New TSS visa re-aligns Australian skills challenges

THE NEW Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa is turning out to be not overly different – in effect, but with a few key enhancements – to the 457 visa it replaced.

The 457 visa was replaced with the TSS (Subclass 482) visa on March 18, 2018 and a range of ‘enhancements’ were designed in, including the Global Talent Scheme pilot program. 

“Despite the media attention around the introduction of the TSS visa, it is relatively similar to the previous 457 visa and remains the preferred option for Australian businesses seeking to fill skilled positions which cannot be filled by Australians,” Mullins Lawyers senior associate Corina Chen said.

“The operation of the TSS visa supports Australian businesses in addressing genuine skill shortages, whilst safeguarding the Australian workforce and prioritising the employment of Australian workers.”

Key aspects of the TSS visa program include its targeted occupation lists, which are designed to better align with the Australian labour market, said Ms Chen, who is Mullins Lawyers’ migration law expert.

Also introduced in the visa conditions are minimum salary thresholds and mandatory Labour Market Testing requirements “to ensure that overseas workers are protected, and are not engaged to undercut Australian workers” according to Ms Chen.

Another key reform is the reconsideration of work experience and character requirements for visa applicants.

“With the introduction of the TSS visa, the Global Talent Scheme (GTS) pilot was also launched to provide Australia with easier access to the world’s talent,” Ms Chen said.

“The GTS allows Australian employers to access highly-skilled overseas workers for specialised positions, where there are no suitable Australians to fill the vacancies. 

“It is designed to be supportive of innovative and start-up businesses, aiming to facilitate growth, skills transfer and job creation as well as provide the cutting-edge skills that Australia needs to compete globally.” 

Ms Chen said the GTS niche pilot scheme can be accessed under the TSS visa program and runs for 12 months from July 1, 2018.

“The framework of the GTS protects Australian workers as any positions filled must provide opportunities for Australians, including the creation of new jobs for Australians and the transfer of skills and knowledge to Australian workers,” she said.

“If an Australian business has a vacant skilled position which cannot be filled by the Australian workforce, then the TSS visa program would be appropriate to consider.”


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