Overseas workers looking to migrate to Australia normally inquire about two things – what are the TSS visa costs, and who will pay for them?
There is no quick answer to this question. There are a number of factors that have to be considered, e.g. which occupation list your occupation is on, whether you want to bring family, nationality, etc.
In addition to knowing the answers to these two questions its also important you understand what other potential costs may be involved when preparing to apply for the visa application, and any ongoing costs once you have arrived in Australia.
Why am I expected to pay, when visas for other countries are usually paid by the employer?
It is common practice in a lot of countries around the world for employers to pay for work visas, travel, accommodation and health insurance. Unfortunately, in Australia that is not the case.
In the past it was more common for Australian employers to pay for some of these costs, but with the Government’s fees and levy’s increasing for employers, it is becoming less common, especially in certain industries.
There are still certain costs that the employer must pay and cannot be passed onto you. Passing these costs onto the employee would be breaching their obligations as a Business Sponsor, and against the law.
What costs must the employer pay?
There are three stages when applying for a TSS visa.
- Stage 1: Standard Business Sponsorship
- Stage 2: Nomination Application
- Stage 3: TSS Visa Application
Stage 1 and 2 are your sponsoring employers responsibility and no costs involved in either of these stages are to be paid by you. These costs include:
- Cost of becoming a sponsor (Standard Business Sponsorship)
- Nomination application charges
- Any professional fees from Migration Agents associated with Standard Business Sponsorship and nomination applications
In addition the employer cannot pass on any costs involved when recruiting you; this may include advertising costs or recruitment or agency fees.
What costs you are expected to pay
Stage 3 and the costs involved in preparing for, and lodging, your TSS visa application are your responsibility. Some employers may be willing to pay some of these fees, but they are not obligated to.
With the exception of the TSS Visa application fee, the rest of the costs may not apply to you. To find out more about them simply click on the arrow and more information will be available.
All costs are in Australian Dollars (AUD) and should only be used as a guide.
TSS Visa application fees
In order to lodge your TSS Visa application you have to pay visa fees to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). These fees are mandatory and have to be paid at the time the visa is lodged. The amount you will be expected to pay will depend on which occupation stream your occupation belongs to:
- Short-term Stream – occupations on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
- Medium-term Stream – occupation on either the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL)
In addition to the Primary Applicant having to pay DIBP fees, if anyone else is going to be included in the visa application (Secondary Applicants) they will also need to pay DIBP fees. These fees will vary depending on age.
|DIBP fee per Applicant||Short-term Stream Cost (AUD)||Medium-term Stream Cost (AUD)|
|Secondary (over 18 years old)||$1,290||$2,690|
|Secondary (under 18 years old)||$325||$675|
Professional fees for Registered Migration Agents (Optional)
Using a registered Migration Agent to lodge your TSS visa application is optional. If you decide to use an agent you will need to pay professional fees for their services. This can vary quite a lot from agent to agent, usually dependent on the number of years of experience, the size of the agency, and which country the agent is based in.
We always recommend using a registered Migration Agent as they are experienced professionals. If you lodge a visa application and it is refused for whatever reason you will not be refunded your DIBP fees.
- The average cost to lodge a TSS Visa application ranges from $2,500 and $4,000 (AUD) excluding GST.
As a Visa Jobs member, you will get access to our partnered migration law firm. They will be able to lodge your visa application (if required) at a discounted rate, contact us for more information here.
Medical examination costs (if requested)
Not everyone will be required to complete a medical examination, so check if you will need one at the start of the process. It generally depends if you are from a country, or spend time in a country, with a high risk of Tuberculosis (TB), medical conditions you may have, or what occupation you are to be nominated as.
- Costs for the examination will usually start from AUD230, but additional fees may be charged for x-rays or other tests required.
English test (if required)
Everyone will need to pass the English requirements for the visa. To do this most people will need to take an English test however there are some exemptions. If a test is required there are five companies that can be used.
- Prices vary from $300 to $587 depending on which company and test you take.
Skills assessments (if required)
There are only a few occupations that require a Skills Assessment. If you do need to complete an assessment, prices will vary depending on who the assessing body is and the occupation.
- Prices range from $1,750 to $3,000
Police clearance certificates (required)
Everyone will need to provide a police clearance certificate. It will usually be cheapest and easiest to apply directly if you are in the country; if you are not then you can apply through the embassy, or potentially online.
You can find out more about how to apply from different countries using the DHA website.
Alternatively, there are companies online that can assist such as AIS International, however prices vary per country and can be quite expensive.
- Prices generally range from $40 to $160 depending on if you apply directly or require assistance.
All documents submitted in your TSS visa application must be in English. If the original documents are not in English then you will need to get them officially translated. The cost of these services will vary from country to country, depending on what needs to be translated. One Australian company offering these services are Ethnolink, however going locally may be your quickest and cheapest option.
- Prices range from 20c to 40c per word, or $69 for common documents
Private health insurance (on-going cost)
One of the requirements of the TSS Visa is that you have an ‘adequate level’ of Private Medical Insurance until your TSS visa expires. There are a number of different insurers, so prices will vary depending on what type of cover you require, and for whom.
- Prices range from $63 for single cover to $240 for family cover
Summary of costs (not including DIBP fees for the TSS Visa Application)
|Registered Migration Agent – Professional fees for lodging the TSS Visa application (optional)||$2,500 – $4,000|
|Medical Examination (if requested)||$230 +|
|Private Health Insurance:|
|– Single cover per month (ongoing)||$63 – $110|
|– Couples cover per month (ongoing)||$140 – $220|
|– Family cover per month (ongoing)||$150 – $240|
|English Test (if required)||$300 – $587|
|Skills Assessments (if required)||$1,750 – $3,000|
|Police Clearance Certificates (per certificate)||$40 – $160|
|Document Translation (if required)||20-40c per word or $69 per page|
When considering if migrating to Australia on a TSS Visa is the right option for you, costs will usually play an important factor. For that reason, it is important to know all the potential costs from the start.
Not everything we have discussed will be applicable to you, so don’t expect to have to pay all of the above costs. Make sure you research each requirement, so you understand how it applies to you and what you should expect to pay.
It’s also important to bear in mind that in addition to these costs you need to also consider travel costs to Australia and accommodation once here. Some employers may be willing to pay for some of your costs, such as the TSS visa application fee and Migration Agent fees; they may also offer relocation packages and private health insurance, however you shouldn’t assume they will. Always check job adverts carefully, or discuss it with the employer during the recruitment process.
Visa Jobs is an independent company and has no association with the Australian Department of Immigration. The information in this article should not be used as legal advice. It is based on public guidelines available at The Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs’ website.
Every visa application is assessed on a case by case basis. We strongly recommend your documents and personal situation be assessed by a Registered Migration Agent who is bound by the MARA code of conduct before submitting any visa applications.