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Current Options For Sponsoring Employees In Hospitality Occupations And Impact Of Recent Changes

Written By Will Aldous
Mon, Mar 26, 2018
Will Aldous


  • New TSS visa (subclass 482)
  • Subclass 457 visa closed to new applications
  • Regional Occupations list released
  • Skilling Australia Fund (SAF) levy delayed 

The Department of Home Affairs released the new legislative instrument for the TSS Visa (Subclass 482), which came into effect on Monday the 19th of March, the new legislation confirms much of the information already released by The Department to date.

Notably, The Department has chosen to proceed without the new Skilling Australia Fund (SAF) Levy, which is still before the Senate. Until the relevant bill is passed by the parliament, the TSS Visa programme will rely on the current training benchmark requirement for sponsors.

Outlined below is the key information for sponsors and applicants relating to the recent changes. We will provide regular updates and further analysis of the new legislation as it becomes available.

Temporary Visas

  • 18th March 457 Visa closed for future applications
  • 457 holders / those with lodged 457 applications not affected
  • 19th March 2018 commencement of the 482 / Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (TSS)
  • The TSS visa for all intents and purposes is the same as the 457 (with some changes)
  • Occupation's Cook, Cafe & Restaurant Manager, Baker & Pastry Cook – 2 year TSS visa (can be extended with 1 further onshore application for another 2 year TSS visa) –  transition to Permanent Residency in regional areas only
  • Occupation Chef – 4 year TSS visa - transition to Permanent Residency in regional and metropolitan areas
  • New requirement of 2 years of relevant full-time work experience, or equivalent of part time experience. Note: casual work experience not accepted
  • SAF levy detailed below still to pass through the Senate
  • Increased Labour Market Testing (LMT) requirement. Must have two advertisements “live” for at least 21 consecutive days in the 12 months prior to lodgement of the nomination application
  • IELTS for STSOL occupations minimum 4.5 overall 5
  • IELTS for MLTSSL occupations minimum 5

PR Transition for Holders of 457 (Grandfathering for existing visa holders)

  • If held or applied for a 457 visa prior to 19th April 2017, can apply through TRT following 2 years on 457 with nominating employer
  • Specific occupation not required. I.e. any occupation can apply (Cook, Baker, Chef, Restaurant Manager etc.)
  • Age Limit 50
  • IELTS 6 – Method Instruction English (MIE) exemption can still be used
  • SAF levy detailed below still to pass through the Senate

ENS / RSMS (Permanent Residency)

  • ENS now only available for Chef
  • RSMS available for Chef, Cook, Cafe & Restaurant Manager, Baker and Pastry Cook (must be employed in designated regional area)
  • All occupations must have completed a skills assessment unless they have completed relevant studies within Australia
  • 3 years of work experience at the skilled level required
  • Age limit 45
  • SAF levy detailed below still to pass through the Senate

Skilling Australians Fund Levy (SAF)

  • Not yet passed through parliament
  • We do not currently know implementation date
  • Charged at time of nomination

Businesses with a turnover less than $10M

  • TSS Visa $1,200 per year or part thereof
  • ENS / RSMS $3,000

Businesses with a turnover more than $10M

  • TSS Visa $1800 per year or part thereof
  • ENS / RSMS $5,000

New Visa Application Charges (VACs)

Short Term TSS Visa (up to 2 years)

  • Primary Applicant: $1,150
  • Adult Dependent: $1,150
  • Child Dependent: $290

Long Term TSS Visa (up to 4 years)

  • Primary Applicant: $2,400
  • Adult Dependent: $2,400
  • Child Dependent: $600

Impact of recent changes on Hospitality Businesses

Currently, the biggest impact we are experiencing as a result of these changes, is the new LMT requirement of two advertisements and the need to evidence that they have been running for 21+ days. This change is now delaying lodgement of applications for sponsors who may previously have only run one advertisement. The second is the release of the Regional Occupations List (ROL) which has 465 occupations on it, including many STSOL occupations. This list is very good news for operators of hospitality businesses in regional areas. This enables sponsorship for Permanent Residency of employees in occupations of Cook, Chef, Café / Restaurant Manager, etc. Businesses operating in regional areas as defined by the Department of Home Affairs on the below link can use the RSMS (Subclass 187 visa).

Regional Postcodes


Regional Occupations List


LMT Requirement

Two job advertisements
https://jobactive.gov.au/  and  https://au.indeed.com/

Ads must run for more than 21 days prior to nomination application being lodged

Ads on Gumtree are no longer acceptable

Ad required to have the following information:

  • Name of sponsor
  • Title of position (must be the same as the nominated occupation – i.e. when seeking to nominate a Cook, the ad must specify ‘Cook’. You can not advertise for a Chef, and then nominate a Cook)
  • Salary for role
  • Duties and responsibilities of role

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