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Working visa (494,482,186,485)

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SUBCLASS 494 SKILLED EMPLOYER
SPONSORED (REGIONAL)

Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored (Regional) visa enables regional employers to address identified labour shortages within their region by sponsoring skilled workers where employers can’t source an appropriately skilled Australian worker. 

The 494 visa replaced the 187 (RSMS) visa and commenced November 16, 2019. The 494 visa has 10,000 places allocated per year. It requires employer sponsorship from a regional employer and the position must be likely to exist for 5 years. It has a 45 year age limit (exemptions apply), competent English, RCB advice and must meet the AMSR. Visa applicants must have a suitable skills assessment and at least 3 years’ skilled employment.

The visa validity period is 5 years. Conditions will be imposed which will enforce the government’s intentions that visa holders live, work and study only in regional areas (condition 8579) and only in the nominated position. Visa holders must commence work within 90 days of the visa being granted and must only work in your nominated occupation and only work for the nominating employer in regional Australia. If you do not, your visa may be cancelled. 

Regional areas are defined as any area excluding Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Important change: Perth and Gold Coast are classified as regional areas.  

Holders of the new provisional visas will also be unable to apply for most other skills based visas in Australia unless they have completed at least three years in a designated regional area, unless exceptional circumstances exist.Additionally, similar to current arrangements for the subclass 457 and 482 visa program, holders of the new provisional visas can be negatively impacted by sponsor non-compliance. 

The permanent visa pathway is: 

Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional):To meet the requirements of the permanent visa (from November 2022) applicants must have held a subclass 491 or 494 visa for at least 3 years, have complied with the conditions on that visa and have met minimum taxable income requirements. You must show earnings of at least $53,900 per annum for three years. Your partner can also be the main applicant for the 191 visa if they can demonstrate this criteria.

Effect on current 187 RSMS regional visa:

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (subclass 187) will close to new applicants from November 16, 2019. Transitional arrangements will be put in place for applicants who have lodged both the Nomination and Visa and are undecided at that time.

494 visa requirements (visa applicant):

Age under 45 at time of application (exemptions apply)

 Competent English at time of application 

You must have been employed in the nominated occupation for at least 3 years on a full-time basis and at the skill level required for the nominated occupation. Generally, you should have gained your experience within the last 5 years. The period does not need to be continuous. Equivalent part-time work may be considered. DHA does not consider casual work. 

GTE requirement does not apply

 If in Australia, hold a substantive or Bridging Visa A, B or C

 Successful skills assessment at time of application 

Doctor registration requirement does not apply

 DoHA Fee (main applicant) $4,045 and for spouse: $2,025, children under 18 : $1010 

Second VAC: $4890 if adult applicant does not meet Functional English

494 Employer and job offer requirements:

Employer must be located in a designated regional Australia, everywhere except Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. 

Regional areas include Perth, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Lake Macquarie, Illawarra, Geelong, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra. 

Position be on the list of eligible occupations

 Position must be full time and likely be available for 5 years 

employer will need approval from the Regional Certifying Body (RCB) 

Employer must pay the Australian Market Salary Rate (AMSR)

Benefits of the 494 visa:

Can apply for permanent residence without a second nomination stage, if eligible, through the subclass 191 visa (commences 16 November 2022) 

Lower cost to employers with only one SAF levy stage for the subclass 494 nomination (compared to the two stages for the current subclass 482 to ENS subclass 186 permanent resident pathway)

Conditions and pathway to PR:

Must live and work for 3 years on the 494 visa in regional areas to get Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) 191 Visa

 Can move between jobs but will have 90 days to find a new nominator

 Cannot apply for any other skilled PR or 820 partner visa for 3 years

Eligible for Medicare on 494 visa – Health insurance not required

TSS 482 VISA
(TEMPORARY SKILL SHORTAGE VISA)

TSS visa enables employers to address labour shortages by hiring skilled workers where they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian. It facilitates employment of foreign workers to address temporary skill shortages, while ensuring that Australian workers get priority. TSS visa holders can work in Australia in their nominated occupation and may have a pathway to permanent residency.

 A business can sponsor someone for this visa if they cannot find an Australian citizen or permanent resident to do the skilled work. The business must be a Standard Business Sponsor (SBS) or an Overseas Business Sponsor (OBS) to sponsor you under the TSS visa.

 You can be in or outside Australia when you lodge your application (or hold a BVA, BVB, BVC). 

From 18 March 2018, the 457 visa was abolished and replaced with the TSS visa (Subclass 482). The TSS 482 visa is comprised of a Short-Term stream,  Medium-Term stream and Labour agreement stream.

The TSS 482 visa involves a three-step process:

Step 1: a sponsorship application by the employer (the employer needs to be a lawfull, active, operating business and meet local labour and employment practices). 

Step 2: The second part of the application process is the nomination application. This is regarding the position to be filled, salary details, efforts to hire Australian workers and the ‘genuineness’ of the position. The business must also be viable to sponsor from overseas. 

Step 3: a visa application by the nominated employee. The visa applicant must demonstrate that they meet the skills required for their occupation as well as health and character requirements. 

TSS visa enables employers to address labour shortages by hiring skilled workers where they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian. It facilitates employment of foreign workers to address temporary skill shortages, while ensuring that Australian workers get priority. TSS visa holders can work in Australia in their nominated occupation and may have a pathway to permanent residency.

 A business can sponsor someone for this visa if they cannot find an Australian citizen or permanent resident to do the skilled work. The business must be a Standard Business Sponsor (SBS) or an Overseas Business Sponsor (OBS) to sponsor you under the TSS visa. 

You can be in or outside Australia when you lodge your application (or hold a BVA, BVB, BVC). 

From 18 March 2018, the 457 visa was abolished and replaced with the TSS visa (Subclass 482). The TSS 482 visa is comprised of a Short-Term stream,  Medium-Term stream and Labour agreement stream. COVID-19 – TSS holders affected COVID-19 – TSS visa

Am I eligible for a TSS 482 visa?

Related: 

COVID-19 concessions for Employer-Sponsored visas (SC457-482 and 186-187)

Grandfathering arrangements extended

New PR Pathways for all occupations on the STSOL list

TSS Visa to Permanent Residency

Medium TSS Visa vs Short TSS Visa
3 Streams

There are three streams available under the TSS 482 visa:

Short-term stream – this is for employers to source genuine temporary overseas skilled workers in occupations included on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) for a maximum of two years each time (or up to four years if an international trade obligation applies)

Medium-term stream – this is for employers to source highly skilled overseas workers to fill medium-term critical skills in occupations included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupations List (ROL) for up to four years (each time), with eligibility to apply for permanent residence after three years

Labour Agreement stream – this is for employers to source overseas skilled workers in accordance with a labour agreement with the Commonwealth, on the basis of a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian labour market and standard visa programs are not available, with the capacity to negotiate a permanent residence option.

At the time of lodging a TSS nomination application, employers will need to select an employment period of up to: 1 year or 2 years for the short-term stream (unless an international trade obligation applies-up to 4 years); and 1 year, 2 years, 3 years or 4 years for the medium-term or labour agreements stream.

TSS 482 Visa SAF Levy (Employer)

Employers sponsoring workers for a TSS 482 visa must pay a training contribution charge (known as the Skilling Australians Fund levy):

Labour Market Testing (LMT) for TSS

Employers must advertise the role on 2 national reaching mediums before offering the position to the overseas applicant (unless an international trade obligation applies). This is to ensure that employers try to find a suitably qualified Australians before they can seek to employ an overseas skilled worker on a TSS 482 visa.

Salary level for TSS

Sponsors seeking to employ an overseas worker will need to demonstrate that they are going to pay the market salary rate to ensure that overseas workers are protected and the local labour market is not undercut. In any case it must be above the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). This threshold is set by the Department of Home Affairs each year and is currently $53,900 plus superannuation.

Caveats

Some occupations are subject to caveats that set a minimum remuneration level that is above TSMIT.  For example the occupation of “Marketing Specialist” or “Conference and Event Managers” excludes positions which have nominated annual earnings of less than AUD65,000 or for example the occupation of “Corporate Services Manager” will require the business to have turned over at least AUD 1 Million in the 12 months prior to the nomination application.

Work experience requirements for the TSS 482 visa (Employee)

TSS visa applicants are required to have worked in the nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least two years to be eligible for a TSS visa. This means if you have recently graduated with a relevant Bachelor’s degree from an Australian university you would generally not qualify for the TSS visa unless you have completed another qualification overseas and have 2 years of experience after that qualification. TSS visa applicants must also meet the ANZSCO Skill Level requirement of your occupation

What is condition 8607?

Condition 8607 applies to all primary TSS visa holders. It is similar to condition 8107, which was applied to subclass 457 visa holders. Condition 8607 requires TSS visa holders who wish to change occupation (as opposed to employer), to have a new nomination approved and a new visa granted before they start work in a new occupation.

Repeat TSS 482 visas

In general, all applicants for a TSS 482 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 482 visa

they were in Australia when the application for their most recent TSS 482 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. They should, however, be aware that their immigration history may be relevant in terms of whether they are considered to have met the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement for this visa stream.

Transition from subclass 457 to TSS

Employers who are already approved standard business sponsors for subclass 457 will be able to sponsor skilled overseas workers under the TSS visa program. 

Secondary visa applicants (of 457 visa holders) are able to lodge a subsequent dependent TSS application and if they meet requirements, will be granted a TSS 482 visa linked to their family’s subclass 457 visa/nomination application. The validity period of the TSS visa will match the expiry date of the subclass 457 primary visa holder. Spouses/partners and children included in the TSS visa application will have unrestricted work and study rights. 

Subclass 457 visa holders whose visa is not expiring but wish to change employer do not need to apply for a new TSS visa, but need their new employer to lodge a TSS 482 nomination application and link it to your 457 visa. You will need to apply for a new TSS visa before your 457 visa expires to continue working. 

Subclass 457 visa holders who wish to change occupation or need a new visa (for example: with longer validity) will need to lodge a new TSS visa application referencing a new TSS nomination application. 

If you are granted a 457 visa after 18 April 2017 off the MLTSSL list, it can be granted for 4 years. You will be able to be apply for a permanent 186/187 visa after 3 years on a 457 visa if that company decides to nominate you. 

If you already hold a 457 visa in a STSOL occupation, you can apply for a two year TSS visa and a further two year TSS visa onshore. 

Can I apply for 186 Transition after applying being on a 2 year TSS 482 Visa? if you are not grandfathered you would need to be on the MLTSSL list and you would need a further one year TSS visa to be eligible to apply for a permanent 186/187 RSMS visa under that occupation with the same company.

I am over 50 years of age, can I still apply for this visa? Yes, there is no age limit for the TSS 482 visa.

Some consequences of this:

1.Occupations such as cook and restaurant manager are on the STSOL list. While you can still be sponsored for 2 years by a restaurant on the 457 visa and gain another 2 year extension, you can no longer apply for a permanent visa unless it is added to the MLTSSL list or being in a designated regional area and on the TSS ROL list.

2.Retail manager is still available in regional areas for the 187 visa at the moment but it is not on the 482 visa Medium to Long Term list.

3.Most student graduates will not be eligible for temporary or permanent company sponsorship as they require at least 2 years full-time work experience. Structured, formal training and work experience on a Student visa may count towards the 2 year work experience requirement.

186 ENS VISA

Some consequences of this:

The Subclass 186 ENS visa (Employer Nomination Scheme visa) is a permanent residency visa that requires the sponsorship of a nominating employer. In summary: 

You must have an occupations on the 186 Visa Occupations List 

English language requirements are IELTS (or equivalent test) score of 6 in each component. 

A maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application will apply to Direct Entry stream 

applicants. A maximum age requirement of 50 at the time of application will continue to apply to Temporary Residence Transition stream applicants 

A range of amendments have been introduced to enhance the integrity of the ENS and RSMS visas, including through requiring the nominated position to be genuine, and removal of the English language and skills exemption for applicants whose nominated earnings would be over $180,000.

Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186)

What is a Subclass 186 Visa? 

It is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers who have a nominating employer. 

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) allows Australian employers to nominate skilled foreign employees to work in Australia on a subclass 186 permanent residence visa.

 This visa involves a two-step process; a nomination by an approved Australian employer and a visa application by the skilled overseas worker. 

Applicants can be in or outside Australia when they apply for this visa. Applicants must have a valid visa or a bridging visa A, B, or C to apply for this visa in Australia.

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS186 Visa) This visa has 3 main streams

1.     The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for 457 visa /TSS 482 visa holders who have worked for two years/ 3 years for TSS visa (Medium term), while holding a subclass 457 visa/482 visa, in the same occupation with their nominating employer who wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation. 

2.     The Direct Entry stream is for applicants who have not worked on a 457 visa/ TSS 482 Visa with their nominating employer for two years (3 years for TSS visa holders) but who are formally qualified in their occupation and have worked for at least three years at a skilled level in their occupation and their occupation is on the  186 Visa occupations list (Direct Entry).

 3.     The Agreement stream is for applicants sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement The Department of Home Affairs has commenced the collection of Tax File Numbers for these visa holders, and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records to ensure that visa holders are not paid less than their nominated salary.

Recent changes

The 186 visa permanent employer sponsored skilled visa programmes:

Occupation lists: The MLTSSL will now apply to both the ENS and the RSMS, with additional occupations available to support regional employers for the RSMS.

Minimum market salary rate: Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate (AMSR- minimum $53,900) and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold.

Residency: The eligibility period to transition to permanent residence will be extended from two to three years (people on  a 457 visa and wanting to apply for 186/187 visa).

Work experience: At least three years’ work experience relevant to the particular occupation will be required.

Age: All applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application.

Training requirement: Employers nominating a worker for an ENS or RSMS visa will be required to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF). The contribution will be:

payable in full at the time the worker is nominated.

$3,000 for small businesses (those with annual turnover of less than $10 million) and $5,000 for other businesses.

GRADUATE TEMPORARY 485 VISA

Recent changes

The Temporary Graduate subclass 485 visa is work visa for international students who have completed 2 years of study in Australia. It can last from between 18 months and 4 years depending on your situation.

It is a good way to extend your stay in Australia to improve your chances of becoming eligible for a permanent or provisional skilled visa.

The primary applicant must be in Australia when they make their application for a 485 visa, and must have held an eligible student visa within the 6 month period prior to lodgement.

Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) & COVID-19

The Department is considering options for affected students both in Australia and overseas due to COVID-19. This will be in line with the Government’s response to assist the international education industry. Please see here for more information: Likely Changes to Temporary Graduate Visa for International Students Studying Online.

Standard VisaEnvoy professional fees for 485 visas (case by case for complex cases): 

485 visa (Post Study Work Stream): Starting from $900 + GST (additional $400 for each dependent) 

485 (Graduate Work Stream- includes skills assessment): Starting from $1500 + GST (additional $400 for each dependent)

 485 Subsequent Entrant: VisaEnvoy fee is $1,600 (plus $150 GST) and Visa Application Charge (VAC) is $1,680.

 We offer a complimentary migration pathway consultation to our 485 visa clients (valued at $150)

June 2022 Changes to 485 Graduate Work Stream visa

Department of Home Affairs have temporarily removed the requirements for applicants for a Subclass 485 visa in the Graduate Work Stream to nominate an eligible skilled occupation and to obtain a skills assessment for applications made between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023 inclusive. 

This brings in the Graduate Work Stream in line with the Post Study Work Stream in this respects.

 These amendments would encourage a broader range of graduates with degree, diploma and trade qualifications that satisfy the Australian study requirement but are not currently eligible for the Subclass 485 visa in the Graduate Work stream as their related occupations are not included in the current list of specified eligible occupations, to live and work in Australia for a further temporary period.

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