With the introduction of the new subclass 482 visa on 18 March 2018 came more stringent legal requirements to satisfy before making an application and clear powers enabling the Department of Home Affairs to refuse an application where supporting evidence was not provided at the time of application.
It was hoped that this decision ready model would lead to much-needed improvements in processing times for Australian businesses with a genuine need for highly skilled workers to be sponsored under the 482 visa program and based on the latest figures as at 31 August 2018 it appears that fast processing times for temporary skilled 482 visas may be here to stay.
The Department of Home Affairs reported on 31 August 2018 that after more than 5 months since the introduction of the subclass 482 visa program, processing times are as follows:
- Temporary Skill Shortage 482 Visa (Medium Term stream) – 75% processed within 38 days
- Temporary Skill Shortage 482 Visa (Short Term stream) – 75% processed within 49 days
The reported processing times are welcome news and better reflect the needs of Australian business than the previous 457 visa program. Current processing times for outstanding 457 visa applications is now reported to be 14 to 15 months.
Fast 482 visa processing times depend on the lodgement of well-prepared sponsorship, nomination, and visa applications so that they include all supporting documents required to meet the detailed legislative criteria which must be assessed. This includes evidence that the duties of the position are a genuine match for an occupation on the list, stringent Labour Market Testing requirements have been satisfied, that the salary to be paid is the Annual Market Salary for the nominated position, among many other requirements.
Other options for fast processing of 482 applications are also available by becoming an Accredited Sponsor which are afforded priority processing by Ministerial Direction No. 77. As part of the introduction of the 482 visa program on 18 March 2018, the Accredited Sponsor program was also extended to ensure more Australian businesses can access priority processing of 482 applications. Under the new requirements, a low risk, low volume employer of non-Australian workers with a turnover of more than $4M, that has been a sponsor for at least 1 year and sponsored at least 1 person in the last 2 years, may be able to access priority processing in less than 5 days or even auto grants in some circumstances.
Ministerial Direction No. 77 – Order for processing applications lodged under the Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) determines the order of priority processing which must be followed by the Department of Home Affairs.
The order of priority processing as required under the priority processing Direction is as follows:
- Applications lodged by Accredited Sponsors
- Applications lodged for positions that are located in regional Australia
- Applications lodged under the Labour Agreement stream
- All other applications
NOTE: As from 5 September 2018, the Department of Home Affairs has advised they will not respond to or action requests for fast processing that falls outside categories 1 to 3 listed immediately above.
The processing times quoted here are as reported by the Department of Home Affairs as at 31 August 2018.
Check the Department of Home Affairs current processing times for the subclass 482 visa here: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about/access-accountability/service-standards/global-visa-citizenship-processing-times