On 19 March 2018, the Government has introduced the new Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) Visa. This new visa enables employers to engage a temporary skilled overseas worker if an appropriately skilled Australian worker is unavailable.
An overseas worker must be nominated by a sponsoring business and obtain a Subclass 482 visa before they can commence work in Australia. The Subclass 482 visa has three streams:
- Short-term stream – this stream allows employers to source skilled overseas workers in occupations on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) for a maximum of two years (or up to four years if the two year limitation would be inconsistent with an international trade obligation);
- Medium-term stream – this stream allows employers to source skilled overseas workers for occupations on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) for up to four years; and
- Labour Agreement stream – this stream allows employers to source skilled overseas workers in accordance with a labour agreement with the Commonwealth, where there is a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian labour market and standard visa programs are not available
Key features of the new stream are:
- a Short-term stream, with a maximum visa term of up to two years and capacity for onshore renewal only once (unless this would be inconsistent with international trade obligations).
- a Medium-term stream, with a maximum visa term of up to four years and no restriction on renewals while in Australia. Occupations eligible for this stream, which are occupations on the MLTSSL, are those required to meet medium to longer term skill shortages in Australia;
- an applicant has at least two years relevant work experience. Relevant work experience will be considered in the context of the nominated occupation, and experience in related roles and flexible working arrangements may be recognised;
- an English language requirement. The English requirement for the Short-term stream will be the same as applied to the Subclass 457 visa. The Medium-term stream will require an International English Language Testing System score (or equivalent) of level 5 overall, with a minimum of 5 in each component score;
- a ‘non-discriminatory workforce’ test to allow refusal of nominations by employers who systematically employ overseas workers without appropriate regard to Australian workers;
- an increase in the Visa Application Charge (VAC) as compared to the VAC for the Subclass 457 visa;
- all applicants must satisfy public interest criterion (PIC) 4007 relating to health, instead of PIC 4006A which applied to the Subclass 457 visa. This change aligns the Subclass 482 visa program with other temporary and permanent visas;
- the primary applicant will need to satisfy condition 8607, instead of condition 8107 which applied to the Subclass 457 visa;
- as under the 457 program, the Department will consider any adverse information known about a business applying to be a sponsor under the Subclass 482 visa program; and
- the visa period for dependent children who are members of the family unit has been amended to finish at the end of the day before the holder’s 23rd
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