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Australian Immigration Update: October 2018


Written By Shannon Dutt | Fri, Oct 19, 2018 Shannon Dutt

Department of Home Affairs processing order of TSS visas

The Department has advised that they are processing lodged Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visas (subclass 482) application in the following order:

1. Applications lodged by accredited sponsors
2. Applications lodged for positions in Regional Australia
3. Applications lodged under the Labour agreement stream
4. All other applications

No more Priority processing service

As of 5 September, The Department has ceased servicing priority processing requests for the TSS visa. They have advised that email requests for priority processing will no longer be acknowledged due to the high volume of requests impacting their capacity to process applications. As there is still a pipeline of subclass 457 visas to be finalised, The Department seeks to “prioritise” the remaining applications.

The Department has also advised that the priority processing service is no longer available because the processing time is faster than the previous 457 scheme.

Feedback can be provided via The Department’s compliments, complaints and suggestions service.

Automatic reminders being sent to Sponsors now

The Department is now sending automatic reminders to:

  • Sponsors - to renew their Standard Business Sponsorship before expiry.
  • Visa holders - to remind them that they have 60 or 90 days (depending on when their visa was granted) from their employment cessation date to find another sponsor or depart Australia (where their sponsor has notified the Department of this date)

Transitional arrangements for the TRT stream – 186 Visa

Under transitional arrangements, those who:

  • held a 457 visa before 18 April 2017; or
  • lodged a 457 visa before 18 April 2017 that was later approved

are able to access the previous TRT work requirements, where the short-term occupation lists did not apply and they needed to have worked for 2 years in the position for the sponsor while a 457 visa holder.

Under these arrangements, they can have the 457 transferred to another sponsor – however the 2 years employment period would re-start from the day they start employment with the new sponsor on the 457/TSS visa.

Labour Market Testing (LMT) – clarification

The Department confirmed that the 4 weeks of LMT does not need to be consecutive, meaning that ads with a gap/pause in advertising would still count as long as the advertising totals 4 weeks.

LMT evidence is required for all TSS Nominations, except where exempted under International trade obligations.

The Department has issued a reminder that, where alternative evidence is required for LMT, a written submission must be provided at lodgement (this applies to lodgements 12 August 2018 onwards). Failure to provide this would result in a refusal. The Department has identified that these submissions are not always being provided, particularly where the nomination relates to:

  • changes in business structure
  • an occupation in ANZSCO Minor Group 253 – Medical Practitioners (except General Practitioner (ANZSCO 253111) and Medical Practitioners nec (ANZSCO 253999)) or ANZSCO Unit Group 4111 – Ambulance Officers and Paramedics

For more information, please see our Article outlining LMT FAQs

Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy

The Department reminds sponsors that the SAF levy cannot be passed onto visa applicants, doing so may be a breach of payment for visa sponsorship legislation.

Labour Agreements Update

The Snow Sports labour agreement is no longer available and as such the appropriate program for employing overseas workers to meet ski season, recruitment needs is now the Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) subclass 400 visa.

The Department aims to streamline the processing of Labour Agreements by following their Global Case Management model. As such, their Labour Agreement team would not take incoming phone call requests. They would still respond to email enquiries.

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