Settlement Guide

Temporary Skill Shortage visa

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Australia has one of the most robust economies in the world. Under the Temporary Skill Shortage visa program, businesses can sponsor overseas skilled workers if they cannot find a suitably qualified Australian.


  • This visa is available in three steams – Short-term, Medium-term and Labour agreement stream
  • For accredited business sponsors, the visa processing time is approximately five days
  • There is a mandatory work experience requirement for this visa

Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) facilitates employment of overseas workers for positions that cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian worker.

Judit Albecz is a migration agent and a principal solicitor at AJ Legal Australia. She says there are three processing stages when sponsoring a worker from overseas.

First, an employer needs to apply for Sponsorship.

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Standard business sponsorship is for legally established and currently operating business with an exemplary track record of compliance with Australian migration and employment law. 

The application cost for sponsorship is AUD 420, and it has a duration for up to five years from the day of approval. 

A business can also opt to become an accredited sponsor – without paying additional fee – and reduce the processing time of their Temporary Skill Shortage visa down to approximately five business days. 

The second stage of sponsoring an overseas worker is called Nomination.

Nomination is when an approved sponsor identifies a position to be filled.

The Immigration Department may ask for a strong record or a demonstrated commitment to employing local labour.

Therefore, employers should advertise the position on two mediums with national reach. If they still can’t find a local to fill in the position, they can look for a suitably qualified overseas worker.

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Ms Albecz says the third and final stage is when the overseas skilled worker applies for the visa.

Both employer and overseas worker need to lodge applications with the Immigration Department.

She emphasises that before lodging the visa application, businesses must obtain sponsorship approval and have the nomination for their position accepted by the government.

If the sponsorship or nomination fails, then the visa application will also fail.

Applicants need to meet a minimum standard of English proficiency, health and character requirements and have a suitable skill assessment for their profession.

They must also be able to demonstrate that they have gained full-time work experience in the nominated occupation or a related field for at least two years. Casual work is not considered, but equivalent part-time work might be.

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Temporary Skill Shortage visa has three steams – Short-term, Medium-term and Labour agreement stream. 

Short-term stream

This stream is for occupations specified on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List.

The Department usually processes applications under this stream within 50 days. The cost is from AUD 1,265.

With the short-term stream, unless International Trade Obligations apply, overseas workers can work in Australia for up to two years. This visa does not provide a pathway to permanent residency, and can only be renewed once.

Medium-term stream

To apply under this stream, overseas workers must be sponsored to work in an occupation listed on Medium and Long-term Strategic Skill List.

The application cost is from AUD 2,645, and it takes approximately 60 days to find out the outcome.

Under this stream, overseas workers can stay up to four years in Australia, and, when and if eligible, apply for a permanent residency.

Labour agreement stream

Labour agreements are contracts in place between the Australian government and employers from industries that have a demonstrated skill shortage.

The industries that currently have labour agreements are Dairy, Fishing, Meat, Minister of Religion, On-hire, Pork, Restaurant (fine dining), Advertising and Horticulture.

This visa costs from AUD 2,645, and allows an applicant to stay up to a maximum of four years, subject to the terms in the labour agreement.

All three streams allow the main applicant to include family members in the application who must meet health and character requirements. Family members must also have adequate health insurance as they remain personally liable for all healthcare costs while in Australia.

Find out more about Skilled Occupation List or visit the government’s website for general inquires.

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