First Things First!
Before a business in Australia can sponsor someone on a TSS visa, it must first become an approved TSS Sponsor. More information, including checklists and detailed steps in the process, can be found on our TSS Sponsorship Requirements Guide. Go read this now, before you do anything else – if your business can’t become a Sponsor, your employee cannot apply for the visa.
Once you have either lodged an application to be a TSS Sponsor, or have been approved as a TSS Sponsor, you can go ahead and lodge the Nomination.
Some Important Things to Note Before We Start
Some important things to note about the Nomination:
Steps To Lodge a TSS Nomination
- 1Lodge the Sponsorship application for the business (unless there is already a Sponsorship in place).
- 2Work out which occupation to use – this will be based on the duties and seniority of the role (more about this below).
- 3Ascertain if any caveats are required (again, more on this below).
- 4Prepare and submit adverts to meet the Labour Market Testing requirements (more on this below).
- 5Prepare the documents required for the application, including the signed employment offer.
- 6Prepare the form required to lodge the application.
- 7Lodge the Nomination application and attach the documents.
Common TSS Nomination Requirements
A 482 TSS Nomination, regardless of the stream or occupation, must meet all of the following requirements:
- 1Occupation requirements
- 2Offer of employment
- 3Salary requirements
- 4Labour Market Testing (LMT)
- 5Genuineness i.e. showing the role is ‘real’
Let’s take a closer look at each of these below.
1. Occupation Requirements
To be nominated via this stream the applicant needs to be nominated for an occupation on either the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) or the Medium to Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
How Do I Know Which Occupation to Use for the TSS Nomination?
You will need to consider if any occupations on either of the approved lists are a good match for the role. The duties of the role should correspond with those listed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) for the same occupation. You can search for official descriptions of all occupations at the ABS website.
When finding the right ANZSCO classification, note:
What is a Caveat, and Will it Apply to My Application?
Caveats are special requirements that apply to particular occupations, in addition to the standard Nomination and Visa requirements.
Before you prepare your Nomination, you should check to see if any specific caveats apply to the occupation you are nominating. You can find these here. Check each number in the Subclasses 186* and TSS* Instrument note(s) column and the caveat it corresponds to, so you can provide any additional documentation and information required.
Do I Need a Skills Assessment for My Occupation?
Applications in certain occupations, or applicants that hold certain passports that are being nominated in certain occupations, may require a mandatory skills assessment. You should check this before you lodge the Nomination.
Applicants who hold a passport from certain countries, and who are being nominated in certain trade occupations, will require a skills assessment. Further, applicants who are being nominated in the occupations Program and Project Administrator or Specialist Manager not elsewhere classified must provide a positive skills assessment with their application.
More information about the passports and occupations that require a skills assessment can be found on the Trades Recognition Australia website.
2. What Employment Contract Do I Need for the TSS Visa?
You are going to need a legal document, such as an offer of employment, to confirm the employment arrangements for the role.
In most cases, this will be a formal employment contract. However, contracts and employment offers can vary enormously, and Immigration has some specific requirements that must be checked off for the Nomination to be approved.
If the Sponsor is an overseas business and the applicant is an intra-corporate transfer, a transfer letter rather than a full employment contract, confirming the applicant’s current employment conditions and their conditions while they are in Australia, may be more appropriate.
Does the Applicant Have to be Employed Directly by the Sponsor?
Company structures can be complicated, and for larger businesses there can be many operating entities within the same group of companies. If the Sponsor is an Australian business, a TSS visa holder can be employed by their Sponsor or by an “associated entity” of their Sponsor. This is defined in s50AAA of the Corporations Act, and generally boils down to common ownership or control of different entities.
CASE STUDY: Homes R Us Pty Ltd is applying to sponsor Kate, a Building Associate. Homes R Us Pty Ltd is the parent company of a group of companies. Kate’s employment contract is with Construction Pty Ltd, an entity which is associated with Homes R Us Pty Ltd according to the definition in s50AAA of the Corporations Act. This scenario is appropriate for the TSS visa, provided evidence is provided with the Nomination application that the entities are associated.
If the Sponsor is an overseas business not operating in Australia, the visa applicant must be sponsored AND employed directly by the Sponsor.
Can a Part-Time Employee Be Sponsored?
Maybe! It might be possible in limited circumstances to nominate a part-time employee on the TSS visa. It would only be appropriate for very highly skilled roles in niche areas.
Examples given in Immigration guidelines are:
3. What Are the Salary Requirements for the TSS Visa?
There are two thresholds the salary needs to meet for the Nomination to be approved. You must show that the applicant will be paid:
Both these requirements must be met for the Nomination to be approved.
This requirement was introduced to ensure TSS applicants are not taken advantage of, or undercutting local workers.
So think about how you worked out the salary for the role in the first place - i.e. how the role was ‘benchmarked’. You then need to provide evidence to show this to Immigration. When preparing evidence, have a think about the following:
Think to yourself: do the documents I am providing with the Nomination make it easy for Immigration to see that an equivalent Australian would be paid the same? Typically, it’s a good idea to write a submission (ie a letter or a note) explaining the information and documents you are providing further.
If you can’t explain how you benchmarked the salary for the role, and you can’t show that an Australian would be paid the same salary for the job, the Nomination will not be approved.
CASE STUDY: We Brand Pty Ltd is nominating Colin in the occupation of Marketing Specialist at their office in Sydney. They are paying him a base salary of $70,000 per year. When deciding on what to pay Colin, they looked at what they had paid the previous Australian employee in the same role. The previous Australian employee had been paid $65,000 per year, but Colin is older and has more experience. To support their application, the business will provide a copy of the Australian employee’s contract at $65,000, a copy of an industry salary survey showing the average range for the role is $60,000 to $80,000, and a letter explaining how both of these documents were used to benchmark Colin’s salary.
3. What Is Labour Market Testing (LMT)?
You will need to show how you have “tested” the Australian labour market to determine no suitable Australian employee can be found. In short, this typically means some form of advertising.
Period in Which LMT Must Have Been Undertaken
Unless alternative requirements apply (see below), LMT must have been undertaken:
Method and Content of LMT
Unless alternative requirements apply (see below), advertising of the nominated position must meet all of the below:
Some Important Things to Note!
…AND THIS BIT IS REALLY IMPORTANT: If the LMT evidence does not accompany the nomination application at the time of lodgment, it will be refused. There is no discretion on this.
Is There Any Instance Where LMT Is Not Required?
There are limited situations where you may not need to meet the regular LMT requirements. Alternative requirements apply where:
If such alternative requirements apply, the Sponsor must provide a written submission explaining why an Australian worker is not available to fill the position.
LMT is also not required where it would conflict with Australia's international trade obligations.
4. Genuineness - Showing the Role is "Real"
Real? Of course the role is real! However in recent years, Immigration has had increasing concerns about the integrity of employer sponsored visas such as the TSS Visa. There have been many examples of jobs - and even businesses - being created for the sole purpose of securing a visa.
For this reason, Immigration puts a lot of effort into assessing if a role is ‘real’, and genuinely required in the business.
So think to yourself: how can I prove to Immigration we haven’t made up this role just to get the visa?
There is no one way to show a role is real. Some things you can think about are:
Pathway Specific Considerations
The requirements we have outlined above apply to all TSS nominations, regardless of the stream. There are, however, some important differences in each stream which will ultimately impact the grant of the visa.
As we outlined in our TSS introduction, there are three streams of eligibility for the TSS visa. These are:
- 1Short-term stream: for applicants being nominated for occupations on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
- 2Medium-term stream: for applicants being nominated for occupations on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
- 3Labour Agreement stream: for applicants with an employment offer with a business subject to a labour agreement
We outline specific information regarding these streams below.
How Long Will the Visa Be Granted For?
Visa applications in the short-term stream are generally granted for a period of 2 years. But note the following:
What Happens at the End of the 2-Year Period?
You want to retain your staff member for as long as possible, right? The good news is an application can generally be made for a further 2 year TSS visa. However:
Will the Visa Holder Have a Pathway to a Permanent Visa?
Unfortunately TSS Visa holders who have been nominated in an occupation on the STSOL do not have a pathway to employer-sponsored permanent residence.
How Long Will the Visa Be Granted For?
Visa applications in the medium-term stream are granted for a period of up to 4 years. But note the following:
Will the Visa Holder Have a Pathway to a Permanent Visa?
A pathway to permanent residency is paramount for many TSS applicants. Applicants who hold a TSS visa (or a combination of a 457 and a TSS visa) and work for their sponsoring employer in an occupation on the MLTSSOL for a specified period of time before lodgment, may be eligible for a permanent employer sponsored visa under the subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (Temporary Residence Transition Stream) visa.
The date of eligibility will differ from applicant to applicant, depending on the occupation, and when the initial 457 or TSS visa was granted.
In order to transition to a 186 visa, a TSS or 457 visa holder will need to meet all of the following requirements for a specific period of time:
More information regarding this, and a table breaking down specific eligibility requirements, can be found at our 186 Visa Application guide.
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.
Okay, I’m Ready to Go: What’s the TSS Nomination Application Process?
- 1The first thing to do is register for an individual ImmiAccount. This is the online ‘dashboard’ for making your visa application.
- 2Once you have created your account, you can login.
- 3Start your online application. At the top of the page you will see ‘New Application’ – click here.
- 4You will then get a menu of visa application options – you need to select ‘482 – Temporary Skill Shortage’.
- 5You need to prepare the Nomination form first, so select ‘Nomination for a Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (482)’.
- 6The form will begin, and you will need to complete each page as you go (the form will not let you skip pages).
- 7You can save and exit the form at any time, and then log back in to continue.
- 8The Nomination application is lengthy – you will need an hour or two to complete it properly.
You should have all your documents ready to attach as soon as you lodge the application. Visit our TSS nomination checklist for a list of documents to be attached to the Nomination.
The Nomination section must be lodged first. Once the form is completed, the online system will ask you to attach all relevant documents to your application. A couple of points on this:
Once you attach the documents to the Nomination application, you will be pushed through to a payment page. The system will calculate the fee for the Nomination (including the Skilling Australians Fund and credit card fee) for you. Enter your credit card details and hit submit.
The Nomination is Now Lodged!
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.
Next, you need to lodge the Visa application! We have prepared a detailed outline of the TSS Visa application process – you should read this next.