What are the differences between the previous standard business sponsorship, nomination and 457 visa, and the current TSS process that was brought in from March 2018?

The TSS sponsorship and nomination aspects have changed significantly. The major changes are below but bear in mind that much of the change has not passed through parliament and remains subject to the legislative process (we have noted where this applies below):

  • Not yet finalised - A new Skilling Australia Fund (SAF) contribution replaces the previous training benchmarks under the old standard business sponsorship regime (1% or 2% of payroll required to be spent in training Australians). The SAF is a tax-deductible contribution payable when lodging the TSS nomination, in addition to the relevant government lodgement fee, that cannot be recovered from applicants, as below:

For businesses with a turnover of:

less than $10M – the SAF contribution will be $1200 per year of the requested nomination period (up to 2 years for STSOL occupation or up to 4 years for MLTSSL occupation)

$10M or more – the SAF contribution will be $1800 per year of the requested nomination period (up to 2 years for STSOL occupation or up to 4 years for MLTSSL occupation)

  • Not yet finalised – Labour market testing (LMT) requirements amended and occupation-based exemptions removed. This effectively means that unless World Trade Organisation obligations apply, LMT is required within the 12 months before submitting a new TSS nomination application. There are strict requirements on the detail to include in any position advertisement, how the position must be advertised, and the length of time the advertisement must be posted. Contact us for detail.
  • The occupation nominated determines the maximum visa validity allowed (2 years for STSOL occupation and 4 years for MLTSSL occupation)
  • A TSS visa holder approved under a STSOL occupation will have no permanent employer sponsorship eligibility under the temporary residence transition stream of the 186 visa unless transitional arrangements apply.
  • Pending meeting other eligibility criteria, a TSS visa holder under a MLTSSL occupation will be eligible to apply under the temporary residence transition stream of the 186 visa after holding the TSS visa, in the nominated occupation, working for the nominating employer, for at least 3 years from the TSS visa approval date (formally 2 years), unless transitional arrangements apply.
  • Although ‘associated entities’ are allowed for the purpose of the TSS visa, an employer nomination under the 186 visa must be submitted by the direct employer and not the associated entity. This can be problematic for some as an employer nomination under the 186 visa must also be submitted by the current approved TSS or SBS sponsor. This means that in some instances, a TSS sponsorship and nomination must be submitted and approved for the direct employer before submitting an employer nomination application under the 186 visa.

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