Australia: A new era for employer sponsorship visas

Last Updated: 20 April 2018
Article by Rebecca Macmillan
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2018

It has happened! On 18 March 2018, we said goodbye to the subclass 457 visa and hello to the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (TSS).

Permanent employer sponsored visa legislation has also been amended.

Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa

The TSS visa is the subclass 457 visa with a new name. We have seen many changes to the 457 visa over the past 12 months and these continue into the TSS visa with some further revisions.

These include:

  • Sponsorship applications:
    • No longer required to satisfy training benchmarks for the grant of sponsorship
    • Introduction of a simpler renewal process
    • Sponsorship is granted for five years in all cases (no shorter validity sponsorships for new business)
    • Expansion of the criteria for sponsorship accreditation
  • Nomination applications:
    • There are now three occupation lists – the short-term list, the medium to long term list, and a regional Australia list
    • Labour Market Testing is mandatory for all applications, except where there is an international trade obligation. The legislation now specifies how, when and where advertising must take place. For example, you must advertise in two national publications, the advertisement must be in English and must state the salary for the position, and you must have advertised within the last six months.
  • Visa applications:
    • Visa applicants must have a minimum of two years work experience
    • New visa conditions.

Transitional arrangements are in place for labour market testing criteria in circumstances where a business has advertised the positions before 18 March 2018. These transitional arrangements won't be in place for long and we expect they will be removed by June 2018.

In addition to the legislative changes, there has also been some procedural changes. For example, you cannot apply to change a TSS visa holder's nominated occupation by lodging only a nomination application, you must also lodge a visa application.

Permanent Employer Sponsored Visas

For the Employer Nomination Scheme (186) visa the changes relate mostly to which occupations are eligible to apply for permanent residence.

For the Direct Entry Stream, only applicants whose occupation is on the medium and long-term occupation list are eligible apply. This is the same for Temporary Residence Transition Steam for any person who applied for a 457/TSS visa after 18 April 2017 – their occupation must have been on the medium and long-term occupation list.

It is the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (187) visa that has been most impacted by the changes. The regional concessions that applied to this program have been removed and the only difference between this visa and the Employer Nomination Scheme visa is the list of occupations, and currently skills assessments are not mandatory for non-trade occupations. This however will change further in July 2018 when we expect the regional occupation list to be greatly reduced and mandatory skills assessments will be introduce.

Age exemptions are still available and the time has been reduced from four years holding a 457/TSS visa down to three years with a salary above the Fair Work High Income Threshold.

Transitional arrangements are in place for 457 visa holders who applied for, or were granted, a 457 visa before 18 April 2017. This cohort can apply for permanent residence regardless of what list their occupation is on.

Training Benchmarks and Skilling Australia Fund

The Skilling Australia Fund (SAF) is still before parliament and once approved, it will be applied to both the TSS and permanent employer sponsored visas. The SAF will impose a training levy on employers which must be paid at the time a nomination application is lodged.

In the meantime, a TSS visa can be obtained without satisfying training benchmarks and without paying the SAF fee.

While training benchmarks are no longer required for new TSS sponsorship, employers that are or have previously been approved as a Standard Business Sponsor, and/or have 457/TSS employees, must continue to satisfy their training obligations. This means, employers need to provide evidence with every permanent residence application, that it has satisfied its obligation to provide training to Australian workers.

Expansion of Adverse Information Definition

Employers have always had to declare whether there is any adverse information known about the business or a person associated with the business.

On all sponsorship and nomination applications, an employer must declare whether there is any adverse information. In answering this question, the Department of Home Affairs is concerned with adverse information in relation to: immigration, discrimination, industrial relations, occupation health and safety, and taxation.

The adverse information provision now extends to family members and associates of directors and office holders of a business. For example, it is possible the Department of Home Affairs will want these same questions answered by the spouse or partner of a company director or office holder.

The changes to the employer sponsorship legislation will impact employers in different ways. We encourage all employers that sponsor overseas workers to obtain advice about how these changes will impact their business, and how to best manage their individual visa program.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Rebecca Macmillan
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Holding Redlich
Holding Redlich
Coleman Greig Lawyers
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Holding Redlich
Holding Redlich
Coleman Greig Lawyers
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions