The TSS visa was introduced on 18 April 2017 to abolish and replace the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) in March 2018.

The TSS visa programme will be comprised of a Short-Term stream of up to two years and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years and will support businesses in addressing genuine skill shortages in their workforce and will contain a number of safeguards which prioritise Australian workers;

The current 457 visa holders will continue under the existing 457 rules until further notice by the department. If they wish to transfer an existing 457 visa, this may then fall into the new regulations.


Short-Term Stream

The positions which are listed on the Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) are eligible for a two-year visa, with the capacity for one onshore visa renewal. This Short-Term TSS Visa holder will only be able to stay in Australia for a maximum of four years with the renewal.

These visa holders may not be eligible for Permanent Residence under the Employee Nominated Scheme (ENS) or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), as the work experience requirement of 3 years will apply from March 2018.

All applicants will need to meet English Language requirement, IELTS (or equivalent test) score of 5 overall with a minimum of 4.5 in each band. The English language salary exemption threshold (salary over $96,400) will be removed from July 2017.

The existing genuine temporary entrant requirement will also remain plus a police check. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will collect Tax File Numbers and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records.


Medium-Term Stream

The Skilled Occupations List (SOL) will be renamed the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the occupations on the list will be eligible for a visa up to four years, with a visa renewal onshore for another four years and a permanent residence pathway through ENS after three years.

English Language requirement for Medium-Term Stream is IELTS (or equivalent test) score of minimum 5 in each test component.



Under TSS program, different occupations have some caveats imposed. For example, Marketing Specialist (ANZSCO 225113) who is based in a front-line retailing setting, has under $65,000 base salary and involves direct client transactional interaction on a regular basis with a business less than 1M annual turnover will be excluded.


General Requirements and other Reforms

  • Tightening eligibility requirements for employer sponsored permanent skilled visas, including but not limited to:
  • tightened English language requirements
  • a requirement for visa applicants to have at least three years’ work experience
  • applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application
  • a requirement to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund, and
  • employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)1.
  • Concessions for regional Australia will continue to be available:
  • Employers in regional Australia will continue to have access to occupations under the temporary and permanent visas, to reflect their skills needs.
  • Existing permanent visa concessions for regional Australia, such as waiving the nomination fee and providing age exemptions for certain occupations, will be retained. Consideration will be given to expanding the occupations in regional Australia that are exempt from the age requirement.
  • Significantly condensing the occupation lists used for skilled migration visas, including the subclass 457 visa, from 19 April 2017.


The implementation of these reforms will begin immediately and will be completed in March 2018.

In July 2017, the Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) will be reviewed based on advice from the Department of Employment. The exact details of the changes and the impact they will have is yet to be release, but we will keep you updated as soon as it becomes available.

If you are concerned about how these changes will impact on your application, please contact our professional migration team.