Skills in Demand Visa Australia 2024 | Interstaff Registered Migration Agents

One of the changes in the Government's Migration Strategy that will have the biggest impact on employers and skilled visa applicants will be the replacement of the Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa with a new Skills in Demand Visa.

This will involve several shifts for temporary skilled visa sponsorship such as:

  • A three-tiered migration system which classifies skilled migrants into a Specialist, Core or Essential Skills Pathway based on their salary and skills – find out more here
  • Permanent Residence pathwaysfor all temporary sponsored workers
  • Greater mobility for sponsored workers tochangeemployers

Here's what we know about the upcoming Skills in Demand Visa and how it will compare to the current Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa.

What will the new Skills in Demand Visa look like?

Three targeted pathways will be available under the Skills in Demand Visa. Eligibility for these pathways will depend on the applicant's occupation and salary, with benefits such as faster visa processing available to the top tier.

  1. Specialist Skills Pathway
    • A new streamlined pathway to make it quicker and easier to attract and engage highly skilled specialists.
    • Available to applicants in any occupation except trades workers, machinery operators and drivers, and labourers (they may be able to apply through the Core Skills Pathway)
    • Must be paid at least $135,000 per annum
    • 7 days median visa processing time
  2. Core Skills Pathway
    • Available to eligible applicants with an occupation listed on a new Core Skills Occupation List, which will be simple and 'data-driven'
    • Must be paid at least $70,000 per annum
  3. Essential Skills Pathway
    • A more regulated pathway for lower paid workers with essential skills
    • Likely to be sector-specific and capped
    • Currently being considered in the context of the care and support economy, but could be open to other sectors with persistent shortages

General eligibility criteria such as having an employer sponsor and meeting health and character requirements must also be met for each pathway.

How will the Skills in Demand Visa compare to the Subclass 482 TSS Visa?

As indicated in the Government's Migration Strategy, here's 10 ways the Skills in Demand Visa is likely to compare to the current Subclass 482 Visa currently used for employer sponsorship.

A 4-year stay in Australia

Similar to the Subclass 482 TSS Visa, the Skills in Demand Visa will allow for a stay of up to 4 years to live and work in Australia.

Guaranteed Pathways to Permanent Residence (PR)

PR is expected to be available to all Skills in Demand Visa holders, whether through sponsored and/or independent pathways. Since November 2023, the Subclass 482 TSS Visa also provides PR pathways to all visa holders (whether or not they are on the Short Term or Long Term Stream).

More time for migrants to find a new job

If employment with a sponsor ceases, Skills in Demand Visa holders are set to have 180 days to find another sponsor and also be able to work during this period. The Subclass 482 TSS Visa only allows for 60 days.

Greater mobility for migrants to switch employers

Under the Skills in Demand Visa, periods of employment with any approved sponsor may count towards PR requirements, enabling migrants to change their employer without risking their migration prospects. In contrast, Subclass 482 TSS Visa holders are reliant on a single employer for a pathway to PR.

Streamlined Labour Market Testing (LMT)

Mechanisms for independent verifications of labour market needs may be explored under the new Skills in Demand Visa. Currently, the requirements to test the local labour market before engaging a migrant on a Subclass 482 TSS Visas are largely employer-conducted.

Changes to Occupation Lists

The Government plans to embrace a more flexible and evidence-based approach for developing a Skilled Occupation List for the Core Skills Pathway of the Skills in Demand Visa. The current Skilled Occupation Lists that determine a migrant's eligibility for a Subclass 482 TSS Visa have been considered inflexible by business stakeholders.

Streamlined Visa Processing

Clear service standards for visa processing will be established to provide employers and migrants greater certainty of processing times for the Skills in Demand Visa. A 21 day median service standard has been planned for the Core Skills pathway and 7 days has been planned for the Specialist Skills Pathway.

Skills in Demand Visa processing times are expected to be shorter than waiting periods for the Subclass 482 TSS Visa. As at 27 February 2024, 90% of Medium Term Stream Subclass 482 TSS Visas are processed within 75 days, whereas 90% of Short-Term Stream Subclass 482 TSS Visas are processed within 63 days.

Sponsorship Fees to be Paid in Stages

Rather than seeking upfront employer fees, the Government is exploring a monthly or quarterly 'pay-as-you-go' model for Government charges and fees to hire migrants. Compared to the current Subclass 482 TSS Visa, which requires upfront government fees, the new payment structure for the Skills in Demand Visa may make it less onerous for employers to sponsor global talent.

Public Register of Sponsors

To enable skilled migrants to switch employers, a public register of approved sponsors including the number of migrants sponsored and their occupations, may be developed alongside the new Skills in Demand Visa. Currently a list of sponsors is not being made widely available as a public register to skilled migrants on a Subclass 482 TSS Visa.

New pathways to Accredited Sponsorship

The Government plans to review ways to expand Accredited Sponsorship to smaller businesses and start-ups so that more businesses can access priority visa processing when sponsoring skilled migrants on a Skills in Demand Visa. The existing Accredited Sponsorship program involves several eligibility requirements that currently exclude certain businesses from applying.

Business Migration | Strategic Thinking

The re-design of the skilled migration program is intended to maintain Australia's status as a destination of choice for skilled migrants. Industry feedback has shown that too many barriers currently stand in the way of attracting highly skilled workers to come to Australia.

We are hopeful that the changes will enable employers to access global talent more, especially during times of skills shortages. The Government expects to implement the new Skills in Demand Visa by the end of 2024, however it may be available sooner.


Interstaff's Registered Migration Agents

Department of Home Affairs – Migration Strategy

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