Key Point Summary of TSS Visa

Hello, everyone. We are Your Trustable Migration Partner, Opartners.


This March, the 457 visa finally has been abolished and replaced by the TSS (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa. Now it has been more than half a year since then but we see a lot of people still are confused about this change. Therefore we would like to give you a brief explanation about the TSS visa in the column today.

However, please note that information we are providing is general and it can vary depending on your personal circumstances. Therefore, we highly recommend you contact us for professional and personalised visa consulting through the Australian registered migration agent.


  • Definition of TSS Visa

The TSS visa is a temporary visa which allows a visa holder to stay and work full-time for a sponsoring company (employer) in a nominated position. The visa can be granted from one to four years.


  • Type of TSS Visa

The TSS visa has a short-term stream, a medium-term stream and a labour agreement stream.

Applicants with occupations on the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) are eligible for visas up to two years (renewable once onshore for further two years), whilst those on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) can apply for up to four years, with eligibility for permanent residency after three years.

Through the labour agreement stream, a business can have a direct agreement with the Department of Home Affairs for the visa requirements as they needed.

Difference between the short-term and medium TSS visa is as below:


Mid-Term Short-Term
Stay Up to 4 years Up to 2 years
Type of Approved Work  


(Medium and Long Term

Strategic Skills List)



(Regional Occupation List)

(Short-Term Skilled
Occupation List)

(Main Visa Applicant

as of Dec 2018)

$2,455 $1,175
Visa extension Available Onshore one more time Only
(Thereafter, Must Apply Offshore)
Pathway To Permanent Residence Eligible to apply for a Transitional ENS or RSMS visa after working 3 years as a Mid-Term TSS visa holder Not Available for a Transitional ENS or RSMS visa, but eligible for other options

(Conditions apply)


  • Requirements for TSS Visa 

Age Limit:

TSS visa has no age limit as 457 Visa used to. But in case of Mid-Term TSS visa, you may need to be mindful of the age limit for permanent residence visas such as RSMS or ENS which most of the applicants consider applying for.

English Proficiency:

In order to be granted a TSS Visa, you must demonstrate your English language proficiency. There are different examination types accepted by the department, and you can find detailed information from our pervious column.

When it comes to IELTS, you should submit 5.0 each band score for Mid-Term TSS visa, and 5.0 overall band score with at least 4.5 each for Short-Term TSS visa.

Work Experience & Education:

TSS visa applicants will be required to have worked on a full-time position (or part-time equivalent) in a nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least two years after completing relevant courses. This strengthened work experience requirement, compared to the 457 visa, made many potential TSS visa applicants hesitating and being reluctant to apply for the visa. If you do not have a formal qualification relevant to your nominated occupation, you can still apply with more than 3 years of work experience.

Also please note that at least two years of work experience must have been obtained within the last five years whether you have relevant qualification or not. This newly added condition may disadvantage international students who are currently studying to obtain the TSS visa. It is regarded as reflecting that the Department prioritises experienced overseas workers instead of recent graduates who they think do not have sufficient field experience to jump into the real businesses.

Especially regarding the definition of the ‘work experience’ requirement for the TSS visa it has been controversial since it was born into the market, and therefore we need to keep paying attention on following changes and more cases in the future.


Please feel free to contact Opartners anytime, if you are interested or have more queries regarding this TSS visa.


Email inquiry:

Telephone inquiry: +61 08 6454 9910



The information provided in this column serves as a general guidance only and does not constitute migration advice. We accept no responsibility for any consequence that may arise from any action taken based on this information. We highly recommend readers to seek private advice or assistance for detailed situations. Thank you.