At Ausdirect Migration, we have seen a growing trend where Australian schools are sponsoring more and more international teachers to fill the skills gap in Australia.

We have assisted many schools in Australia in managing the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) program over the years. We couldn’t be more thrilled to see more talented international teachers embark on their new career chapters in Australia!

In this post, we have prepared the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) from the principals in Australia and international teachers about the TSS visa program.

1. How can a school become an approved sponsor?

standard business sponsorship

The Australian Government formally launched the TSS visa (Subclass 482) program on 18 March 2018, which replaced the former 457 visa program. The TSS 482 visa program involves three key steps: Sponsorship, Nomination, and Visa Application.

Schools that are new to the TSS program will first need to obtain the Standard Business Sponsorship to be eligible to nominate an international teacher for the visa.

The following are the key eligibility requirements for the Standard Business Sponsorship:

  • Have a legally established and currently operating business
    • For schools operating for many years, this requirement can generally be met by demonstrating the operations through a range of supporting evidence.
    • For newly established schools, we will need to establish more evidence to demonstrate the genuineness of the operation.
  • Have no adverse information regarding your business.
    • There must be no adverse information about the school or anyone associated with the school that affects the suitability as a sponsor.
    • If there is any adverse information, we must be able to convince the Department of Home Affairs to disregard such information.
  • Additional requirements for businesses in Australia
    • The school must have a strong record of, or a demonstrated commitment to, employing local labour.
    • The school must declare that it will not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices.

Once the Standard Business Sponsorship has been approved, the school must continue meeting the TSS program obligations.


2. How long can an international teacher be sponsored?

The most typical sponsored positions in the Education sector are primary school teachers and secondary school teachers.


If the schools would like to continue to sponsor the international teachers, the nomination can be renewed before the visa expires, subject to satisfying the relevant requirements. This is where our immigration specialists at Ausdirect Migration can provide end-to-end assistance.


3. Any requirements for advertising the job vacancies?

As we have mentioned before, we have to demonstrate to the Government that the schools are committed to hiring locally. To prove the genuineness of the need to hire international teachers, we will have to go through a strict recruitment process to satisfy immigration requirements. This process is called Labour Market Testing (LMT).

The LMT requirements have been evolving over the years and becoming more strict than ever. Meeting the LMT requirements is critical to the success of the application. In the past, several employers in the education sector attempted to lodge applications through DIY but didn’t get enough luck, and the Department of Home Affairs refused the applications. We helped those schools to re-do the applications successfully. As the requirements are rigorous and subject to regular changes by the Government, staying updated on the latest regulatory requirements could be time-consuming. As such, we strongly recommend schools engage registered migration professionals for assistance as the registered migration agent (RMA) usually keeps abreast of the latest changes in regulation because RMA will need to complete mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) for re-registration purposes on an annual basis. At Ausdirect Migration, our specialists can assist your school in navigating every step through the process, saving schools precious administrative hours.


4. What qualifications and experience level do the international teachers need to possess?

Generally, from the immigration regulatory perspective, the international teachers should have at least two years of working experience on a full-time basis, preferably recent experience within the last five years. The period does not need to be continuous, and equivalent part-time work can be considered.

On top of the above, there is a range of other requirements such as English, character, health, Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) and immigration compliance history, etc.

Our experienced team at Ausdirect Migration can assist your schools in screening the candidate profiles to determine their eligibility.


5. Are there any Government fees payable?

As the sponsor, the school must pay the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy, and these levy funds are managed by the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. The purpose of the levy is for employers to contribute to the broader skills development of Australians.


Business size TSS 482 visa ENS / RSMS visas
Small (annual turnover less than $10 million) AUD1200 per year or part thereof AUD3000 one-off
Other business (annual turnover of $10 million or more) AUD1800 per year or part thereof AUD5000 one-off


For example, a school with an annual turnover of less than AUD10 million per year that wishes to nominate a primary school teacher for two years would be liable to pay a levy of AUD2,400 (2 years x AUD1,200). The levy payments are tax-deductible.

There are also other Government costs, such as sponsorship, nomination, visa application, etc., which our immigration specialists can take you through.


Interested in getting talented international teachers onboard?

Over the years, schools that hired international teachers on work visa programs experienced the benefits of filling the skills shortage and attracting high-quality international teachers through the sponsorship program and are willing to maintain and expand such programs to support the development and growth of the schools. At Ausdirect Migration, we also have gone the extra mile to help our client schools in many different aspects.

Please contact Ausdirect Migration immigration specialists to assist you in setting up the framework of the program and getting more talented teachers onboard!

Leave a comment