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The TSS visa program split the existing skill shortage list into two groups – the short-term stream and the medium-term stream.

Short-Term Stream

The Short-Term Stream of the TSS is designed for Australian businesses to fill gaps with foreign workers on a temporary basis, when a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be found. 

Employment positions which are listed on the Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) are eligible for a two year visa, with the capacity for one onshore visa renewal. This means that a Short-Term TSS Visa holder will only be able to stay in Australia for a maximum of four years.

These visa holders may not be eligible for Permanent Residence under the Employee Nominated Scheme (ENS) or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), as there is now a requirement of 3 years of continual work to get ENS. (Further information will be sought on this).

All potential applicants will need to meet the English Language requirement, with the threshold for a Short-Term TSS set at an International English Testing System (IELTS) (or equivalent test) score of 5, with a minimum of 4.5 in each test component.

There will also be a genuine temporary entrant requirement plus a police check.

The Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) will be reviewed based on advice from the Department of Employment, every six months.

Medium-Term Stream

The Medium-Term Stream of the TSS allows Australian businesses to source foreign workers to address shortages in a narrow range of highly skilled and critically needed occupations. These positions will be for occupations which have been assessed as being of high value to the Australian economy so that Australian businesses can find the right expertise to prosper when a suitably skilled Australian worker is not available.

Occupations on the the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) are eligible for a visa for up to four years, with the capacity for visa renewal onshore for another 4 years and a permanent residence pathway after three years.

The Medium-Term Stream of the TSS will also require applicants to meet English Language Requirements. There is a requirement of an IELTS (or equivalent test) score of 5, with a minimum score of 5 in each test component, meaning that there is a higher threshold than the Short-Term Steam.


Different occupations have had some caveats imposed upon them under the TSS program. An example of this is a person who is nominated as an Accountant ANZSCO 221111 must not be filling a clerical, bookkeeper, or accounting clerk position.

In general, any company that is not turning over one million dollars or has less than five staff will not be able to become a sponsor.

The TSS programme also has established minimum salary levels they deem to be required which are over and above the $53,900AUD for particular occupations. An example of this is a Corporate Service Manager ANZSCO 132111, which requires a base salary of not less than $80,000AUD.

General Requirements and Reforms for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa

The government has reduced the number of occupations from 651 to 435 occupations. The complete list is available here.

Visa applicants will have to have at least two years’ work experience in the skilled occupation, however, this is overridden by ANZSCO requirements, which means that certain jobs may actually have stricter job requirements.

The permanent residence eligibility period was increased from two years to three years, and is only available to applicants under the medium-term stream.

There was also a strengthened requirement on employers to contribute to training Australian workers, and a non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure that employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers.

Similarly to the old 457 Visa, applicants under the TSS Visa are required to meet the minimum market salary rate, meaning that a skilled overseas worker must be paid the same, or more, than an Australian worker occupying the same position. Employers pay the market salary, but must also meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold, which has not changed at $53,900AUD plus super.

Please note; the Department of Immigration and Border Protection commenced the collection of Tax File Numbers for these visa holders, and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records to ensure that visa holders are not paid less than their nominated salary.

Applicants will also have to provide a mandatory penal clearance certificate, which is obtained from an overseas country’s government or law enforcement authority. This is required to demonstrate good character and that applicants do not have a significant past criminal history.

Pendragon is a visa specialist:

  • We can sponsor individuals on the TSS/482 Work visa.
  • We can become the surrogate sponsor on the behalf of companies who want to employ international workers.

For further information please don’t hesitate to contact us, book an appointment or reach us at [email protected] or 02 9407 8700 where one of our Australian team members will gladly help you.

Pendragon Team