What exactly is the TSS visa in Australia

The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482 visa) allows Australian employers to hire foreign workers to fill skilled positions that cannot be filled with an appropriately skilled Australian.

It is a temporary visa that allows holders to work in Australia for between two years and four years, depending on their occupation. There are two streams under the TSS visa: short-term and medium-term streams.

To sponsor an applicant, the holder of a standard business sponsorship must meet sponsorship obligations and comply with Australian immigration law as part of the conditions of their sponsorship approval.

The employer must demonstrate that they have been unable to find a suitably qualified and experienced Australian citizen or permanent resident for the position, even after advertising the role locally.

To sponsor an applicant, the holder of a Standard Business Sponsorship must meet sponsorship obligations and comply with Australian immigration law.

The holder of an employer nomination must:

● provide a certificate of sponsorship to the applicant;

● submit to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection an expression of interest for each nominated position; and

● offer employment to any eligible applicants who are successful in gaining the nomination.

Streams under the TSS visa

The three streams under the TSS visa are:

● Short-term stream: This is for non-agricultural occupations such as IT professionals, electricians and plumbers. It allows you to work in Australia with a maximum stay of up to 12 months.

● Medium-term stream: This stream permits long-term skilled migrants to live and work in Australia for an additional two years on top of their bridging visa. This is designed for people who need more time than that provided by the short-term stream but not enough time to qualify for permanent residency through skill assessment or nomination by an employer. It does not have any labour agreement attached to it.

● Labour agreement stream: There are five different labour agreements between Australian employers and foreign agents that allow companies to bring overseas staff from China, India, Japan and Korea under one umbrella scheme called Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa Subclass 457 (TSS) program.

Short-term stream – for up to two years (if approved)

Businesses can apply for a Short-term stream visa if they wish to employ an overseas worker in a position that an Australian or New Zealand citizen cannot fill.

Applicants must have the skills, qualifications and experience required by Australia to perform the nominated occupation. They must also meet certain health and character requirements.

Labour agreement stream – for approved labour agreements

If you have an approved labour agreement, then you can hire foreign workers for your business. Labour agreements are formal agreements between the Department of Employment and employers in certain occupations on a temporary basis.

Medium-term stream – for up to four years (if approved)

Before you can apply for a Medium-term stream visa (or any other temporary visa), your employer must have a labour agreement with the government. This is an agreement that allows employers to hire foreign workers when there aren’t enough local workers available.

Employers who want to hire people from overseas must also show that they’ve made a genuine attempt to find Australian workers for these positions first. For example, if your employer applies for permission to employ an engineer or electrician on a temporary basis, they’ll need to prove that they advertised the position locally in newspapers and on websites before looking overseas.


Before sponsoring a foreign worker, employers must be approved as standard business sponsors and apply for a 482 visa on behalf of the employee. Businesses can sponsor temporary workers in areas such as accounting, architecture or engineering under the 482 visa program.