Temporary Skill Shortage 482 visa changes - 2024 | MJLegal

482 visa changes - 2024

June 19

The Australian government proposed major changes to the Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa. This visa allows migrants to live and work in Australia full-time if they have an eligible sponsor. The changes to the visa are as follows:

1. Increased Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold

2. Reduction of minimum work experience requirement

3. Proposed new "Skills in demand visa" 

This blog will analyze all the changes that the SC 482 visa has recently undergone. 

1. Increase in the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) to $73,150

To be eligible for the Subclass 482 visa, your nominating employer must pay you at or above the TSMIT value or the average annual market salary rate if it is above TSMIT.

On 28 May 2024, the government announced that it would be increasing the TSMIT value from $70,000 to $73,150. This increase would take effect from 1 July 2024.

Accordingly, if your employer is planning to lodge your nominations for the SC 482 visa after 1 July 2024, you should ensure that your annual salary would meet the new TSMIT value of $73,150. Any nominations lodged prior to 1 July 2024 will not be impacted by this new change.

2. Reduction of minimum work experience requirement

A worker must have at least two years of relevant work experience in their nominated occupation or related field in order to qualify for the SC 482 visa. This work must be full-time at 38 hours per week or part-time prorated.

Following the 2024-25 budget, it was announced that the minimum years of work experience would be reduced from two years to just one year. This change will take effect from 23 November 2024. Accordingly, to be eligible for the SC 482 visa under all streams, you will need to only have one-year full-time work experience or part-time pro-rated from 24 November 2024.

3. Increased time frame in the event you are unemployed

If you are planning to cease your employment with your sponsor or have already ceased your employment with your sponsor, you had 60 days to find a solution to your circumstances previously in order to extend your stay in Australia. With the new regulations, you have up to 180 days to find a solution to your circumstances. You can:

  • Find a new employer to sponsor

  • Be granted a different visa

  • Leave Australia.

4. Proposed new ‘Skills in demand visa’ to replace the SC 482 visa

In December 2023, the government introduced its strategy for Australia’s migration system. One of the key areas for reform identified by the report was to the 482 visa on the basis that this visa has many barriers to attracting highly skilled workers to Australia despite the labour shortages. This blog discusses the main changes that the Government aims to bring about to the 482 visa to improve labour force participation and facilitate the quick transition of temporary skilled visa holders to Australian permanent residents.

Currently, the SC 482 visa has three streams:

  1. Short-term stream – two-year visa for occupations on the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL)
  2. Medium-term stream – four-year visa for occupations on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  3. Labour agreement stream – for applicants working in occupations that are under a labour agreement

According to the migration strategy, the SC 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa is set to be replaced by a new ‘Skills in Demand’ visa. This is also a temporary visa granted for a four-year period. Novel features of this visa include additional time for employees to change employers in the event of a breakdown of the employment relationship, and allowing employers to pay trailing charges and fees for nominating skilled workers instead of upfront fees at the time of nomination.

The new skills in demand visa will have three pathways:

a. Specialist skills pathway

b. Core skills pathway

c. Essential skills pathway

3 pathways.png

a. Specialist Skills pathway

This pathway is for highly skilled specialists who meet Australia’s needs for productivity and the development of expertise of the local work force. The aim is to attract such skilled professionals to drive significant economic benefits in Australia by increasing the knowledge of the domestic labour force and creating jobs for them.

This pathway is only applicable to professionals, not trade workers, machinery operators, drivers or labourers. Accordingly, Australia aims to attract an expert workforce consisting for example Engineering Managers who spearhead innovations to transition to a net zero economy, and Software Engineers who drive technological advancements for Australia.

To be eligible under this pathway, the skilled worker must meet general eligibility requirements such as nomination by the employer.

Additionally, the skilled worker must earn the Specialist Skills Threshold amount of at least A$135,000 per year. This income must not be less than what an Australian worker in the same occupation would earn.

This pathway will assist Australia in developing specialist knowledge, acquiring novel technologies and research expertise.

The migration strategy notes that the processing time for the skills in demand visa under this pathway would approximately be 7 days to ensure that the visa is attractive to highly skilled workers.

specialist pathway.png

b. Core Skills Pathway

This pathway will provide an avenue for employers to hire most skilled employees to meet Australia’s labour shortages now and in the future. For instance, school teachers, nurses, chefs, and other trade workers will be able to apply for the skills in demand visa under this pathway.

To be eligible under this pathway, applicants must among other general eligibility requirements:

  • Have an occupation on the Core Skills Occupations list (CSOL)
    • A draft CSOL has been released for consultation purposes.
    • It is categorized into three groups: 1) Occupations that Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) is confident would be included; 2) Occupations that require consultation and feedback regarding whether they should be included, and 3) Occupations that JSA have suggested that should not be included.
  • Be paid a salary at or above the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) or the market salary rate if it is above TSMIT.

core skills pathway.png

Essential Skills Pathway

This pathway will allow lower-paid workers possessing essential skills to obtain work rights in Australia. It is mainly focused on occupations and sectors that are important to support the living standards of Australians.

The processing times for the Skills in Demand visa under the core skills and essential skills pathway is set to be within 21 days.

essential pathway.png

While there is a date from when the changes to the TSMIT value and work experience requirements for the SC 482 will come into effect, there is still no tentative date as to when the SC 482 visa will be replaced by the new Skills in Demand visa. Keep watching this space for updates.

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