The Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa is a temporary work visa that allows employers (who have appropriate sponsorship approval) to fill positions with overseas skilled workers when they cannot find suitable Australian workers within the local market.
482 visa applicants are required to have worked in the nominated occupation, or a closely related occupation, for at least 2 years full-time.
This requirement is aimed at ensuring visa applicants are highly skilled and have experience in the occupation (or related occupation) and can quickly contribute that experience into the Australian workforce.
The applicant must have the skills and qualifications necessary to perform the tasks of the nominated occupation. For this reason, the work experience should have been accrued after the completion of the required qualifications (exemptions such as formal placements might apply).
Under the Department’s policy, it is expected that the work experience should have been undertaken on a full-time basis in the last five years. However, this policy conflicts with the law and could be argued if the case arises.
The applicant is expected to provide evidence in the form of payslips, PAYG summaries, and employment references.
Full-time vs Part-time experience
The period of work does not have to be continuous or be immediately before the visa application was made. In order for the work to qualify as full-time, the applicant should have worked on average 38 hours per week.
Work experience will, however, also be considered ‘full-time’ where the visa applicant worked for a period between 32 and 45 hours per week under an industry award or an agreement that was consistent with the National Employment Standards (NES) (where applicable).
Decision-makers can also consider part-time work experience that is equivalent to two years full-time, where they are confident that the applicant’s experience and skills are relevant. If work experience is to be expressed in full-time terms, for part-time workers this can be calculated pro-rata. For example, if part-time work is at 50% of a full-time load, the applicant must be able to demonstrate they have worked in that occupation on a part-time basis for 4 years.
Casual employment should not be counted towards meeting the work experience requirement.
Work experience in a related field
Where the applicant has not worked in the nominated occupation but has indicated that they have undertaken relevant work experience, officers should consider whether tasks undertaken in the relevant position are:
- the same or closely the same or closely related to those of the nominated occupation as outlined in ANZSCO; and
- are at the same skill level
Whether a position is closely related to the nominated occupation is determined according to ANZSCO. The ANZSCO system assesses occupations in Major Groups, Minor Groups, and Unit Groups. Usually, experience is considered closely related if the occupation is in the same Unit Group. However, there is some discretion for the case officer to take a broader approach.
Time of Decision Requirement
It is important to mention that the 2 years full-time experience criteria is assessed at the time of visa decision. Therefore, and in limited circumstances, an applicant who is close to meeting the criteria at the time of application (e.g. 1 year and 10 months of experience) could potentially apply for this visa providing they continue working in the nominated occupation until a decision is made. If approached correctly, appropriate tactics can gain several months for the visa applicant. Advice should be sought in this type of case.
What happens if the employee does not meet the 2 years full-time experience requirement?
If an applicant does not meet the 2 years full-time experience requirement, other visa options might be available:
- Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa under the Australian Government endorsed events (COVID-19 Pandemic event) – this visa has been remodelled by the Department to serve the interests of ‘economic recovery‘ and can be approved for up to 12 months
- Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa/ Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa – noting that the visa holder is only allowed to work 6 months for the same employer (condition relaxed until 30 June 2023)
- Training (subclass 407) visa for up to 2 years – the applicant needs at least 12 months of full-time experience in the occupation in the 24 months preceding the time of application
- Student (subclass 500) visa – considering the 40 hours a fortnight limitation (condition currently relaxed until 30 June 2023).
These options may be viable alternatives to enable the individual to accrue additional experience to meet the 482 full-time work experience requirement providing they meet the criteria to apply for these visas.
If you have any questions about any type of visas please feel free to contact Nevett Ford Lawyers at + 61 3 9614 7111
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