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A Beginners Guide to the TSS Visa

Map of Australia. Photo by Joey Csunyo on Unsplash

The following information has been gathered and written based on general information that is available at the Department of Home Affairs website.  It has been reviewed by an experienced Lawyer and Migration Agent registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority MARA accredited Migration Agents to ensure its accuracy as of the date of publishing.

The information in this article is not legal advice and should be used for general information purposes only. At Visa Jobs we strongly recommend you consider engaging a Registered Migration Agent who can assess your documents and personal situation before submitting any visa applications

Everything you need to know

Visa Requirements are always changing. To help you know exactly what is required and if you’re eligible for the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (TSS Visa) subclass 482 we’ve put together a useful guide.

What is the TSS Visa?

The Temporary Skill Shortage Visa is known as the TSS visa. You may also see it called the Subclass 482 Visa. The TSS Visa was introduced to help employers fill gaps in their workforce due to short and medium-term skill shortages. This allows employers to sponsor overseas workers to fill those gaps when those skills cannot be found in Australia.

What can I do with the TSS Visa?

The TSS Visa allows you to live and work within Australia on a temporary basis. During this time, you must work on a full-time basis for your sponsoring employer. You can only work in the job you have been nominated for and you cannot work for any other employer.

Who can apply for the TSS Visa?

Anyone with an employer who is willing to sponsor them in a particular occupation. There are certain requirements which need to be met, including English, qualifications and work experience. You will also need to undergo health and character checks.

What jobs can be sponsored as part of the TSS Visa?

There are currently 508 occupations that are available in the TSS visa program. Each occupation falls into a different category, also known as ‘streams’. The two streams are the Short Term Stream and the Medium Term Stream.

In addition, each occupation falls into one of three occupations lists:

  • Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) (which provides access to the Short Term stream)
  • Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • Regional Occupation List (ROL)

Which list your occupation falls into is important as it dictates how long your visa will be granted to you for.

  • STSOL – Visa usually granted for 1 or 2 years*
  • MLTSSL – Visa granted for anything between 1 to 4 years
  • ROL – Visa granted for anything between 1 to 4 years

We recommend you search your occupation to see if it belongs to the STSOL, MLTSSL or ROL list so you know how long your visa may be granted for.

* Exemptions may apply to allow occupations on the STSOL list to be granted for 4 years where International Trade Obligations apply.

What are the TSS Visa requirements?

It is important to check carefully what your requirements are. These can change depending on the occupation you’re being sponsored for. On average, the main requirements are:

  • English Language – Unless you are from Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, the USA, or the UK, you will have to take an English test. There are also some other exemptions for the English test based on your study history. You can take the English test through the following companies:

– International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

– Occupational English Test (OET)

– English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

– Pearson Test of English (PTE)

– Cambridge English Test (CAE)

  • Relevant Skills & Qualifications – You will need to have the appropriate skills and qualifications for the occupation you’re being sponsored for. These are determined by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).

Regardless of the job you will need at least two years full-time experience; generally within the last five years. The level of experience, skills and qualifications will vary depending on the occupation. Some occupations might also require you to have appropriate registration or licensing.

  • Medical Examinations & Health Insurance – If your country of origin has a high risk of tuberculosis (TB), you may need to have a medical examination. You might also need to have an examination if have spent more than three months in a country which is on the examination list. You will need to make appropriate arrangements for health insurance (i.e. hold private health insurance) for the entire visa period unless you are from a country who has a reciprocal agreement with Australia. These countries are:

– Belgium

– Finland

– Malta

– Netherlands

– New Zealand

– Norway

– Republic of Ireland

– Slovenia

– Sweden

– United Kingdom

  • Character & Police Checks – You will need to show a Police Clearance Certificate for any country you have lived in for a year or more over the last 10 years. Please note Police Clearance Certificates are only valid for 12 months.
  • Age – Anyone of any age can apply. However, there are age restrictions when you are applying for a Permanent Residency Visa (PR).

What is the TSS Visa application process?

There are a number of stages involved before you begin your visa application process. Firstly it is important that you research about the TSS visa. Don’t worry here at Visa Jobs we have created our TSS Visa Help Centre providing you with all the information you need about the TSS Visa. You can use our free online self-assessment tool to see within minutes if you are eligible for the TSS visa. Fully understanding the process and the 10 stages to starting your new life in Australia is really important as timeframes will vary depending on your circumstances.

Once you have gotten to the stage that you have accepted a job and are ready to apply for the visa, the visa application process is done in three steps:

  • Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) – The employer will need to ensure they are approved by the Department of Home Affairs and have a valid SBS
  • Nomination – The employer must nominate you for the specific job they want you to do, and provide evidence that they meet the various requirements to sponsor that job
  • Visa Application – This part is your responsibility. You need to submit all the required documents and prove that you meet the requirements for your occupation. A Registered Migration Agent can help you with this application

How much will it cost?

The TSS Visa process can be costly which is why it is important to get it right the first time. Understanding what costs are involved is important as there are some costs your employer has to pay but also some costs you may have to pay. Your costs may include:

How much can I expect to be paid?

Under the TSS Visa, your employer must pay you above what is called the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). This is currently AUD$53,900 per year. You cannot earn less than this. In addition your employer must pay you the same amount that an Australian citizen would be paid doing the same job within the same location.

Your employer will also pay something called superannuation. This is money towards your pension when you decide to retire. This is 9.5% of your salary and is paid by your employer in addition to your salary.

How long will my visa be valid for?

This depends upon what stream your occupation falls into and also how long the employer is willing to sponsor your visa for. If you are within the STSOL then you can renew your TSS Visa only once in Australia and one more time when you are not in the country. You must also satisfy the Department of Home Affairs that you a Genuine Temporary Entrant. If you are on the MLTSSL or ROL you can renew your TSS Visa as many times as you want to.

Of course, in all cases you need an employer who is happy to sponsor you and the occupation will need to remain in the occupation list.

Can I apply to become a permanent resident?

Applying for Permanent Residency (PR) can be done through several different visas.

When applying for PR through the TSS visa the most common option is through the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream for either the subclass 186 or 187 visa. To be eligible to apply for PR through the TRT stream you must meet the visa requirements and your employer must meet the relevant requirements to sponsor you

If your occupation is on the ROL list you will need to work for the same employer in regional Australia for a minimum of three years. Occupations on these lists will not be eligible for the 186 visa only the 187 visa.

If your occupation is on the MLTSSL list, the requirements are similar. The only difference is that you can work in either regional or metropolitan areas of Australia. In either case, you need to have an employer who will support your PR application.

If PR is your aim then make sure you understand the requirements for PR through the TRT stream before you start applying for a TSS visa.


It is important that you understand exactly what the TSS Visa is, and what you need to do before you begin the visa process. Familiarising yourself will save you time and money.

Updated on July 24, 2019

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