Australia: Details Released on New Temporary Visa and Permanent Residence Programs

The Australian government has released the following key guidelines, legislation and formal written policy regarding the new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa, the Permanent Employer Sponsored Scheme and the Global Talent Scheme Visa: • Labor market test rules and exemptions; • Transitional measures for subclass 457 visa holders and applicants who held or had applied for their subclass 457 visas prior to April 18, 2017; and • Details on the Global Talent Scheme, planned as a pilot starting July 1, 2018.

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Mar 20, 2018

The situation

The Australian government has released guidelines, legislation and formal written policy regarding the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa, the Permanent Employer Sponsored Scheme and the Global Talent Scheme.

A closer look

Key guidelines are outlined below.

  • Labour market testing rule changes
    • New timing conditions. The new policy states that employers will need to conduct a labour market (LMT) for at least 21 consecutive days, under the following new conditions:
      • In the 12 months (six months from June 18, 2018) before the nomination application is lodged; and
      • After any cutbacks or redundancies of Australian citizens or permanent residents from positions in the nominated occupation in the business of the sponsor (or an associated entity) in the four months prior to the nomination application.
      • Impact. LMT will apply to a wider group of applicants.  
    • New evidence requirements.
      • The nomination application must be accompanied by evidence of LMT and information about cutbacks or redundancies of Australian citizens or permanent residents.
        • Impact. Unless an International Trade Obligation applies, sponsors will need to provide specific evidence of their attempts to recruit Australians for the nominated role for each TSS nomination, including where a sponsor is re-engaging a subclass 457/TSS holder for a further period. In most cases, this will include copies of advertisements and receipts for any fees paid. This means that LMT will apply to most TSS nomination, unless exempt.  
  • Transitional arrangements for ENS and RSMS visa programs. It has been confirmed that the transitional arrangements for subclass 457 visa holders who held or had applied for a subclass 457 visa before April 18, 2017 to apply for permanent residence under the old rules, will be in place for four years, i.e. they will expire on March 18, 2022.
    • Impact. The extension of these transitional arrangements to March 18, 2022 will allow this group of subclass 457 visa holders and applicants to continue to rely on old provisions of the ‘Temporary Residence Transition’ stream including the maximum age limit of 50 and the requirement to have worked at least two out of the three years under a subclass 457 visa prior to nomination lodgement, will remain at two years.


  • Age and skill exemptions to ENS and RSMS visa programs. The exemptions to skill, age and English language requirements continue to apply to ENS and RSMS applications lodged after March 18, 2018. There is one notable change for applicants who rely on the age exemption based on earning at or above the Fair Work High Income Threshold. The period they need to evidence their earnings has been reduced from four to three years. This exemption applies to applicants in the Temporary Residence Transition stream who apply on or after March 18, 2018 (including transitional applicants).
    • Impact.  This will benefit high income applicants aged 45 and over who will be able to apply for permanent residence after three years rather than four years.


  • New Global Talent Scheme. Effective July 1, 2018, the government will run a 12-month pilot of a Global Talent Scheme, which is intended to attract highly-skilled global talent. It is anticipated that the new scheme will consist of two streams:
    • Established business stream intended for businesses with an annual turnover of at least AUD 4 million that will be able to sponsor highly skilled and experienced individuals for positions with earnings above AUD 180,000; and
    • Start-up stream for technology-based and STEM-related start-up businesses recognized by a start-up authority.  
    • Sponsors in both streams will have to demonstrate their compliance with workplace and immigration law and conduct LMT for the specific positions. It is intended that eligible applicants would be entitled to a four-year Temporary Skill Shortage visa and have a pathway to permanent residence. They would also benefit from age cap exemptions and faster and more simplified processing. A cap on the number of visa applicants per year under this scheme would apply. The initial settings of the Global Talent Scheme have been released for consultation with industry and other stakeholders.
    • Impact. The proposed Global Talent Scheme may allow businesses to access niche and emerging occupations outside of the occupation lists that currently apply to the TSS visa.


This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to

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