The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa is the name of the visa which (as of today) replaces the now defunct Australian 457 Visa.
As we announced yesterday, the Turnball government has chosen to axe the old 457 Visa scheme citing abuse of the scheme by Australian businesses. Ultimately, the view from the Australian Government is that overseas workers were getting jobs and local workers were being overlooked.. allegedly.
Now 24 hours has passed and we’ve all had a little chance to calm down. We thought we’d provide a little more information on the TSS and provide a little insight into how this might affect workers looking to migrate to Australia under the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa scheme.
TSS Visa – How the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa Works
So in short, the new TSS Visa scheme will be made up of two streams, one short term (issued for two years) and one medium-term (issued for up to four years for “more focused occupation lists”).
Both of these will be subject to labour market testing including a requirement for two years of work experience, a market salary rate assessment and a new non-discriminatory workforce test.
The number of eligible occupations for the new types of visas will be shortened by 216, with 268 available for the two-year visa and 167 for the longer four-year visa.
Applicants will also now have to meet English language requirements and undergo a criminal check.
The changes are in effect immediately and will be fully implemented by 2018.
What Occupations will qualify for a TSS Visa
Historically, to qualify for a 457 Visa, your occupation had to appear on what used to be referred to as the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List or CSOL. As part of the
As part of the transition to the TSS Visa scheme, the old Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) will be renamed as the new Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL).
The STSOL list is updated every six months (instead of the annual updates for the CSOL list) based on advice from the Department of Employment. The current STSOL can be viewed by clicking here.
What Occupations Are Likely To Be Impacted The Most Under The New TSS Visa Scheme?
Well, to begin with, over 200 jobs have been removed which means that unfortunately, a number of occupations will be impacted.
If you’d like to better understand which occupations are impacted you can click Here to view the full list of occupations removed from the old Skilled Occupations List (SOL).
Based on the historical 457 Visa numbers, theoretically, the industries that stand to be most affected are information technology (the largest sponsor), followed by the professional, scientific and technical services, accommodation and food services. However, the top three occupations under 457 visas contributed fewer than 15% of all visa grants in 2015-16.
However, the top three occupations under 457 visas contributed fewer than 15% of all visa grants in 2015-16 and at time of typing, it’s difficult to fully appreciate how the introduction of the TSS Visa scheme will influence Australian business hiring habits.
TSS Visa and Australian Permanent Residency (PR)
It’s fair to say that one of the biggest attractions of the 457 Visa scheme was the opportunity it gave 457 visa holders to gain Australian Permanent Residency (PR) after two years.
Many people on 457 visas ended up gaining a permanent visa, with many of these applicants being sponsored for PR by their employer.
In the 2015-16 migration year, for example, a total of 51,110 people on a 457 visa were granted a permanent visa.
Under the TSS Visa scheme, this will change. The Australian government has already indicated that Australian permanent residency will not be made available to applicants on the short-term (two years) stream, though we have still to receive confirmation if Australian PR may be an option for those moving to Australia under the 4-year option.
It is also unclear what the 457 changes will mean for the transition from temporary to permanent residency although existing visa holders will be grandfathered under the old system, providing a level of certainty at least in the short-term.
As always, as more information becomes available, we’ll provide further updates.