On 11 March 2019, the skilled occupation lists were updated. The changes include standardising the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) by making thirty occupations available to all visa subclasses. These occupations were previously accessible to Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS), Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Training visas.

Regional employers also benefit with the addition of 18 occupations to the Regional Occupation List. Updates to skilled occupation lists are available on the Federal Register of Legislation. An updated combined current list of eligible skilled occupations and a summary of the changes are also available on the Department’s website.

The number of eligible occupations per visa subclass is as follows:

Employer sponsored visas update

Visas for General Practitioners (GPs) Initiative

See below.

Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy

Since the introduction of the SAF levy in August 2018, the Department has received a number of requests for a SAF refund that do not meet the refund criteria.

Refunds of the levy are ONLY available if you meet one of the following scenarios:

  • The sponsorship and visa applications are approved, but the overseas skilled worker (visa holder) does not arrive/commence employment with the employer.
  • The employer’s sponsorship and nomination application for the overseas skilled worker is approved, but the associated visa application is refused on health or character grounds.
  • A TSS visa holder leaves the sponsoring employer within the first 12 months of employment where the visa period was for more than 12 months. Refunds will only be available in this scenario for unused full years of the SAF levy. NOTE: This does not apply to ENS or RSMS holders who leave their employer within the first 12 months of employment.
  • The nomination fee is refunded (e.g. where a concurrent sponsor application is refused).

A failure to submit required documentation at time of lodgement, such as evidence of labour market testing, leading to refusal of a nomination, is not a ground for a refund.

To request a refund please complete a form 1424 (including bank details) and email it to TSS@homeaffairs.gov.au. Please do not send by post as this will delay processing.

 

Accredited Sponsor Scheme

The Accredited Sponsor Scheme is a trusted employer framework that provides streamlined processing arrangements for applications that meet standard regulatory requirements. Accredited sponsors receive priority processing for TSS nominations and visa applications with most applications processed in less than five days. TSS Accredited Sponsors will also be afforded priority processing for ENS and RSMS nomination and visas applications.

The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs has recently agreed to a new category under the Accredited Sponsor Scheme – see Category 5 below:

You can apply to become an Accredited Sponsor if you meet the requirements in one of the following categories:

  • Category 1: Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies
  • with Australian workers making up at least 75% of your workforce in Australia.

 

  • Category 2: Australian Trusted Trader
  • with Australian workers making up at least 75% of your workforce in Australia
  • have a written contract of employment for all TSS/457 visa holders that meets the National Employment Standards (unless their occupation is exempt from this requirement)
  • have paid all Australian employees in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates for all occupations in your business.

 

  • Category 3: Low volume usage and high percentage of Australian workers
  • with Australian workers making up at least 85% of your workforce in Australia
  • have at least one approved nomination for a TSS or subclass 457 visa holder in the last year
  • have had more than 97% of your nomination applications approved in the last year
  • not a sole trader or a partnership
  • have an annual turnover of at least AUD 4M for the last two years
  • have been a standard business sponsor for at least one year
  • have complied with all your sponsor obligations
  • have a written contract of employment for all TSS/457 visa holders that meets the National Employment Standards (unless their occupation is exempt from this requirement)
  • have paid all Australian employees in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates for all occupations in your business.

 

  • Category 4: High volume usage and medium percentage of Australian workers
  • with Australian workers making up at least 75% of your workforce in Australia
  • have at least ten approved nominations for a TSS/457 visa holder in the last two years
  • have had more than 97% of your nomination applications approved in the last two years
  • not a sole trader or a partnership
  • have an annual turnover of at least AUD 4m for the last two years
  • have been a standard business sponsor for at least two years
  • have complied with all your sponsor obligations
  • have a written contract of employment for all TSS/457 visa holders that meets the National Employment Standards (unless their occupation is exempt from this requirement)
  • have paid all Australian employees in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates for all occupations in your business.

 

  • Category 5: Major Investment in Australia
  • have made a major investment in Australia (of at least AUD50M) which has directly generated Australian employment
  • not a sole trader or a partnership
  • have been a standard business sponsor for at least one year
  • have nominations approved for at least one primary TSS/457 visa holder in the last year
  • have had more than 97% of your nomination applications approved in the last year
  • have no adverse monitoring outcomes
  • have paid all Australian employees in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates
  • engage all TSS/457 visa holders as employees under a written contract that meets National Employment Standards where they apply.

If you meet the criteria in one of these categories and want to become an Accredited Sponsor:

  1. log in to ImmiAccount
  2. complete the Sponsorship renewal for a TSS visa (subclass 482)
  3. attach the required documents
  4. pay the sponsorship fee, and
  5. lodge your application.

 

Global Talent Scheme

The Global Talent Scheme (GTS) commenced on 1 July 2018 and is a niche pilot scheme under the TSS visa program. The GTS allows employers who are Accredited Sponsors, to sponsor overseas workers to fill highly-skilled positions that cannot be filled:

  • by Australian workers, or
  • through other standard visa programs.

The Department can enter into a GTS agreement with businesses that meet the. These businesses can then sponsor workers for a TSS visa under the GTS. Compared to standard labour agreements, the GTS allows faster processing and more flexible concessions.

The main features of the GTS are:

  • there are two streams – Established business and Startups
  • the earning threshold for applicants is higher than under the standard TSS stream (currently set at $145,400)
  • you can negotiate variations on the standard TSS visa requirements
  • we prioritise processing of GTS agreements
  • trusted employers can access highly-skilled roles – you are not restricted to occupation lists for the TSS visa short-term or medium–term streams
  • the visa is valid for up to 4 years and allows access to a permanent residence pathway
  • you can negotiate age requirements for the permanent residence pathway.

You can lodge an online GTS labour agreement request via ImmiAccount, attaching all relevant documents to your application.

Add Your Comment

Signup for our newsletter to receive access to our free visa assessment