Changes to Sponsorship for the New TSS Visa
Written By Lee Smith
Wed, Feb 21, 2018
According to a recent release, The Department of Home Affairs (DHA), DHA is formerly the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, is in the final stages of preparing for implementation of the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa in March 2018. The DHA has stated that 'the exact implementation date [has been] impacted by legislative and systems release processes and timeframes.'
The implementation date of the TSS Visa and subsequent repeal of the 457 visa will be confirmed by the DHA as soon as possible. We will continue to provide further updates as soon as possible when new information is released.
Outlined below are some of the more recent changes announced by the DHA to the processing of sponsoring a new TSS visa holder, many of which are to be used as guidelines, and remain subject to final drafting of regulations.
After the repeal of the 457 visa program, existing sponsors will be able to complete a short form application to renew their sponsorship for an additional 5 years. The DHA fee will remain but the data entry for reapplication will be reduced significantly, and all renewal applications should be approved automatically unless one of the following applies:
- there are integrity concerns
- the sponsor is seeking accreditation for the first time; or
- the sponsor declares they no longer meet accreditation criteria.
We encourage sponsors to submit their application for renewal well before their current sponsorship expires to ensure continuity of their sponsorship status, so that any existing nomination applications can continue to be processed. As a guide, it is recommended that sponsors lodge a renewal with at least 2 months remaining on their sponsorship approval.
The DHA is also revising the accessibility of accredited sponsorship status. This aim of this is to open up the benefits of accredited status to more employers. The benefits of accredited status include; priority processing of nomination and visa applications, and the automatic approval of nominations that meet predefined criteria. The DHA will update sponsors with new criteria for accreditation in the near future.
The DHA has stated that changes to sponsorship obligations are likely to be minimal, and largely be stemming from the changes to the TSS application provisions.
Notifying the DHA of events
Notification for all visa programs, where applicable, will need to occur via one of two methods from the date of implementation:
- email to an address specified in the relevant legislative instrument
- by completing the new notification of sponsor changes form via ImmiAccount where available
It should be noted that notification from standard business and temporary activities sponsors will no longer be acceptable by post from the implementation date.
The DHA considers the release of this new form as an important step in terms of more efficient communication with sponsors. It is anticipated by the DHA that there may be some teething problems with the new form, with the forms functionality to be refined and developed over time. We anticipate that this form will be the prelude for further opportunities to reduce data entry for sponsors at the TSS nomination stage.
Skilling Australia Fund (SAF) Levy
The Bills to implement the SAF levy passed the House of Representatives on 12th February 2018, but are yet to pass the Senate. The Senate will not sit again until the second half of March. Until the Bills are passed by the Senate the proposed policy is subject to change, and therefore is not finalised. Once this is done, and more detail is provided by the DHA we will provide further information.
More TSS Visa Implementation Updates from the Department of Home Affairs
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