Department Announces March 18 Start Date for TSS Visa

The Department of Immigration has announced that the new TSS visa program will officially launch next week on the 18th of March.​

Whilst the 457 visa was originally expected to conclude—and the TSS visa introduced—at the beginning of the month, until now the Department has failed to provide stakeholders with a concrete start date for the new program.

Once the new TSS visa program comes into effect on March 18 any occupations featured on the (STSOL) will no longer have access to a pathway to the Permanent Residency program through the Direct Entry stream.

Instead, STSOL applicants will be limited to a two-year visa with an option to extend it for a further two years while still onshore.

Conversely, individuals who are eligible for the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) will be granted a four-year visa with the opportunity for renewal, as well as a guaranteed pathway to permanent residency after three years.

There is also no confirmed start date for the introduction of the new Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) tax levy.

Although the legislation has been tabled in Parliament—with the House of Representatives agreeing to a third reading—it is still under debate in the Senate, with the last reading of the bill taking place on February 15.

The CEO of Absolute Immigration (AI), Jamie Lingham, was critical of the Department’s decision to abruptly roll out the visa on March 18 with less than a week’s notice, saying that “the AI staff have been working extra hours to ensure that all of our client’s applications have been lodged by the Department’s new deadline.

“With the way the government policy has been moving recently—this being the latest in a string of surprise announcements—we wanted to ensure that none of our clients would miss out in the event that another last minute change was made. So far there has been minimal to no notice of the TSS implementation date.”

“When we have a government that is so unsure as to what is happening, we want to ensure that we have provided our clients with the best chance of remaining in Australia. The next major announcement to impact the TSS program will be the introduction of the Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Bill 2017, which is still to be finalised in the Senate,” Lingham said.

Please contact one of our Registered Migration Agents at Absolute Immigration to discuss how we can assist with your strategy for the introduction of the TSS visa and the March 2018 changes.

If you have any questions or would like us to assist with your global immigration queries, simply click this link to schedule a call with one of our Registered Migration Agents OR call 1300 ABSOLUTE (1300 227 658).