As of March 2018, the popular Temporary Work (Skilled) 457 visa has been replaced with the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa. The TSS visa has three streams, designed to meet different economic needs. The Short-Term stream is designed for Australian businesses to fill short-term skilled vacancies with overseas workers, the Medium-Term stream is designed for Australian businesses to fill critical skill gaps for up to four years in medium and longer-term need, and the Labour Agreement stream may be utilised in exceptional circumstances. All streams must prove that an Australian worker is not able to fill the role for one reason or another.
In order to be eligible for the Short-Term and Medium-Term streams, your occupation must be on the appropriate list (STSOL and MLTSSL, respectively), which can change frequently. There are other requirements, including minimum English levels, at least two years’ relevant work experience, labour market testing, character checks, and onshore renewals.
Though some have had concerns with how condensed the occupation lists have become, and how only one onshore visa renewal is allowed under the Short-Term scheme, others have welcomed the opportunity for workers to become permanent residents after only three years under the Medium-Term stream.
Additionally, a new visa called the Global Talent Scheme is being run on a one-year trial basis, starting in July 2018. Proponents expect this to be helpful for the growing tech industry, as occupations need not be found on the TSS lists. The government has even allowed equity to be included in minimum salary earnings, which can be particularly important for startups and early stage companies.
Only time will tell the impact of these changes, however we remain confident in our ability to support local businesses and foreign workers alike in making the transition smooth.