How does my business employ an overseas worker on a temporary basis?

This is the first in a series of news updates from Visa Australia on the requirements for employing an overseas worker from a business perspective. If you are looking to employ an overseas worker on a temporary basis, please read the latest information below.

Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (482) subclass visa

The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa replaced the 457 visa in March 2018. The TSS is a temporary visa and allows the visa holder to work in their nominated occupation for the business that sponsors them for a period of up to 2 or 4 years.
There are three steps in obtaining a TSS visa:

  1. The business applies to become a Standard Business Sponsor
  2. The business nominates the position and provides the details of the person they wish to employ
  3. The employee lodges a visa application, showing they have the skills for the nominated position.

Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS)

To become a Standard Business Sponsor, the business must show that it is actively and lawfully operating. There must also be no adverse information known about the business.

Upon approval, the SBS is valid for a period of five years and will allow the business to sponsor an unlimited number of TSS visa applicants.


The nomination application examines the position to be offered to the overseas employee and the terms and conditions of employment. The position must be on one of the two relevant occupation lists, which are the:

  • Medium-Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) – Allows for a maximum four year visa, with multiple renewals and a pathway to permanent residency. There are additional occupations on the MLTSSL for positions in regional Australia
  • Short-Term Skills Occupation List (STSOL) – Allows for a maximum two year visa, with one onshore renewal and no pathway to permanent residency.

The occupation affects the ‘stream’ under which the visa applicant applies and determines the length of the visa that can be granted. It also determines the levy amount to be paid by the nominating business, under the Skilling Australia Fund (SAF).

It must be shown that the role has been advertised in an attempt to fill it from the local labour market, unless an International Trade Obligation applies. When assessing the nomination, the Department of Home Affairs consider whether:

  • The tasks and duties of the position align with those of the nominated occupation
  • The position is genuine and fits within the nature of the business
  • The position meets any ‘inapplicability criteria’ or ‘caveats’ attached to the nominated occupation
  • The business has tested the labour market by advertising the position within the last 6 months (unless International Trade Obligations apply)
  • The position attracts annual earnings (excluding superannuation) at least equivalent to the Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR), and no less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) of $53,900.

Visa application

The final step in the application process is the visa application for the employee. The visa applicant must show they:

  • Have the skills, qualifications, or employment experience required to fill the position
  • Have at least Vocational English
  • Have at least 2 years of recent work experience that is relevant to the position
  • Meet the character requirements
  • Hold adequate heath insurance
  • Meet the health requirements
  • Have substantially complied with the conditions on any previous visas held (if onshore).

Applicants who nominate and occupation on the STSOL must also show that they are a ‘genuine temporary entrant’.
Dependent family can also be included in the application and must show they are of good health and character.
If you would like to employ an overseas worker through your business, please contact our team of Registered Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers today.

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