Guide to the TSS Visa Application Process

The Visa Application is the Third of 3 Applications Required 
for a TSS Visa

If you haven't read our guide to TSS Nomination yet - the second of the 3 steps required - go read the crucial information information, including checklists and detailed steps, on our guide to the TSS Nomination process.  Go read this now, before you do anything else.

The employer also needs to first become a pre-approved Standard Business Sponsor (SBS) before they can nominate someone for the TSS visa.  If you have not already done so, go read our guide to the TSS Sponsorship process now.

Once you have lodged (or have had approved) the Nomination and Sponsorship sections, you can proceed with the Visa application.

There are common requirements for all TSS applications, and specific requirements for each stream.  We go over these below.

Criteria for All Applicants in All Streams: Common TSS Visa Requirements

General Requirements

The Sponsorship Must Be Approved

The Nomination and Visa cannot be approved until the business or entity is an approved TSS Sponsor.

The Nomination Must Be Approved

The Visa cannot be approved until the Nomination has been approved.

If the applicant lodges the visa application separately to the Nomination, it must be lodged within 12 months of the Nomination approval.

The Applicant Must Have Complied With Their Visa Conditions

If the applicant is onshore in Australia, they need to have adhered to the conditions of their current visa. This means, for example, no work on a tourist visa, and not working more than 6 months with any one employer while on a Working Holiday visa.

If the applicant has been in breach of any visa conditions, they should not lodge the visa application onshore.

If the Applicant is Lodging Onshore in Australia

It is important to check there is nothing to stop them lodging onshore. In particular, they should ensure their existing visa is not subject to a ‘no further stay’ condition such as conditions 8503, 8534 or 8535.

If the visa is subject to one of these conditions, the applicant cannot apply onshore without applying for a waiver of the ‘no further stay’ condition. These types of waiver applications can be difficult and we would recommend applicants get some help.

Similarly, if an applicant has recently had a refusal onshore in Australia, they may be subject to a 'Section 48 bar', which means they cannot lodge a visa application onshore.  If an applicant believes this may be the case, they should get some professional help.

And if an applicant has no visa at all?  Well, it can get complicated.  You may actually still be able to lodge the application onshore, but anyone in a situation like this should really get some professional advice.

Licensing and Registration

If the occupation requires licensing or registration in Australia (such as most nursing occupations), your visa can be granted without evidence of holding that license.  However, you will need to obtain that license before you begin work on your TSS visa in Australia.

If you don't? Then you can't carry out the nominated role, and your visa is subject to cancellation.


There is no age requirement for the TSS visa – applicants of any age can be nominated (however it is worth noting there are strict age requirements for permanent employer-sponsored visa applications).

Health Insurance

The applicant needs to hold Medicare or adequate health insurance once the visa has been granted. Generally, this means insurance that has medical coverage to at least AUD1million.

However, some passport holders do not need to hold insurance. Some countries have reciprocal arrangements with Australia so that their citizens can get access to Medicare. More information on this can be found here.

Evidence of Medicare or insurance does not have to be provided with the visa application for the grant of the visa, however it will be a condition of the visa to maintain this insurance when it is granted.

Skill Requirement

The skill requirement for the TSS visa needs to be met at the time a decision is made on the application.

To meet the skill requirement an applicant must:

  • have the qualifications and/or experience listed in the ANZSCO classification for the occupation; AND
  • have at least 2 years of employment experience.

We go into these requirements further below.

Requirements in ANZSCO

Each ANZCO classification outlines the qualifications and/or experience required for the role. For instance, according to ANZSCO, to qualify as a Chef an applicant must:

  • 1
    have a relevant Diploma or higher level qualification; OR
  • 2
    have three years of relevant experience.
Work Experience Requirement

To qualify for the TSS visa, in addition to any qualification requirements listed in ANZSCO, the applicant must show they have had at least 2 years of experience in their nominated occupation.

This 2 years is only in addition to formal tertiary qualifications, and not in addition to any employment experience required by ANZCO.

CASE STUDY: Miguel is being nominated in the occupation of Construction Project Manager. The ANZSO skill requirement for this occupation is a relevant Bachelor Degree qualification, OR at least 5 years of employment experience. Miguel does not have a degree, so he has to provide evidence (usually in the form of references) of at least 5 years of full time experience. He does NOT need to provide an additional 2 years of evidence – the total of 5 years of experience will be sufficient to show he meets the skill requirement.

Evidence will usually take the form of written references. Keep in mind the following:

  • Employment experience needs to be the equivalent of 2 years full time (at least 35 hours per week). Part time experience can be included, however it will need to add up, pro-rata, to 2 years full time (i.e. applicants may need 4 years of part time experience to amount to the equivalent of 2 years of full time experience).
  • To be considered relevant, experience must be at the required skill level i.e. if an occupation requires a degree-level qualification, applicants generally can only include post-qualification experience. However, in some cases employment experience in internships can be included.

The structure of references is really important. Badly written references can raise integrity concerns with Immigration officers. References should not all be written by the same person and formatted the same way - this becomes very obvious to someone who reads these every day! Here is a helpful checklist:


  • 1
    Is the reference dated?
  • 2
    Does it include the full name and contact details of the person giving the reference?
  • 3
    Is it on letterhead?
  • 4
    Are the dates consistent with the dates in the CV and the form, and does it provide at least the month and year of the start and finish date?
  • 5
    Does it list the position title and duties of the role, and are these consistent with the CV provided with the application?
  • 6
    Are the duties of the role consistent with the occupation you are nominating?
  • 7
    Does it confirm full time or part time employment?

If the applicant is relying on a tertiary qualification to show they meet the skill requirement, a copy of the certificate itself and ideally the academic transcript (showing the subjects completed) needs to be provided with the application.

It should go without saying that the qualification should be relevant to the occupation. Relevance isn’t always obvious. For instance, for the classification Marketing Specialist, a general Business degree may be shown to be relevant where the academic transcript indicates marketing subjects on the curriculum. This is why it is important to provide Immigration with as much information (such as full academic transcripts) as possible.

The CV or Resume

The CV is a crucial document, as it shows the Immigration officer the applicant’s education and employment history. Take time over formatting the document properly – a CV that is untidy or difficult to read may have a negative impact on an application.


  • 1
    Check dates. Are they consistent with the dates the applicant has entered in the form, and the dates they have in their references?
  • 2
    Include ALL the relevant information for each role, including position title, at least month and year of the start and finish dates of employment, employer name and location, and the top five duties of each role.
  • 3
    Relevant experience should be consistent with, but not identical to, the duties set out in the Position Description, ANZSCO and any advertising for the role.

The Health Requirement

All immediate family members, including family members not coming to Australia or applying for a visa (i.e. any children or partners who are not migrating) must show they meet the health requirement for the grant of the visa. More information regarding this can be found on our Health Requirement for Australian Visas page.

The Character Requirement

Every person included in the application aged 16 and over must show they meet the character requirement.

Visit our page outlining the character requirement for Australian visas for more detailed information.

Criteria Specific to the Short-Term Stream

English Requirement

The applicant must show that they meet the English requirement at the time the application is decided, otherwise the application cannot be approved.

We have prepared a page breaking down the evidence requirement to demonstrate the applicant meets the English requirement for the Short-Term Stream.

Given that English is a ‘time of decision’ criterion for the visa, it is possible to lodge the application ahead of sitting one of the approved tests. However, we would strongly recommend you upload evidence that you have booked the test, or a note confirming what evidence is forthcoming and when you will be providing it.

Genuine Temporary Entrant Criteria

Immigration has to be sure that the visa applicant has a genuine intention to stay in Australia temporarily. If there is something in the applicant’s circumstances, immigration history or any other matter that may raise a ‘red flag’, Immigration may investigate further or refuse the visa.

This requirement is unlikely to undergo strict assessment for the first TSS visa application. However, for any subsequent application, applicants should go to some length to show they intend to depart Australia at the end of their temporary visa period.

Criteria Specific to the Medium-Term Stream

English Requirement

The applicant must show that they meet the English requirement at the time the application is decided. If they cannot show they had the right level of English at the date the application is decided, the application cannot be approved.

We have prepared a page breaking down the evidence requirement to demonstrate the applicant meets the English requirement for the Medium-Term Stream.

Given that English is a ‘time of decision’ criterion for this visa, it is possible to lodge the application ahead of sitting one of the approved tests. However, we would strongly recommend you upload evidence that you have booked the rest, or a note confirming what evidence is forthcoming and when you will be providing it.

The Labour Agreement Stream

Some industries or employers can negotiate a special agreement with Immigration to bring employees to Australia on a temporary or permanent basis. Each agreement is very specific, and can have any number of variations to the standard requirements.

If an applicant is in Australia via a labour agreement, they should speak first to their employer about permanent residence.

Steps To Lodge a TSS Visa Application

  • 1
    Make sure the Sponsorship application is lodged (or, the business is an approved Sponsor), and the Nomination application is lodged, before you proceed to lodge the Visa application.
  • 2
    Log into your ImmiAccount.
  • 3
    Start your online application. At the top of the page you will see ‘New Application’ – click here.
  • 4
    You will then get a menu of visa application options – you need to select ‘482 – Temporary Skill Shortage’.
  • 5
    Select ‘Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (482)’.
  • 6
    The form will begin, and you will need to complete each page as you go (the form will not let you skip pages).
  • 7
    You can save and exit the form at any time, and then log back in to continue.
  • 8
    The Visa application is lengthy – you will need a good couple of hours to complete it properly.

You should have all your documents ready to attach as soon as you lodge the application. Visit our TSS checklist for a list of documents to be attached to the Visa.

Once the form is completed, the online system will ask you to attach all relevant documents to the Visa application. A couple of points on this:

  • The options for the form types on the attachment page can be a bit confusing. If you’re not sure how to categorise a document, don’t stress about it too much. There is an ‘Other’ option you can use - just put a clear descriptor in the free-type field before you attach.
  • Ideally attach documents in PDF or JPEG format, so there are no issues with formatting when they are opened by Immigration. You can, however, attach Word and Excel documents if you need to.
  • There is a strict 5MB size limit for documents, and the number of documents you can upload may be limited.
  • Try to make it as easy as you can for the Immigration officer – make sure you label the documents really clearly.

Once you attach the documents to the Visa application, you will be pushed through to a payment page. The system will calculate the fee for the Visa (including any family members and credit card fee) for you. Enter your credit card details and hit submit.

The Visa is now lodged!

Note, if the Visa applicant is onshore, it is only when the Visa application is lodged that a Bridging Visa is granted, enabling an applicant to remain in Australia while the application is being processed. There is no bridging visa attached to Sponsorship or Nomination applications alone.

Bear in mind, Immigration has the right to make a decision on an application without requesting any further information – and if you haven’t provided everything, that decision is not going to be favourable! This being the case, wherever possible, applications should be lodged complete and ready for a decision. Moreover, we have had feedback from Immigration that they will refuse TSS applications if, after 2 days, no documents have been attached.

Lodging an application “decision-ready” (that is, with all necessary evidence attached) can also have a positive impact on processing times. If Immigration has to request further information this typically delays processing.

Of course, sometimes you have to lodge to a deadline without all documents, for instance when a visa is expiring. It is important in these cases to attach the missing documents to the lodged application as soon as you possibly can. If any documents are missing at the time of application, upload a note to Immigration explaining why, and when they can expect to receive it.

I've Lodge the Application: What's Next?

You should be able to see in your ImmiAccount that your application has been lodged, and you will be able to download a receipt. The application will not be considered “lodged” where payment fails.

When you lodge your application you should get an email with a formal acknowledgement letter.

Processing times for the TSS visa can be found on our processing times page.

There is no longer a facility to request priority processing – if your sponsor is not in one of the groups that receives automatic priority processing (such as accredited or regionally-based sponsors), you will be subject to standard processing times.

Visa Granted! Hooray! What Now?

You will receive a formal notification of the visa grant via email to the email put in the visa application form.

You should read the visa grant carefully. If you notice anything that isn’t correct (like a date of birth or passport number), you should contact Immigration to ensure the details they have on file are accurate. You don’t want any issues at the airport when you next travel!

Will I Get a Visa Stamp in my Passport?

These days everything is electronic, and there are no visas evidenced into passports. Instead, you can check your visa details on the Immigration Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system.

What Conditions Apply to a TSS Visa?

The visa will be subject to certain conditions. It is really important the visa holder understands these:

For the primary applicant:

Condition 8607 – which states that the visa holder can only work in their nominated occupation, for their sponsoring employer (or, if appropriate, an associated entity).

For all visa holders:

Condition 8501 – the visa holder must maintain adequate insurance.

If any visa holder breaches these conditions their visa may be subject to cancellation.

What Do I Do If My TSS Visa Is Refused?

You may feel confused and upset, but there are some important things you can, and should, do.

First, you may have a right of review. Details of this will be provided in the decision letter emailed to you by the Department. It is important you understand your right of review, and time frames are really important. You will generally be given a period of 21 days to lodge a review application with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), but this can vary.

Read the letter very carefully and ask for help if you are not sure.

Depending on the applicant’s visa status, they may be able to submit a new TSS application, however this is an expensive option.

And You're Done!

Congratulations! You have made it to the end of the process. We hope this information has been helpful to you, and of course would be happy to help with any additional queries you have.

You can find a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the TSS Visa here.

Or to discuss with one of our migration experts, click the button below.

Our many years of experience means we understand how the Department of Immigration, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and other decision-makers analyse applications; we understand where they exercise discretions and where they will not. We know which strategies work and which don’t. We know which information to provide, and which to ignore.

We also have access to resources and information outside the reach of the general public. As such, we know the difference between the law and what DIBP says is the law. When DIBP puts out a statement on their website, we know what they really mean. And when DIBP publishes a checklist, our lawyers know how to read between the lines.

Our experience and expertise means that we are often in a position to help people who, based on poor advice or inadequate representation, might otherwise have assumed their case is hopeless.