Go Study Australia
Please note that the immigration legislation is changing quickly and GO STUDY is not authorised to give immigration assistance. We are working to ensure our blog article content up-to-date to assure you get the right information. If you need more info, feel free to contact GO STUDY Australia via [email protected] so we can put you in contact with a migration agent or visit the Australian Immigration website.GOOD NEWS! You can still apply for 457 sponsorship up until March 2018. After March, there will be a very similar visa called the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa (subclass 482). In the past few months, the Australian Government announced a lot of different changes in its legislation regarding the working visas in general and the Working visa 457 in particular. In order to see clearer, Go Study gives you a summary of all the changes that will be effective from March 2018. Please be aware that some changes can still occur in the next months. In this article, we will go through the changes regarding the main work visas and the English certifications. Please be aware that some changes can still occur in the next months.

Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa

TSS - Medium Term

Quick summary

Max. duration: 4 years Renewable: YES, onshore Pathway to permanent residency: YES through ENS subclass 186 – Temporary Residence Transition stream (ENS186TRT) Age limit: No limit Employer-sponsored visa: YES

List of basic requirements and facts

  • Occupation must be listed on relevant skilled occupation lists for this subclass
  • Visa duration 2-4 years depending on occupation and contract
  • Business sponsorship approval valid for 1.5-5 years depending on type of business
  • No age limit for worker
  • Registered and lawfully operating business either established or start-up
  • Sufficient funds required for business expenses and employee salaries including foreign worker/s
  • Applicant must have appropriate skills and/or qualifications related to skilled occupation
  • Applicant must have an equivalent English IELTS score of 5 average with a minimum score of 4.5 in each component *an exemption may apply in some cases eg, if you are an eligible passport holder
  • Employer must pay market salary rate for full-time employment, 38 hours per week
  • Salary must not be less than $53,900 + 9.5 % superannuation, overtime additional
  • The employer must provide evidence of training expenses – 1-2% of total payroll for last 12 months or contribution to industry training fund depending on whether business employs Australian citizens or permanent residents. A training forecast may be accepted in some cases
  • The employer must provide evidence of genuine need in most cases – our office will provide examples including detailed guidelines and confirm whether this is required in your case
  • A business plan or organizational chart may be required in some cases
  • Advertising of the position is required in some cases – our office will confirm whether required in your case.
  • Additional information may be required depending on each particular case

TSS - Short Term

Quick summary

Max. duration: 2 years Renewable: YES, just once Pathway to permanent residency: YES through ENS subclass 186 – Direct Entry stream (ENS186DE) Age limit: No limit Employer-sponsored visa: YES

List of basic requirements and facts

  • Occupation must be listed on relevant skilled occupation lists for this subclass
  • Visa duration 2 years depending on occupation and contract
  • Business sponsorship approval valid for 1.5-5 years depending on type of business
  • No age limit for worker
  • Registered and lawfully operating business either established or start-up
  • Sufficient funds required for business expenses and employee salaries including foreign worker/s
  • Applicant must have appropriate skills and/or qualifications related to skilled occupation
  • Applicant must have an equivalent English IELTS score of 5 average with a minimum score of 4.5 in each component *an exemption may apply in some cases eg, if you are an eligible passport holder
  • Employer must pay market salary rate for full-time employment, 38 hours per week
  • Salary must not be less than $53,900 + 9.5 % superannuation, overtime additional
  • The employer must provide evidence of training expenses – 1-2% of total payroll for last 12 months or contribution to industry training fund depending on whether business employs Australian citizens or permanent residents. A training forecast may be accepted in some cases
  • The employer must provide evidence of genuine need in most cases – our office will provide examples including detailed guidelines and confirm whether this is required in your case
  • A business plan or organizational chart may be required in some cases
  • Advertising of the position is required in some cases – our office will confirm whether required in your case.
  • Additional information may be required depending on each particular case

Process to apply to TSS visa

 
  1. Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) application Approval required for an employer to sponsor foreign workers. More than one worker can be sponsored. Sponsorship approval will be valid for 1.5-5 years depending on business.
  2. Nomination application Employer nomination required for the proposed worker (including family) and skilled occupation.
  3. Visa application Personal details of worker required including medical and character information. Worker requires appropriate qualifications and/or skills for nominated skilled occupation as well as relevant English score.
Total processing time: generally 3-6 months Transition to Employer Sponsored Permanent residency available for specific skilled occupations and for those with at least 2-3 years of experience, other requirements also apply.

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa – subclass 186

ENS subclass 186 - Temporary Residence Transition stream (ENS186TRT)

The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have worked for at least two out of the three years (before the nomination is made), while holding a subclass 457 visa, in the same occupation with their nominating employer (who is not subject to a labour agreement and who has lodged a valid nomination with us under the Temporary Residence Transition stream), who wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation.

List of basic requirements and facts

  • Occupation must be listed on relevant skilled occupation list for this subclass
  • Applicant must have held 457 visa or TSS for 2-3 years in nominated occupation
  • Employer must have complied with 457 sponsorship obligations
  • Max age 50
  • Sufficient funds required for business expenses and employee salaries including foreign worker/s
  • Applicant must have appropriate skills and/or qualifications related to skilled occupation
  • Applicant must have an English IELTS score of at least 6 in each band
  • Employer must pay market salary rate for full time employment, 38 hours per week
  • Employer must provide evidence of training expenses – 1-2% of total payroll for last 12 months or contribution to industry training fund depending on whether business employs Australian citizens or permanent residents. A training forecast may be accepted in some cases
  • Additional information may be required depending on each particular case
For regional areas, the RSMS applies. See below

Quick summary

Previous visa requirement: 457 visa or TSS for 2-3 years in nominated occupation Pathway to permanent residency: YES Age limit: 50 yo Employer-sponsored visa: YES

ENS subclass 186 - Direct Entry stream (ENS186DE)

The Direct Entry stream is for people who have been nominated by their employer under the Direct Entry stream, people who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia, or temporary residents who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

List of basic requirements and facts

  • Occupation must be listed on relevant skilled occupation list for this subclass
  • A 457 or TSS is not required for this option
  • Applicant must have appropriate skills and/or qualifications related to skilled occupation
  • Applicant must prove 3 years of work experience
  • Applicant must obtain positive skills assessment for skilled occupation
  • English IELTS score of 6 is required in each band
  • Max age 45
  • Applicant and employer must declare that employment will last for at least 2 years
  • The employer must pay market salary rate for full-time employment, 38 hours per week
  • The employer must provide evidence of training expenses – 1-2% of total payroll for last 12 months or contribution to industry training fund depending on whether business employs Australian citizens or permanent residents. A training forecast may be accepted in some cases
  • Additional information may be required depending on each particular case

Quick summary

Previous visa requirement: none Permanent residency pathway: YES Age limit: 45 yo Employer-sponsored visa: YES

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa or RSMS - subclass 187

This visa is the equivalent of 457 visa if you are working in a regonial area in Australia.

List of basic requirements and facts

  • Occupation must be listed on relevant skilled occupation list for this subclass
  • A 457 or TSS visa is not required for this option
  • Employer must be based in a regional area
  • Applicant must have appropriate skills and/or qualifications related to skilled occupation
  • English IELTS score of 6 is required in each band
  • Max age 45
  • Employer must pay market salary rate for full-time employment, 38 hours per week
  • Applicant may need to prove residency in regional area in some cases
  • Additional information may be required depending on each particular case
  • Please note, your employer will also need to be assessed to ensure the company meets all requirements for sponsorship.

Quick summary

Previous visa requirement: none Permanent residency pathway: YES Age limit: 45 yo Employer-sponsored visa: YES

English certification

From March 2018, you can certify your English level through different English exam options. The Department of Immigration accepts all English exam providers listed in the table below however keep in mind that for your particular case, a specific English test may be required which means you may not be able to choose the type of exam you prefer. The English score you need depends on various factors such as the visa subclass you are eligible to apply for, occupation/s and if applicable for your situation, the skills assessment authority and calculation of points. Exemptions also apply in some cases. If you are not sure about your options and the requirements for your situation, we recommend you arrange an assessment. A migration assessment with a registered Australian Immigration Specialist is a very important and worthwhile part of the migration process as it will allow you to obtain precise information for your situation based on updated legislation. 

English certification options

English exam scores table

English Language proficiency level      Test component         IELTS    TOEFL iBT    PTE Academic (Pearson)  Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)*  OET
Functional Average/total/overall 4.5 32 30 147 n/a
Vocational Listening 5.0 4 36 154 B
Reading 5.0 4 36 154 B
Writing 5.0 14 36 154 B
Speaking 5.0 14 36 154 B
Competent Listening 6.0 12 50 169 B
Reading 6.0 13 50 169 B
Writing 6.0 21 50 169 B
Speaking 6.0 18 50 169 B
Proficient Listening 7.0 24 65 185 B
Reading 7.0 24 65 185 B
Writing 7.0 27 65 185 B
Speaking 7.0 23 65 185 B
Superior Listening 8.0 28 79 200 A
Reading 8.0 29 79 200 A
Writing 8.0 30 79 200 A
Speaking 8.0 26 79 200 A

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