominations for an existing visa holder due to a change in business structure or the pay rate of the position, and for talent-based position (e.g. athletes / sports-people, top-talent chefs, eminent academics and researchers).


Work experience requirements for the TSS visa

As per the Government’s 18 April 2017 announcement, TSS visa applicants will be required to have worked in the nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least two years. Work experience related caveats that apply at the nomination stage for the subclass 457 visa will not apply to TSS nominations.

Policy settings will be outlined in the TSS visa Procedural Instructions that will be published on the implementation date. Interim guidance for agents is provided below:

  • Work experience will be considered flexibly in the context of the nominated occupation and industry practices
  • The work experience should have been undertaken in the last five years and would need to be calculated in terms of full time work. Part time work experience may be considered
  • Experience gained as part of the research components of a Masters and/or PhD may be considered as work experience for relevant occupations, such as medical and research occupations
  • Experience gained through clinical placements and internships may be considered as work experience for medical practitioners, including Resident Medical Officers (RMOs)
  • The internship component of the Professional Year Program may be considered as work experience for relevant occupations
  • Performance experience gained while studying may be considered for applicants with a performing arts occupation.


Information sourced from:

Purnima Kabra