How Does a Business Become a TSS Sponsor?

A business or organisation must be an approved Sponsor in order to nominate someone for a TSS visa.

There are a few different kinds of Sponsorship, but the primary one is a Standard Business Sponsorship (which is often shortened to SBS). We are going to go into the SBS in a lot of detail, and then briefly mention the other options at the end of this page.

General TSS Standard Business Sponsorship Requirements 

For a business or entity to be approved as a TSS Standard Business Sponsor, it needs to provide the following:

A Lawfully Operating Business

The business must provide evidence that it is legally and actively operating. You would think this is obvious, right? But Immigration really needs to be sure!

There is no one set of documents that is required by all businesses in all circumstances, as every business is different. However, a great place to start is our TSS Standard Business Sponsor Checklist.

General information about business structure

You should try and really paint a picture for Immigration to show them what you business does. This can include promotional material and structure documents like a corporate or organisation chart

Again, the TSS Standard Business Sponsor Checklist gives some examples.

Okay, I Want to Sponsor Someone. What is the TSS Lodgment Process?

  • 1
    The first thing to do is register for an ImmiAccount. This is the online ‘dashboard’ for making your application.
  • 2
    Once you have created your account, log in.
  • 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 ‘Sponsorship for a Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (482)’.
  • 6
    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.

Once the form is complete, the online system will ask you to attach all relevant documents to the Sponsorship 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.

Congratulations! Your Sponsorship Application is Lodged

Make Sure You Attach All Your Documents!

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.

What’s Next?

Processing time for Standard Business Sponsors can be found on our visa application processing times page.

The next step? The TSS Nomination. You need to learn all about this before you move on to the TSS Visa application.

The Sponsorship is Approved! Hooray! What Now?

Once approved, the Sponsorship will be in place for the following period:

  • 5 years for Standard Business Sponsors; and
  • 6 years for Accredited Sponsors.

You can nominate any number of TSS visa holders while the Sponsorship is valid.

If you have lodged any associated Nomination or Visa applications under the Sponsorship, these can now be assessed by Immigration. You may receive a decision on these quite quickly if they were lodged very quickly after the Sponsorship, or you may have to wait longer (depending on when the application was lodged and standard TSS processing times).

The Sponsorship Obligations - Know Your Responsibilities 

Once a business becomes an approved Sponsor, it is subject to a number of Sponsorship Obligations. We have prepared a summary of the TSS Sponsorship Obligations for you.

DANGER! A failure to meet the Sponsor obligations could result in:

  • formal warnings;
  • sanctions (i.e. being banned from using the TSS program for a period of time);
  • cancellation of Sponsorship and all associated visas; and
  • fines and other penalties under civil and criminal law.

Sponsors should pay particular attention to their obligation to notify Immigration when certain events occur – particularly the obligation to notify Immigration within 28 days if a 457 or TSS visa holder ceases employment.

What if the Business Structure Changes After the TSS Sponsorship Approval?

Businesses sometimes change their structure and this can have implications on your Sponsorship and also your sponsored Visa holders.

If the change of structure results in a new legal entity being created (for example, a sole trader commences operating as a company) then the new entity will need to apply to become a Sponsor and new Nominations will be required for each of your Visa holders.

If you do not do this, you could be breaching your Sponsorship obligations and your workers will not be complying with their visa conditions, which might result in Visas being cancelled.

What Are Those Other Types of TSS Sponsorship?

We have given some basic information on each of them below.

Accredited Sponsorship

Businesses that meet additional criteria can also become ‘Accredited Sponsors’. These businesses generally meet the following profile (this list is not exhaustive):

  • They have been an approved 457 or TSS Sponsor for a period of time;
  • They have recently nominated someone for the 457 or TSS visa;
  • Australian employees make up at least 75% or 90% of their workforce (depending on the Accredited Sponsor stream);
  • There have been minimal or no Nomination refusals for the business; and
  • There have been no adverse monitoring or compliance issues with the business.

The primary benefit of Accredited Sponsorship, among others, is priority processing arrangements – applications lodged for accredited Sponsors can generally be processed in less than 4 weeks. Applicants being nominated by an Accredited Sponsor can also avoid the requirement for police clearances if certain requirements are met.

Overseas Business Sponsors

Businesses based outside of Australia must be seeking to employ a skilled worker to either:

  • Establish, or help establish, a business operation in Australia; OR
  • Fulfill or assist in fulfilling obligations for a contract in Australia.

Labour Agreements

Approved Sponsors may be able to negotiate a specific and tailored Labour Agreement directly with Immigration, if they have requirements that are not met by the current program.

This is difficult to advise on in detail in a document like this, as every business is different and the elements that can be negotiated are vast. However, Sponsors may be able to negotiate things like:

  • The skill requirement;
  • The English requirement;
  • Available occupations; or
  • The minimum salary.

The Labour Agreement application process is arduous and can be complicated. It also involves extensive stakeholder consultation with unions etc.

As you can see, the process is not for the fainthearted! But if a business has a really strong need for skilled workers and this cannot be met by the current program, it can be a great option.

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.

Next Page: TSS Nominations

Are you ready to look at the second of the 3 applications required for a TSS application?  Go to our TSS Nomination page - and we'll guide you from there.

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

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