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Temporary Work visas

Choosing the right work visa is a critical part of the visa application process and can determine what kind of work you can do and how long you can do it for. 

Whether you're an individual considering your work visa options or a business looking to employ a skilled worker, we can help you understand the possibilities and limitations presented by each work visa option and allow you to make the right visa choice. For a free, confidential and no obligation discussion about your work visa options call or email us today!    

A Guide to the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa program

The 482 visa was introduced on the 18th March 2018 (replacing the old 457) and is designed to enable businesses to address domestic labour market skills shortages by employing overseas skilled workers. There are three streams available under the 482 visa program:

  • Short-term stream – this stream is for employers to source temporary overseas skilled workers to fill short-term positions in a range of occupations for a maximum of two years (or four years if an International Trade Obligation applies)
  • Medium-term stream – this stream is for employers to source highly skilled overseas workers to fill medium-term positions for up to four years, with eligibility to apply for permanent residence after three years 
  • Labour Agreement stream – this stream is used where an employer has secured a labour agreement with the Commonwealth to source overseas skilled workers, where there is a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian labour market and the standard 482 visa program is not available

The program involves a three step process:

  • Standard business sponsorship application
  • Nomination application
  • 482 visa application

Which businesses can use the 482 visa program?

Employers that are legally established and lawfully operating a business inside or outside of Australia can apply to become approved standard business sponsors. Overseas employers can use the program if they want to establish a business operation or fulfill a contractual obligation in Australia.

As a result of the new 482 visa program, standard business sponsorship approvals are now granted for a period of five years, including to 'start-up' businesses.

Are the Training Benchmark requirements still in force?

Training Benchmarks obligations are still in force but are set to end when the Skilling Australia Fund legislation is enacted.  

For the moment, Australian businesses must still establish their commitment to the training of Australians by lodging evidence of meeting either Training Benchmark A or B. To meet Training Benchmark A the Australian business must pay the equivalent of at least 2% of payroll to an industry training fund for the training of Australian citizens or permanent residents. To meet Training Benchmark B the Australian business must pay the equivalent of at least 1% of payroll on training Australian citizen or permanent resident employees.

Meeting the Training Benchmark is an ongoing obligation which has to be met for every 12 month period during the term of the sponsorship approval.

Overseas businesses that intend to establish business operations or fulfil a contractual obligation in Australia are exempt from meeting the Training Benchmark requirements.

How is the salary of a 482 employee determined?

The lowest acceptable salary under the 482 visa program is currently $53,900 p/a. Employers must also make a minimum contribution to a superannuation fund of the employees choice, currently 9.5% of the employees annual salary.

Employers must pay 482 visa employees the 'annual market salary rate' equivalent to the rate paid to an Australian employee performing an equivalent role.

If there is no Australian employee performing an equivalent role then the market rate should be determined by reference to relevant Fair Work or State Industrial Instruments. If these are not applicable, the rate can be determined by reference to remuneration surveys or job advertisements.

How do I nominate a position for a 482 visa?

The business requires to identify a position to be filled by an overseas skilled worker. The nominated occupation must be one listed in the subclass 482 Short Term or Medium to Long Term Skilled Occupation List.

To lodge a valid nomination the employer must have already lodged a sponsorship application, had a previous sponsorship approved or applied for a sponsorship at the same time as the nomination application.

What is Labour Market Testing?

Labour Market Testing is now mandatory for all occupations (unless it is inconsistent with Australia's International Trade Obligations) and requires sponsors to test the local labour market within a 12 month period prior to lodging a nomination application (this will change to 6 months from the 18th June 2018). 

Two job adverts in national recruitment websites or print media should run for at least 21 days. Sponsors should provide copies of the adverts and provide information with the nomination application about attempts to recruit Australian workers. 

Who can apply for a subclass 482 visa?

Applications can be made by individuals nominated by a sponsor for an occupation on the 482 list of eligible occupations. Applicants require to the skill threshold for the nominated occupation and importantly, all applicants must now have a minimum of two years of relevant work experience. Certain occupations on the list of eligible occupations also have caveats attached to them.

 A 482 visa holder can bring eligible dependents with them to Australia and dependent family members are able to make a combined application. Partners accompanying the visa holder have unrestricted work rights.

Are there any English language requirements?

482 visa applicants are required to demonstrate a level of English language proficiency unless they are 'exempt'. 'Exempt' applicants include:

  • Nationals of the UK, USA, Canada, Republic of Ireland or New Zealand
  • Applicants who have completed at least 5 years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where the instruction was in English
  • Intra-company transfer applicants that are to be paid a salary in excess of $96,400

For the short-term stream, English language proficiency is normally established by the applicants lodging an IELTS test result with an overall test score of at least 5 with a score of at least 4.5 in each of the four test components.

For the long-term stream, English language proficiency is normally established by the applicants lodging an IELTS test result with an overall test score of at least 5 with a score of at least 5 in each of the four test components. 

Are there any health and character requirements?

A 482 visa applicant and dependent family members must be able to meet health requirements for the grant of the visa.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection may request applicants to undergo a health examination depending on the applicants country of origin or residence, the intended period of stay or intended activities.

To be granted a 482 visa, applicants must be of good character and the Department of Immigration now requires police certificates for each country that an applicant has lived in for 12 months or more in the ten year period prior to lodging the application, to be lodged with a 482 visa application.

How long is a 482 visa granted for?

In the short-term stream, 482 visas can be granted for a period of two years (unless ITO's apply) and may be renewed onshore once, for a further period of two years. 

In the medium-term stream, 482 visas can be granted for a period of up to four years. 

Find out about other Temporary Work visas

For information and guidance on other Australian temporary work visas, click on our visa guides below. 

Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) visa (subclass 401)

Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400)