As reported earlier, effective September 5, 2018, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has ceased accepting priority processing requests for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) and Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457).

457 visa applications are being prioritized and processing of these is expected to be finalized before the end of the current year.

TSS visa applications are now being processed according to the official order of priority:

  1. Applications lodged by accredited sponsors;
  2. Applications lodged for positions that are in regional Australia;
  3. Applications lodged for positions under the Labour Agreement stream;
  4. All other applications.

Accredited sponsors will receive priority processing of all TSS nomination and visa applications, with the majority of applications processed in less than five days.

Accredited Sponsors

In order to apply, the sponsor must meet on of the four categories below:

Category 1

  • Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies
    • The company must have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia

Category 2

  • Australian Trusted Traders
    • The company must have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia
    • Must engage all TSS and/or subclass 457 visa holders as employees under a written contract of employment that includes at least the minimum employment entitlements as required under the National Employment Standards (NES) (unless their occupation is exempt from this requirement)
    • Must have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates for all occupations in their business

Category 3

  • Low volume usage and high percentage of Australian workers (at least 85%)
    • Company must have Australian workers comprise at least 85% of their workforce in Australia
    • Must not be a sole trader or a partnership
    • Annual turnover of at least AUD4M for the last two years
    • Company must be a standard business sponsor for at least one year
    • Must have nominations approved for at least one primary TSS or subclass 457 visa holder in the last year
    • Have a nomination non-approval rate of less than 3% for the last year
    • Have no adverse monitoring outcomes
    • Have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates
    • Engage all TSS and/or subclass 457 visa holders as employees under a written contract that meets NES where they apply

Category 4

  • High volume usage and medium percentage of Australian workers (at least 75%)
    • Company must have Australian workers comprise at least 75% of their workforce in Australia
    • Must not be a sole trader or a partnership
    • Annual turnover of at least AUD4M for the last two years
    • Company must be a standard business sponsor for at least two years
    • Must have nominations approved for at least 10 TSS and/or subclass 457 visa holders in the last two years
    • Have a nomination non-approval rate of less than 3% for the last two years
    • Have no adverse monitoring outcomes
    • Have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates
    • Engage all TSS and/or subclass 457 visa holders as employees under a written contract that meets NES where they apply

Some exemptions to apply among the categories.  More information on accredited sponsorship can be found here.

Action Items

  • Non-accredited employers of foreign nationals in Australia are advised to apply to become accredited, to access top priority processing.
  • Employers who are not accredited should allow for the current global processing standards and the recent cessation of the priority processing service.

Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.