Effective March 2018, the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and replaced with the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa. Employers sponsoring foreign nationals for temporary and permanent TSS visas will be required to pay a levy to generate revenue for the Skilling Australians Fund.
There will be three options available under this new TSS visa program:
- Short-Term Stream: for employers to source 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)
- Medium-Term Stream: for employers to source highly skilled overseas workers to fill medium-term critical skills for up to 4 years of employment, with eligibility to apply for permanent residence after 3 years, and
- Labor Agreement Streams: for employers recruiting foreign nationals in accordance with a labor agreement, with the ability to apply for permanent residence
The latest reform will impose stricter limitations on eligibility for an employer-sponsored permanent skilled visa. These changes reflect the Australian Government’s ongoing efforts to maintain the integrity of its current immigration system, while also incentivizing employers to hire local talent to their workforce.