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TSS – Temporary Skill Shortage Visa – How It Works

How The Replacement For the 457 Visa Works

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.


Written by Mark

Profile photo of Mark

As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia.

Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assitance, Getting Down Under.


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  1. Hello Mark – thank you so much for this resource. I’ve been looking at securing work as a Planning Officer in Victoria (Melbourne Metropolitan Area ideally, but realistically Regional) for a little while and it’s becoming clearer that any help I can get will be invaluable!

    I’m still unclear about the best route for me to take. It seems that Regional Councils are either struggling to convince their HR teams that they should sponsor my visa application, or simply won’t entertain a job application from me because I don’t have a visa – and gaining one without an employer sponsor seems to be (as far as I can tell!) a very expensive and timely experience, with ultimately a potentially negative outcome (and presumably no refund if the application is unsuccessful…?).

    With the new TSS visa, it seems to me that it has become more costly / complicated for employers to sponsor visa applications but doesn’t actually affect my own, independent visa application should I decide to make one. I would certainly fit in with Urban & Regional Planner as set out on the STSOL, but I’m unclear as to my chances of success in seeking a visa myself. (My girlfriend’s aunt & uncle have the right to work in Australia (they are NZ citizens) and based in Melbourne.) Should I aim for the 189 or the 489? Or another one?!

    Apologies for setting out my entire life history but I’m feeling a little lost…in case that wasn’t clear… Any and all advice gratefully received!

    • Hi Leonard and thanks for the question.

      Both the 489 and 189 are probably the preferred option, however, you’ll need a job on the MLTSSL list to qualify under either of these visa classes.

      For any of the skilled based visa’s the occupations lists will govern your options so I would be inclined to find an occupation you can use as a basis for your application and start from there.

      All the best


  2. Hi Mark
    I have recently been offered sponsorship by a firm for the role of Property Manager and was literally just about to commence the 457 when the changes were announced. My role is on the short term list and whilst the attraction of coming to Australia even just for 2 years remains, as a father of 2 I’m concerned about the likelihood of us requring to eventually come back home.
    What is your understanding of the renewal process of the new TSS visa after 2 years, providing my employer wished to continue with my employment/sponsorship? I’m also curious, it states that the Visa can only be renewed once ‘on-shore’. Whilst I appreciate this is the case could I potentially leave my role and return home to the UK after having been employed for 2 years, (and a further 2 years renewal) and technically whilst out of Australia re-apply for a new TSS Visa again?

    • Technically Steve, yes!

      Had you been awarded your 457 before the changes were announced as theoretically, the old visa provisions should apply to you if that was the case?

      I say this with the caveat that the Australian government still needs to expand on what ‘grandfathering’ of the existing 457 visas actually means.

  3. Hello Mark,

    thanks for your informations and website. Very helpful. Good work.

    Im planing to go to Australia with my family for around 2-4 years. My job is on the STSOL list (Software Tester).

    What would be the next steps?

    First finding a sponsor? And if so, how? Are there special job websites for companies that sponsor?



  4. Hello Mr. Mark.

    I am in Australia on a visitor visa without condition of ‘No Further Stay’. Is it possible for me to apply for MLTSSL or STSOL?. My occupation is in the new List as Radio Communication Technician. I have 10+ years of experience and scored overall IELTS 6.5 bands.

    • JP, very unlikely.

      As an employer needs to sponsor you on the TSS, ultimately they need to be satisfied that you can fulfil the needs of the occupation you will be doing under the TSS

      • i’ve got a sponsorship work in australia last year they needed me urgently, but i didnt pass the Skill Assessment.

        the Assessment Center told me that my training year is not enough

        – 18 months on the Job Training
        – 6 years power tool repair technician until now

        on the assessment they put my job as a toolmaker

        but my work here and in australia is the same, same company same job description, all process is the same, i hope the TSS Visa is not quit hard or doesnt have any Skill Assessment.


        • Ah Ok. Whether a formal skills assessment is required depends on the occupation and passport country of the visa applicant.

          Historically my exposure has been in dealing with people in management type roles where usually a bachelor degree (or higher); or 5 Years of relevant work experience would suffice without the need for a formal skills assessment.

    • If you have already been granted a 457 Visa then we understand that the 457 holders will be able to operate under the old rules, however, we also understand that you will still need to have a job on the MLTSSL to qualify for PR.

      I’d note that this is still not 100% clear so please watch this space as there are still gaps to be filled.

  5. Sir hopefully you should be fine as before ..Sir right now I am working in Saudi Arabia and with that I am doing CCNA ROUTING AND SWITCHING is there any possibility for me that I could move to Australia in networking field

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STSOL - Short-term Skilled Occupation List

STSOL – Short Term Skilled Occupation List

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Planned Australia Visa Changes – April 2017 – March 2018