The End of the Subclass 457 Visa Program

How Will Pipeline Applications be Processed After the Implementation date of TSS?

The tables below summarises the transitional arrangements that are expected to be in place following the implementation of the TSS visa:

How will pipeline applications be processed after the implementation date of TSS?
Standard business sponsorship (SBS) applications lodged before the implementation date will continue to be processed under the old rules subject to minor transitional arrangements to the benefit of employers (example: will move to new five year periods, and training benchmarks will not apply subject to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) arrangements having come into effect – see below).
Subclass 457 nomination applications for existing subclass 457 visa holders lodged before the implementation date will be processed under ‘old rules’
Subclass 457 nomination applications for visa applicants lodged before the implementation date
  • if a related visa application was also lodged before implementation date – both nomination and visa applications will be processed under ‘old rules’
  • if no related visa application was lodged before implementation date – the nomination application will be administratively finalised and the nominee fee refunded (without a written request for a refund).
Subclass 457 visa application lodged before the implementation date will be processed under ‘old rules’ and if satisfied, a subclass 457 visa will be granted.

If you have an existing SBS (Standard Business Sponsorship), you can:

  • nominate overseas workers under the new TSS visa program, including existing Subclass 457 visa holders who need a new TSS (Temporary Skills Shortage) visa nomination to facilitate a change of employer or occupation.
  • lodge a renewal of your sponsorship prior to the sponsorship expiry if you are an Australian business.

If you have an approved Subclass 457 nomination that has not ceased:

  • You cannot lodge a TSS visa application without lodging a new TSS nomination beforehand.
  • You can request your approved nomination fee to be refunded, if you were not able to lodge a related Subclass 457 visa application before the implementation of the TSS visa.

If you have a Subclass 457 visa that is in effect, you can:

  • ask a new employer to lodge a TSS nomination application if you want to change positions.
  • ask your current employer to lodge a TSS nomination application to change your nominated skilled occupation
  • lodge a TSS subsequent entry visa application for members of your family.
  • lodge a new TSS visa application prior to the expiry of your current subclass 457 visa

Labour Market Testing (LMT) for TSS

LMT testing will be mandatory unless international trade obligations apply. Where LMT is required, the Department of Immigration has indicated its intention that:

  • multiple methods of LMT will be recognised, and could include national recruitment websites and print media/radio, but are not expected to include a general classifieds website
  • LMT will need to be undertaken for a minimum duration and to have occurred within a specified period before lodging the nomination
  • the advertisement will need to be in English and
  • current policy flexibility will continue in respect of nominations for an existing visa holder due to a change in business structure or the pay rate of the position, and for talent-based position (e.g. athletes / sports-people, top-talent chefs, eminent academics and researchers).

Work experience requirements for the TSS visa

TSS visa applicants will be required to have worked in the nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least two years. Work experience related caveats that apply at the nomination stage for the subclass 457 visa will not apply to TSS nominations.

Policy settings will be outlined in the TSS visa Procedural Instructions that will be published on the implementation date. Interim guidance for agents is provided below:

  • Work experience will be considered flexibly in the context of the nominated occupation and industry practices
  • The work experience should have been undertaken in the last five years and would need to be calculated in terms of full time work. Part time work experience may be considered
  • Experience gained as part of the research components of a Masters and/or PhD may be considered as work experience for relevant occupations, such as medical and research occupations
  • Experience gained through clinical placements and internships may be considered as work experience for medical practitioners, including Resident Medical Officers (RMOs)
  • The internship component of the Professional Year Program may be considered as work experience for relevant occupations
  • Performance experience gained while studying may be considered for applicants with a performing arts occupation.

Repeat TSS visas

In general, all applicants for a TSS visa (i.e. primary and secondary) can either be inside or outside Australia. If the application is for a Short-term (ST) stream visa, however, the primary visa applicant must be offshore if all of the below apply:

  • they have held more than one ST stream TSS visa
  • they were in Australia when the application for their most recent TSS visa was made and
  • this requirement would not be inconsistent with any international trade obligation (ITO).

Holders of two ST stream TSS visas in a row (where the second application was made in Australia) can apply for a further visa TSS ST stream visa offshore.