Guide to the TSS Nomination Process

Nomination is the Second of 3 Applications Required
for a TSS Visa

If you haven't read our guide to TSS Sponsorship - the first of the 3 steps required - yet, go read the crucial information information, including checklists and detailed steps, 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:

  • It must be lodged first, before the Visa application. You can, however, lodge the Visa application immediately after the Nomination is lodged.
  • The Nomination must identify the Visa applicant. This means you can’t lodge the Nomination until you know who will be filling the role.
  • The occupation you use for the application will determine how long the visa is granted for (more on this below).

Steps To Lodge a TSS Nomination

  • 1
    Lodge the Sponsorship application for the business (unless there is already a Sponsorship in place).
  • 2
    Work out which occupation to use – this will be based on the duties and seniority of the role (more about this below).
  • 3
    Ascertain if any caveats are required (again, more on this below).
  • 4
    Prepare and submit adverts to meet the Labour Market Testing requirements (more on this below).
  • 5
    Prepare the documents required for the application, including the signed employment offer.
  • 6
    Prepare the form required to lodge the application.
  • 7
    Lodge 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:

  • 1
    Occupation requirements
  • 2
    Offer of employment
  • 3
    Salary requirements
  • 4
    Labour Market Testing (LMT)
  • 5
    Genuineness 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:

  • The duties of the role need to be largely consistent with the ANZSCO duties
  • HOWEVER - they should not be identical! If you have simply copied and pasted from ANZSCO with a few changes, this will raise integrity concerns
  • The Nomination will not be approved if the duties of the role reflect an occupation that is NOT on the approved list

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.

  • The contract or employment offer must adhere to the National Employment Standards (NES), and in particular must acknowledge superannuation and personal and annual leave entitlements.
  • The employment offer must be for the relevant period. If you want a 4 year visa, you can’t be offering a role for a fixed term of 12 months. You may also wish to make the commencement date contingent on grant of the TSS visa.
  • The contract must be countersigned by both parties, not just someone from the sponsoring employer. Immigration needs to see that the visa applicant has seen and understands their terms of employment.

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:

  • Employment of academics
  • Doctors and medical practitioners
  • Directors and highly specialized managers
  • Existing TSS visa holders who are changing their working hours due to parental leave etc.

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:

  • at least the minimum salary of $53,900 per annum (base salary); AND
  • at least what an Australian employee would be paid in the same role.

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:

  • Has the business employed other Australians in the same role? Were those employees used to benchmark the salary? If so, you can provide a copy of their employment contract.
  • Did you undertake industry research and look at things like SEEK adverts or external salary surveys? Copies of this information can be provided with the application. We would recommend, if you are relying on external information and data, that you provide at least 3 to 4 examples. If the adverts or data show a range, the salary you are paying the applicant should fall within (or above) that range.

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:

  • within the four months immediately before lodging a nomination application; and
  • if there has been a redundancy in the business in the 4 months leading up to the application, the advertising must have been undertaken since the date that the redundancy occurred.

Method and Content of LMT

Unless alternative requirements apply (see below), advertising of the nominated position must meet all of the below:

  • The advertisement must be submitted in Australia, in English and include the following information:
  • The title and a description of the position. Note: multiple positions in one advertisement are acceptable;
  • The skills or experience required for the position;
  • The name of the approved Sponsor (or the name of the recruitment agency being used by the Sponsor); and
  • The salary for the position (if the annual earnings for the position are lower than $96,400). Note: it is acceptable to publish a salary range—for example $80,000 to $90,000.
  • At least two advertisements must be published in any of the below:
  • On a prominent or professional recruitment website with national reach (for example or Industry specific recruitment websites are generally acceptable.
  • In national print media—that is, newspapers or magazines with national reach that are published at least monthly and marketed throughout Australia
  • On the business' website, but ONLY if the sponsor is an Accredited Sponsor.

Some Important Things to Note!

  • Advertisements should be run for at least four weeks.
  • The position can be advertised in the same medium (such as SEEK) on two separate occasions.
  • Advertising can be undertaken by a third party if authorised to do so by the Sponsor (for example, an associated entity or a contracted party, such as a recruitment agency) - there is no requirement that the Sponsor place the advertisement themselves.

…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:

  • The role is for a candidate with an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in a profession or a field (such as a sport, academia/research, or a top chef).
  • The Nomination is for a current TSS or 457 visa holder and it is only being lodged because of a change of salary or business structure.
  • The role is an intra-corporate transfer.
  • The salary for the role is higher than $250,000 per annum.
  • Certain medical roles.

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:

  • The nature of the business – if, for example, you are running a restaurant, it is going to be difficult to prove the business needs a Graphic Designer or an Accountant. However, if you are operating a restaurant group with a number of different venues, such roles may be considered reasonable. It is up to you to provide documents to show that the nature of the business makes the role necessary. How can you show the value of the role to the business? For the Graphic Designer in the example above, you could provide evidence of specific marketing campaigns. For the Accountant in the example above, it could be showing the role the visa applicant will play at both Head Office and for each venue, and provide business plans and budget forecasts etc.
  • The size of the business - if the business is small, you will have to go to extra lengths to show why you need the Visa applicant. For example, you could provide an organisational chart with reporting lines, showing what every single person in the business (including contractors) does, as well as any vacant positions. Also consider: do you have plans for business expansion, and is the nominated role pivotal to that expansion? You should provide evidence of these things such as a business plan with an analysis of the market, strategy, and financial forecasts and projections.
  • The level of the role - if the nominated role is at a management level, is the visa applicant actually supervising other members of staff? They really should be, or Immigration may decide the role is more junior than has been stated on the form.
  • How important is it to keep the applicant - did you have a lot of difficulty recruiting for the role? Was it vacant for a long time before you found the applicant? Are there documented skills shortages in your industry? All of this is important information to provide.

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:

We outline specific information regarding these streams below.

Short-Term Stream

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:

  • You can nominate a shorter period if required, however the Skilling Australia Fund (SAF) levy will need to be paid for at least 1 year, even if you nominated someone for less than 12 months (more information on the SAF can be found in our cost breakdown here).
  • You may be able to nominate someone for a period of 4 years on one visa, if an international trade obligation applies.

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:

  • Applicants have to meet ‘genuine temporary entrant’ criteria – that is, they need to show they are not using the visa to just remain in Australia more permanently.
  • It is highly unlikely a further visa beyond a total period of 4 years (i.e. 2 x 2 year visas) will be granted. So you’ll generally be granted a maximum total visa period of 4 years.

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.

Medium-Term Stream

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:

  • You can nominate a shorter period if required, however if you nominated someone for less than 12 months, the Skilling Australia Fund levy will still need to be paid for at least 1 year, (more information on the SAF can be found in our cost breakdown here);
  • If the visa holder does not go on to apply for permanent residence, you can potentially renew the visa for a further 4 years any number of times, provided the relevant occupation is still on the relevant approved list.

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:

  • holder of a 457 or TSS visa; and
  • working for sponsoring employer (or an associated entity - more about this below); and
  • in the nominated occupation
  • listed on the MLTSSL at the time of nomination

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?

  • 1
    The first thing to do is register for an individual ImmiAccount. This is the online ‘dashboard’ for making your visa application.
  • 2
    Once you have created your account, you can login.
  • 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
    You need to prepare the Nomination form first, so select ‘Nomination for a 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 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:

  • 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 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.

TSS Visa English Requirement
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 Visa Applications

For the final of the 3 applications required for a TSS  visa, go to the TSS Visa application process.

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

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