This month, we have decided to provide a brief update on the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa and we will address some recent developments related to its introduction.

There has been some additional clarity provided by the Department of Home Affairs, however, it must be understood that the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Bill is still being debated in parliament as we write this note.

With the TSS visa regulations still being finalised, these notes around its features and provisions may still be subject to change.


Date of introduction
  • No definite date provided at this stage.
  • Introduction date is expected to be in first half of March, 2018.
  • Introduction date will not be 1 March, 2018 at this stage.
Occupational Updates
  • Additional skilled occupations will be made available to employers in regional areas for certain visa programs.
  • To support the introduction of new regional occupations, some existing occupations may be moved between the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
  • There will be no changes to caveats.
Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement
  • Will be considered met unless applicant has a history of holding a number of short term visas over the last 4-5 years.
  • Unclear if this will only be short-term employment visas or include other visa subclasses.
Transitional Arrangements
  • Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) applications lodged before implementation date will continue to be processed under the old rules but the training benchmarks will not apply subject to the SAF arrangements having come into effect.
  • 457 nomination applications for existing 457 visa holders lodged before the implementation date will be processed under the old rules.
  • 457 nomination applications for visa applicants lodged before the implementation date.
  • 457 visa application lodged before the implementation date will be processed under old rules, and if satisfied, a 457 visa will be granted.
  • Visa holders transitioning from a current 457 visa to a TSS visa will still be eligible to apply for a second TSS visa onshore.
Non Discriminatory Workforce Test
  • No detail about test as yet.
  • It will be an ‘exception’ test rather than for all TSS applications.
Labour Market Testing (LMT)
  • Requirements for LMT are still being debated in parliament (not yet finalised)
  • Requirements will be made much clearer and will include:
    • Multiple methods of LMT will be recognised, and could include national recruitment websites and print media/radio, but are not expected to include a general classifieds website
    • LMT will need to be undertaken for a minimum duration and to have occurred within a specified period before lodging the nomination
    • The advertisement will need to be in English and
    • Current policy flexibility will continue in respect of nominations for an existing visa holder due to a change in business structure or the pay rate of the position, and for talent-based position (e.g. athletes / sports-people, top-talent chefs, eminent academics and researchers).

Work Experience Requirements for TSS Visa 

  • TSS visa applicants will be required to have worked in the nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least two years
  • Policy outlines will be published on the implementation date, may include:
    • Work experience will be considered flexibly in the context of the nominated occupation and industry practices
    • The work experience should have been undertaken in the last five years and would need to be calculated in terms of full time work. Part time work experience may be considered
    • Experience gained as part of the research components of a Masters and/or PhD may be considered as work experience for relevant occupations, such as medical and research occupations
    • Experience gained through clinical placements and internships may be considered as work experience for medical practitioners, including Resident Medical Officers (RMOs)
    • The internship component of the Professional Year Program may be considered as work experience for relevant occupations
    • Performance experience gained while studying may be considered for applicants with a performing arts occupation.
Skilling Australians Fund (SAF)
  • Relevant Bill is still being debated in parliament. 
  • The Department of Home Affairs does not intend to delay the introduction of the TSS visa if SAF legislation is not finalised by March, 2018.
  • Training benchmark obligations will continue until the SAF legislation comes into effect.
Health Criteria
  • The 457 health PIC 4006A will be replaced by PIC 4007 for the TSS visa.
Accredited Sponsors
  • The Department is looking to expand the accredited sponsor scheme including priority processing of applications, as well as, auto-approval of nominations.
Streamlining the application process
  • The ‘look’ of the TSS application form will be different to that of the 457 visa.
  • ‘Lower risk’ applications will be prioritised.
  • No definition of ‘low risk’ applications was provided.


More information?

We will be keeping a close eye on any developments with regard to the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa and Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Bill as they continue to unfold.

If you wish to discuss any of this information further, we would be happy to provide you with our views over the phone.

Please contact us on (02) 8234 8400 if you wish to speak with our representatives.


Disclaimer: The information within this notice was developed using the information provided by the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) – For more information about the MIA and to become a member please visit