On 18 March 2018, the new Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa framework commenced and replaced Australia's 457 (Temporary Short Stay) visa regime. The stated purpose of the TSS visa is to address labour shortages by bringing in genuinely skilled workers where skilled Australians cannot be sourced.

Compared to the 457 visa framework, there are significant legislative and policy changes. In particular, applicants are nominated under either the medium to long-term skilled shortage list (MLTSSL) or the short term skilled occupation list (STSOL). These lists will be updated every six months with the next update scheduled for June 2018.

Throughout the process of legislating and implementing these changes, the Department has also changed its name to the Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs).

Transitional Arrangements

If you employ a current 457 visa holder who held or had applied for their 457 visa prior to 18 April 2017, they will be subject to transitional provisions to cover possible pathways to permanent residency. We recommend contacting us to confirm eligibility prior to making an application.

Skills Assessment

Under the TSS visa framework, Home Affairs has the discretion to request applicants to complete a skills assessment. This is a significant change compared to its powers under the 457 visa framework. Further, an additional number of occupations are required to complete mandatory skills assessments. If you are sponsoring an applicant who has no formal qualifications, a skills assessment may be difficult to satisfy. Accordingly, we recommend that you seek our advice before making any decisions concerning overseas recruitment.

Genuine Position and Temporary Entrant

Home Affairs must be satisfied that the nominated occupation is a genuine position. We recommend completing a genuine position submission providing information regarding how the position falls within the scope of the sponsoring entity and that the position has not been created to secure a migration outcome.

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