Australian Sponsors Obligations  for TSS Visa

Australian sponsors obligations for the 482 TSS visa – 2018

australian sponsors obligations

The Australian Government has been fishing for new ideas to improve their migration laws

The 457 visa was abolished on the 18th March 2018 and replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 visa.

Changes to the legislation are extensive and affect all employers who sponsor staff.

Here is a summary of important information which you the employee should know about the responsibilities of an employer and sponsor for the new 482 TSS visa.

Changes to Australian sponsors obligations came into effect 18th March 2018
From now on the TSS subclass 482 visa replaces the 457 visa.

Changes now also apply to permanent employer-sponsored ENS and RSMS visas lodged on or after this date.

457 visa applications lodged before 18th March will be assessed as per the Migration Regulations which applied prior to the above date.

If a 457 nomination is lodged prior to 18 March, but there is no linked 457 lodged by this date, then the nomination will no longer be processed and a refund may be paid.

Requirements for a TSS Visa are different to a 457 Visa and below are changes that have been made to the following requirements:
⦁ The TSS consists of 3 different streams i.e. the Short-Term, Medium-Term and Labour Agreement streams
⦁ Work Experience
⦁ English Language Ability
⦁ Health Requirement
⦁ Occupations List
⦁ Work Conditions for the Visa
⦁ Visa Validity Period for Adult Children
⦁ Higher Visa Application Fees
⦁ Training requirement for sponsorship approval
Employer Sponsorship validity and renewal process
⦁ Market Rate Salary
⦁ Labour Market Testing is required in most cases
⦁ Various Nomination Requirements

The 3 TSS streams
Employers must nominate one of the three TSS application streams.

1. Short-Term Stream

For the short-term stream:
⦁ The nominated occupation must be on the STSOL (Short-Term Skilled Occupations List)
⦁ Applicants must show that they are Genuine Temporary Entrants
⦁ The visa is valid for either 1 or 2 years (unless an International Trade Obligation applies)
⦁ The visa can only be renewed onshore once

2. Medium-Term Stream
For the Medium-Term Stream:
⦁ The occupation must be on the MLTSSL (Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List)
⦁ A higher English language requirement applies compared to the Short-Term Stream
⦁ The visa can be valid for 1, 2, 3 or 4 years
⦁ The visa can be renewed without limitation and applicants may be eligible for permanent employer sponsored options

3. Labour Agreement Stream
This stream is for employers who have negotiated a labour agreement with the Australian Government.

Work experience requirement for the TSS visa

To be eligible for a TSS visa, the applicant must have at least 2 years of work experience and must be in the nominated occupation or “related field”.

People without work experience will not be eligible for a TSS visa – for example international students.

There does seem to be some flexibility in considering work experience which is not necessarily in the nominated occupation, but in a related field.

If sponsored under a Labour Agreement, a waiver of the 2-year work experience requirement is possible.

English requirements for the TSS visa

Short-Term Stream
English requirements is an average of 5 in the IELTS, with no scores under 4.5 in any of the 4 bands. Alternative English tests are also accepted.

Long-Term Stream
English Requirement with an average of 5 is not sufficient and needs to be higher. A minimum of 5 in each band of IELTS is required.

Labour Agreement Stream
Applicants must show they have the English language skills to perform the occupation, without reference to formal English testing.
Exemptions from English language testing are available for:
⦁ Passport holders from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and New Zealand
⦁ People who have completed at least 5 years of study in English medium
⦁ Intra-company transfers where the base salary is at least $96,400
⦁ Diplomatic/consular appointments

Health requirement for the TSS Visa

TSS visa, applicants must show they do not have any medical conditions which are:
⦁ of public health concern
⦁ can result in a significant cost to the Australian community
⦁ will result in the use of scarce medical or community services

The TSS visa is subject to health criterion 4007.

If the applicant has a health condition, they can still be granted a visa if the cost to the community is “not undue” via a health waiver. The applicant’s personal factors can be taken into account i.e.:
⦁ pre-existing health insurance
⦁ financial capacity
⦁ the ability of relatives to provide the necessary care

Under the new Australians sponsors obligations there is no requirement for the employer to sign an undertaking, meaning that the employee does not need to disclose their condition.

Australian sponsors

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Changes to the Skilled Occupations Lists

The structure of the list for the TSS visa has changed into the following classifications:
⦁ MLTSSL: the short list of most in-demand occupations. Eligible for 4 year visas, and for permanent residence options
⦁ STSOL: a longer list of occupations which are eligible for a TSS visa valid for up to 2 years
⦁ Regional Occupations: list of occupations which are eligible for a TSS only if the position is in a regional postcode. Also eligible for the permanent RSMS visa

There have been no changes to the MLTSSL or STSOL, but occupations have been added to the Regional list. Now some occupations which were not eligible for 457 visas may be eligible for a TSS visa if the position is located in a regional area.

Work restriction on a TSS visa
TSS Visas are subject to condition 8607 which broadly speaking is as follows:

⦁ The employee can only work for the nominating employer, in the occupation in which they were sponsored
⦁ If registration, licensing or professional membership is required to work in the position, the applicant holds this
⦁ The holder must commence work within 90 days of grant or arrival in Australia; and
⦁ The holder is subject to cancellation if they cease work for more than 60 days

TSS visa fees

The application fee depends on which stream is being applied for:
⦁ Short Term Stream: $1,150
⦁ Medium Term Stream: $2,400
⦁ Labour Agreement Stream: $2,400

The Government has announced that a Training Levy will apply to TSS nominations. The legislation for this has not yet passed, but the following amounts are likely to apply:
⦁ Large organization (over $10 million turnover): $1,800 per year of visa validity
⦁ Smaller organizations: $1,200 per year
When the training levy is introduced, it will greatly increase the cost for employers of obtaining a TSS visa.

You can use an existing Standard Business Sponsorship to apply for TSS Nominations and Visa Applications.

No training requirement for a business sponsor

New Australian Sponsors obligations no longer require sponsors to provide evidence of training of Australians in their business. 

It is expected that the introduction of the Training Levy in the near future will replace the training obligation.

However, the sponsorship obligation to provide training will continue for sponsors who have already been approved.

Training will also be relevant when applying for permanent Employer Nomination Scheme visas.

TSS Sponsorship approval is valid for 5 years

A Standard Business Sponsorship granted after 18 March 2018, will be valid (in most cases ) for a period of 5 years.

Changes to the Sponsorship Renewal Process

A simpler streamlined process for renewing the sponsorship is available after 18th March for Sponsors operating in Australia.

The streamlined process is not available for overseas business sponsors and a new sponsorship application must be made each time.

Labour Market Testing requirements for the TSS Visa

Labour Market Testing requires the employer to show that it has not been possible to source an employee from the Australian labour market before sponsoring a visa. This will require providing evidence that the position was advertised and that no suitable candidates are available.

For the TSS Visa, Labour Market Testing is required in most cases. The main exception is where an International Trade Obligation applies.

Currently, Labour Market Testing must be conducted in the occupation within the last 12 months to meet TSS requirements.

From 18 June 2018, Labour Market Testing must have been conducted within the last 6 months before application.

Market Rate Salary for the new TSS visa

The Australian Market Salary Rate (‘AMSR’) must be above or equal to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (‘TSMIT’) It must also be equivalent to what is paid to an Australian in the same workplace and location.

A broader assessment of the employment conditions will be made to ensure that 482 TSS visa holders will receive the same conditions as Australians.

The business must also certify that the conditions apply with all Federal, State, and/or Territory employment laws.

Changes to Nomination Requirements

Many detail changes have been made to the nomination process. The more important ones include:
⦁ The TSS will only be available for full-time positions.
⦁ The period of nomination must be specified and be exactly 1, 2, 3 or 4 years.
⦁ The new legislation specifically states that the sponsor must pay the nomination fees.

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Sometimes the government gets a bite and comes up with a great catch, I mean migration idea

Conclusion

Make sure you understand what your Australian Sponsors obligations are by doing your homework. If in any doubt, contact a MARA migration agent who can help you avoid any possible pitfalls that can occur before you make the big move to Australia.

Although different in detail in a number of ways the TSS visa is similar in concept to the 457 visa.

The recent changes will result in further efforts by the Department of Immigration, to strengthen the integrity of the employer sponsorship program through The Migration Amendment (Reform of Employer Sanctions) Act 2013.

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Word count: 1499 Draft saved at 10:49:54 am. Last edited by admin on 7th April 2018 at 10:30 am

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