Immigration update

Departmental name change

The Department of Immigration has changed its name and is now called the Department of Home Affairs.

Removal of subclass 457 visa

The subclass 457 visa is no longer available and was replaced on 18 March 2018, with the Temporary Skills Shortage visa, subclass 482.

Key features of the TSS visa

There are 2 visa streams – depending on whether the occupation nominated is on a short-term list or a medium and long-term list.  The key differences in these streams are outlined below:

Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)

  • No pathway to permanent residence

  • 2 year visa term with only 1 renewal permitted

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

  • Pathway to permanent residence after 3 years

  • 4 year visa term with unlimited renewals permitted

Introduction of new requirements for the TSS visa

  • Labour Market Testing

Sponsor employers must carry out Labour Market Testing prior to lodgement of the TSS nomination application (unless an International Trade Obligation exemption applies).

  • Work experience

Visa applicants must have at least two years’ work experience (undertaken in the last 5 years) in their nominated occupation or a related field.

Skilling Australians Fund training levy (SAF)

The SAF bill was assented to on 8 May 2018, however is yet to come into effect.     Once in effect, sponsor employers will be required to make a financial contribution to a training fund, called the Skilling Australians Fund, each time they nominate an employee for a TSS visa.  That is:

  • $1,200 per year of visa (or part year) for small businesses (those with annual turnover of less than $10 million); OR

  • $1,800 per year of visa (or part year) for other businesses.

For permanent residence applications, there will be a one-off levy of $5,000.

New Global Talent Visa on 1 July 2018

This visa will be introduced on 1 July 2018 and will provide certain concessions in TSS and permanent residence visa criteria for certain applicants.  There will be two application streams:

1.       The Established Business Stream; and

2.       The Start-Up Stream.

Additional details are yet to be released.