TSS Visa Guide: Fees, Tax Levies and Other Options

From March 2018, the Australian government will abolish the 457 visa program and replace it with the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.

The TSS visa program will feature a Short and Medium-Term stream, which will allow for stays in Australia of two and four years respectively. While both programs are similar, they differ in some key areas, including occupation lists, fee structure and eligibility for permanent residency.

The Short-Term stream visa will only have the option to be renewed once, and will be ineligible for a pathway to permanent residency, while also being limited to the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).

The Medium-Term program will allow visa holders to renew their visa onshore, and also grants them access to a permanent residency pathway after working in Australia for three years. Applicants for the Medium-Term program will apply using the Medium-Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), which is described as being relatively similar to the current 457 visa.

Both streams will also feature tighter regulations, including:

  • Increased English language requirements
  • Mandatory labour market testing
  • Additional character, anti-discrimination and training requirements
  • Increased work experience requirements

The introduction of the new TSS program will also see an increase in visa fees, along with the introduction of a new training fund levy that will pay for the Government’s new $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund (SAF).

The following revised fees will apply from March 2018:

  • TSS Visa (Short-Term stream)
    • Primary Applicant
      • $1,150.00
    • Adult Dependent
      • $1,150.00
    • Child Dependent
      • $290.00
  • TSS Visa (Medium-Term stream)
    • Primary Applicant
      • $2,400.00
    • Adult Dependent
      • $2,400.00

The Government has announced the rollout of its new foreign worker visa levy is also expected to begin in March.

The tax levy will be payable up-front to the Department for the number of years that the visa will be valid for. The cost of the levy—which will be charged on a per person, per year basis—will include:

  • Temporary Visa Levy
    • Companies with an annual turnover below $10 million
      • $1,200.00
    • Companies with an annual turnover exceeding $10 million
      • $1,800.00
  • Permanent Visa Levy
    • Companies with an annual turnover lower than $10 million
      • $3,000.00
    • Companies with an annual turnover greater than $10 million
      • $5,000.00

Companies looking to avoid being hit by the upcoming tax levy and visa fee increases are advised to ensure that their applications are lodged with Absolute Immigration before March 1st 2018.

The CEO of Absolute Immigration, Jamie Lingham, has urged businesses not to treat the upcoming levy as a source of panic, explaining that some companies may be better off under the new scheme.

“While we have provided the fees and levy costs that businesses can expect from the TSS visas, we have also found that there are a number of companies who will significantly benefit from the introduction of the new training levy,” Lingham said.

“We have undertaken financial modelling with some of our current clients and found that they will be better off paying the levy, as opposed to the current tax of 1% of total staff salaries on training local Australian Citizens and permanent visa holders.”

“In addition, we have also developed a number of strategies that will ensure clients of Absolute Immigration are able to significantly reduce their financial exposure when employing workers from overseas. In some cases we may even be able to assist clients in avoiding exposure to the training levy altogether.”

“We would suggest that you contact one of Absolute Immigration’s Registered Migration Agents to discuss your individual situation,” he said.

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
http://absoluteimmigration.com/schedule-a-call/ OR call 1300 ABSOLUTE (1300 227 658).