The Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) have published guidelines to clarify details on the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa which is due to replace the Subclass 457 visa in March 2018.

The TSS visa will be categorised into three separate streams:

  • Short-term stream –for employers to hire temporary foreign skilled workers in occupations included on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List for up to 2 years
  • Medium-term stream –for employers to hire foreign skilled overseas workers to fill medium-term critical skills occupations included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List for up to 4 years
  • Labour Agreement stream –for employers to hire foreign skilled workers in accordance with a labour agreement with the Commonwealth, on the basis that a suitable candidate cannot be found from the Australian labour market

Transition Phase

The DHA have also provided clarification on the transition phase from the current 457 process to the new TSS route:

  • Employers who are currently approved as sponsors for the subclass 457 visa will remain as sponsors under the TSS visa program.
  • Any subclass 457 nomination and visa applications submitted prior to the implementation of the TSS visa will be processed under the current system.
  • Subclass 457 visa holders who plan to change employer after the TSS has been implemented must request their new employer to submit a TSS nomination application
  • Subclass 457 visa holders who plan to change their occupation or require a new visa must submit a new TSS visa application and reference a new TSS nomination application.