On 19th February 2018, the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) published further clarification of the various changes to the skilled visa regulations planned for March 2018, including more details on the new Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) “TSS” visa which is due to replace the Subclass 457 visa.
Below, we look at the key updates from the DHA.
- Further changes will be made to the skilled occupations lists, including some additional skilled occupations made available to employers in regional areas for certain visa programs. These changes will not affect pending applications.
- DHA reconfirmed that applications lodged before the implementation date for standard business sponsorship (SBS), 457 nomination and 457 visa will be processed under the current rules, apart from 457 nomination applications lodged without a related visa application being lodged – these will be cancelled and the nominee fee refunded.
- Renewal of sponsorship will be auto-approved for an additional five years, on completion of a streamlined online renewal form, unless there are integrity concerns or the sponsor declares that they no longer meet the criteria.
- TSS applications require the applicant to have at least two years of work experience in the previous five years in the nominated occupation.
- When completing the nomination form, the employer will have to select the length of the employment period (possible options being one, two, three or four years depending on whether the occupation qualifies for the short-term stream or the long-term stream). At present, the 457 visa is usually issued for four years.
- Holders of multiple, successive, short-term TSS visas may have trouble satisfying the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement.
- Condition 8607 is a new condition whereby TSS visa holders who wish to change occupation, rather than employer, will have to have a new nomination and visa approved.
- Labour Market Testing (LMT) will be mandatory to all TSS visa applications, unless international trade obligations apply. At least two advertisements must be placed, in English, for at least 21 calendar days, not longer than six months before submitting the visa application. Adverts must contain the position title, job description and salary (if this is below the high-income threshold).
Employers are advised to work with their Newland Chase immigration specialist to prepare for these changes and to avoid non-compliance.
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