Last year, the Australian government announced that there would be changes to the skilled visa programs as of 2018. In line with the announcement in April 2017, the 457 visa scheme has officially ended and has been replaced by the TSS visa (known as the 482 Temporary Skills Shortage Visa), after an 11 month transition process.

On 18 March 2018, these changes came into effect after much speculation. Some critics have said not enough has been done to attract the types of highly skilled workers we need, while others say that the bar has been raised too high, making it too difficult for workers to obtain a visa. While there will always be plenty of debate for and against any changes, only time will tell how effective they are.

We have summarised the changes for you below:

The new 482 TSS Visa

According to the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA), the TSS program has two main streams:

1. 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)1 for a maximum of two years (or up to four years if an international trade obligation applies)
2. 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)1 for up to four years, with eligibility to apply for permanent residence after three years

The key differences in the visa schemes include;
• An abridged occupation list
• Fee changes
• Mandatory Labour Market Testing for all applications
• Tightened English language requirements
• A new ‘Stream’ for the Labour Hire Section of the 482 Visa
• Additional two years working experience as well as a relevant degree or qualification

Occupations Lists

The occupations lists have been undergoing a regular review process ever since the changes were announced last year and it has been suggested that this will continue to occur. The government wants to gauge how effective the lists are in their current form and will adjust them every 6 months accordingly.

Labour Agreement Stream
This stream can only be used in exceptional cases where there is no standard visa program and “there is a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian labour market.”

Global Talent Scheme

In the wake of the 457 visa changes, the government has also announced an exciting plan to trial the new ‘Global Talent Scheme’ visa, intended to help businesses recruit people with in-demand technology skills.
Although few details have been released about the Global Talent Scheme, what we do know is that there will be two streams. One for established businesses (publicly listed or have an annual turnover of at least $4 million for each of the past 2 years) and the other for start-ups that operate in a STEM-related field. DOHA is suggesting faster processing times and a transitional pathway to permanent residence after 3 years. It is proposed that the new visa will be trialled for 12 months from 1 July 2018.

Register your interest in our upcoming Migration Workshops

Our Registered Migration Agents are up to date with the new TSS visa program and we are keen to share details on how we can minimise the impact to your business. In the coming weeks, we will be holding a number of Migration Workshops. Sign up to attend one of our events in Melbourne and Sydney in July this year – simply email us at

Register to attend our upcoming Migration Workshops – Click here!