At Ausdirect Migration, we have been seeing 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, and couldn’t be more thrilled to see more and more talented international teachers embarking 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 in relation to the TSS visa program.
1. How can a school become an approved sponsor?
The Australian Government has 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 3 key steps: Sponsorship, Nomination and Visa Application.
Schools that are new to the TSS program will first need to obtain the Standard Business Sponsorship in order 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 that have been 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 are 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 schools must have been a strong record of, or a demonstrated commitment to, employing local labour
- The schools must declare that it will not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices
Once the Standard Business Sponsorship has been approved, the school has to continue to meet its the obligations under the TSS program.
2. How long can an international teacher be sponsored for?
The most typical sponsored positions in Education sector are primary school teachers and secondary school teachers.
- The primary teacher occupation is on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and can be nominated for up to 2 years in each application
- The secondary school teachers occupation is on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and can be nominated for up to 4 years in each application.
If the schools would like to continue to sponsor the international teachers, the nomination can be renewed before the visa expiry subject to satisfying the relevant requirements. This is where our immigration specialists at Ausdirect Migration can provide the 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. In order 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 and more strict than ever. Meeting the LMT requirements is critical to the success of the application. We had a number of employers in the education sector in the past attempted to lodge applications in-house but didn’t get enough luck and the applications were unfortunately refused by the Department of Home Affairs. As the requirements are very strict and subject to changes on a regular basis by the Government, this means staying updated to the latest regulatory requirements could be time consuming. As such, we strongly recommend schools to engage registered migration professional for assistance as the registered migration agent (RMA) usually keep abreast of the latest changes in regulation due to the fact that 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 2 years working experience on a full-time basis, preferably recent experience within the last 5 years. The period does not need to be continuous, and furthermore equivalent part-time work can also be considered.
On top of the above, there are a range of other requirements such as English, character, health, Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) and immigration compliance history etc.
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 is with an annual turnover of less than AUD10 million per year that wishes to nominate a primary school teacher for a period of 2 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 and 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 clearly 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 program to support the development and growth of the schools. At Ausdirect Migration, we also have gone the extra miles to support 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 get more talented teachers onboard!