What is the Subclass 482 visa?
The Subclass 482 visa, also known as the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa, is a common pathway for skilled foreign workers to work in Australia. It has three streams: the Short-Term stream, the Medium-Term stream, and the Labour Agreement stream. Each stream has its own set of challenges and requirements.
The TSS application process typically involves three main steps:
- Visa application
These steps are essential for both employers and foreign workers seeking to obtain a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa; here’s an overview of each step:
Step 1 Sponsorship
The first step in the process is for the Australian employer to apply for and obtain sponsorship approval. This means that the employer must become an approved sponsor with the Department of Home Affairs. To do this, the employer needs to demonstrate that they meet certain requirements, including their commitment to training and providing opportunities for Australian workers, or demonstrate that they are a legally operating and registered business in Australia.
Sponsorship approval is generally valid for a period of five years. During this time, the employer can nominate foreign workers for skilled positions.
Step 2 Nomination
Once an employer has sponsorship approval, they can nominate specific positions within their organisation for which they intend to hire foreign skilled workers. This nomination includes providing details about the position, the nominated occupation, and the associated terms and conditions of employment.
To ensure compliance with the visa program requirements and to guarantee that overseas workers are paid fairly, employers must consider specific salary and employment condition requirements, including determining the Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR) and meeting the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT).
Employers must correctly determine the AMSR, ensuring that it reflects what an equivalent Australian worker in the same location and doing the same work would be paid. The TSMIT is also a critical benchmark. Currently set at AUD70,000 for applications lodged on or after 1 July 2023. Both the AMSR for the nominated occupation and the guaranteed annual earnings for the overseas worker, excluding non-monetary benefits, must equal or exceed the current TSMIT.
In some cases, employers may also be required to conduct Labour Market Testing (LMT), which involves advertising the position locally to demonstrate that no suitable Australian workers are available to fill the role.
All these requirements aim to ensure that foreign workers are not exploited and that their employment conditions are in line with Australian standards. Complying with these salary and employment condition requirements is essential for a successful nomination. Failing to meet these criteria can lead to the refusal of the nomination.
Nomination approval is usually valid for up to 12 months.
Step 3 Visa Application
Once the employer’s nomination is approved, the prospective skilled candidate can proceed to apply for the Subclass 482 visa. This application is made by the individual seeking to work in Australia, not the employer. Depending on the occupation and stream, applicants may need to meet specific English language proficiency requirements.
The applicant must provide necessary documentation, including proof of their skills, qualifications, and work experience. Meeting the skills and qualifications required for the nominated occupation can be challenging, as requirements can vary based on the stream and occupation.
Visa applicants must also undergo health and character assessments.
If the visa application is successful, the Department of Home Affairs will grant the Subclass 482 visa to the applicant. The visa duration will depend on the nominated stream and occupation.
Navigating the Challenges of the TSS process
Getting a Subclass 482 visa isn’t a walk in the park. It can be a bit of a maze, especially if the occupation list or the rules change. Keeping up with these changes is tough.
The Subclass 482 visa application process can be complex and may vary depending on individual circumstances, including the nominated occupation, the employer’s location, and any changes in immigration policies. Immigration policies and regulations can change over time, affecting the eligibility criteria and requirements for the Subclass 482 visa.
The application process can be lengthy, and there may be time constraints associated with your job offer or existing visa status. Therefore, meeting deadlines can be challenging, too.
Applying for a Subclass 482 visa can also be costly, with fees for the visa application, health checks, and other associated expenses. Employers are also required to pay the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy when nominating a foreign worker for the Subclass 482 visa. This levy is a significant cost that can be challenging for some employers, particularly smaller businesses with limited resources.
Out of the three steps, the nomination is often the trickiest. It involves various forms, documents, and criteria that must be met and navigating this complexity can be challenging for employers who are not familiar with the immigration system, especially if they are sponsoring foreign workers for the first time.
As part of the nomination process, employers must also provide evidence that there is a genuine need for the nominated position within their organisation. This requirement involves explaining why the position is necessary and how it contributes to the business. Ensuring that the delegate or case officer recognises the position’s genuine need can be subjective.
It’s essential to thoroughly research the specific requirements for your chosen stream and occupation and seek professional advice if needed when applying for a Subclass 482 visa.
So, whether you’re an employer looking to bring in skilled talent or a visa applicant ready to embark on your Australian journey, we encourage you to get in touch with us for professional and tailored advice. We’re here to help you navigate the Subclass 482 visa process with confidence.
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