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Short-Term and Medium-Term Streams of TSS Visa

Critically discuss how the changes for the 457 visa to the SS visa will impact Australian Business and their Human Resource Planning and associated recruitment Practices.

The Government of Australia has decided to abolish the Temporary Work (Skilled)(Sub class 457) visa while replacing it with a new visa named Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa. These changes are going to impact the businesses in Australia along with their HR practices and planning. The Howard Government introduced the 457 visa in the year 1966. However, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has already announced on 18th April 2017 that this visa is to be replaced by TSS visa ("Minister - Joint media release with the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister - Putting Australian workers first", 2017). This change shall highly impact the present immigrants who are working in Australia along with those who have already applied for future jobs in the country.   

According to Murphy (2017), the 457 visa permits the holders to be employed in Australia for a period of four years. They are also permitted to bring any of his or her eligible family members who posses unrestricted study and work right itself in Australia. The 457 visa allows its holders to travel in and out of the nation without any limitations. In order to obtain a 457 visa, the the employers of the holders are to be validated as an approved sponsor by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. On the other hand, Howe (2014) has stated that the holders of 457 visa are required to meet a minimum level of requirements related to English language, skills, character and health. This visa imposes certain restrictions upon the holders such as the holder is permitted to work only for the sponsored employer and in the nominated occupation. The 457 visa holders enable the managers and the medical practitioners to work for other employers who are associated with the entity of their approved employer. However, in April 2017, the Australian Government has decided to abolish this visa and replace it with a new visa namely TSS visa.  


The Australian Government has decided to replace the 457 visa with TSS visa from March 2018. The TSS visa shall consist of a Short- Term stream that shall be valid up to two years and a Medium- Term stream that shall be valid up to four years. The Short- Term stream is aimed at filling the temporary skill gaps for Australian businesses in situations wherein, a skilled worker from Australia in not available. The Medium- Term stream is aimed at filling the shortage of workers wherein highly skilled, critical requirement occupations are associated, and there is unavailability of Australian workers. The Medium- Term stream fills the employment gaps in a narrow range when the employers are unable to source a suitable skilled Australian worker (Campbell & Tham, 2014).

Eligibility Criteria of TSS Visa

The Short- Term stream can be renewed onshore for only one time. Short- Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) shall be applicable for non- regional Australia and in case of regional Australia, STSOL shall be applicable along with additional occupations support. The visa applicants shall have to go through an English language test and score a minimum of 4.5 out of 5. On the other hand, the Medium- Term stream can be renewed after three years. Medium and Long- Term strategic skills list (MLTSSL) shall be applicable for non- regional Australia and in case of non- regional Australia, MLTSSL shall be applicable along with additional occupations support. The visa applicants shall also have to pass through an English language test (Breen, 2016).

The streams shall have certain eligibility criteria. The visa applicant shall have to possess work experience of a minimum of two years in the same occupation. The Labor Market Testing (LMT) shall become mandatory and the employers shall have to pay the salary rate that is prevailing in the Australian market and shall also have to meet the requirements of the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold. The visa holders shall have to obtain penal clearance certificate and shall also have to go through a non- discriminatory workforce test (Johnson, 2017).

According to McMillan, Edwards & Phillips (2017), all these measures enhance the employer sponsored skilled migration programs of Australia and shall ensure that they meet the skill requirements of the nation in a better manner. Implementation of the TSS visa shall enhance the quality of the skilled migrants along with their economic contribution. The change shall also find solutions regarding the displacement of the workers in Australia. The change shall include better lists of targeted occupation that shall meet the requirements of skills in the labor market of Australia.

According to Ferguson, Giuseppi & Australia (2017), the present 457 visa holders shall not be affected by the alterations but the employers shall have to be aware of the the impacts of all these alterations. The employers shall have to consider the eligibility of the 457 visa holders along with the eligibility criterions of the new TSS visa applicants in order to qualify for it. On the contrary, Breunig, Deutscher & To (2017) stated that all these changes shall affect both the permanent as well as temporary visa pathways. These reforms are being initiated by the Government of Australia in order to ensure that the residents of Australia get the opportunity of getting jobs in the nation on a priority basis. This reform was necessary as the employers in Australia have been recruiting workers from outside the nation without considering the local labor market.

Impact on Recruitment Policies

According to Markus (2014), the changes shall affect the temporary work visas as the subclass 457 visa shall be ceased in March 2018 and a new TSS visa shall replace it. It shall also impact the Employer Nomination Scheme visa, the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa and the other permanent skilled visas. This reform safeguards the interests of the Australians by ensuring that the workers recruited from overseas nations act as a supplementary workforce and do not hamper the opportunities of the Australian workers.


These reforms shall affect the Australian businesses and their policies related to recruitment of the employees. Earlier, the employers used to recruit the employees from other nations without considering the local employees for the job role however now, the employers have to first consider the Australians for a job role and only in case of insufficiency of skilled Australian workers, the employer can recruit a person from other country. The debate of regarding foreign workers in Australia has been a burning topic over several years. The Australians have been agitated due to the preference of overseas workers over local workers. This has led to the abolition of the 457 visa and the implementation of TSS visa (Breunig,  Deutscher & To, 2016).

According to Boucher & Cerna (2014), these reforms shall highly affect the small businesses in Australia as these companies curb their costs by hiring overseas employees at lower cost than hiring the local labor. With the implication of TSS visa, the norms related to hiring an overseas employee shall become highly strict that shall result in lesser number of immigrants coming to the country. This shall pave way for the local residents to find jobs and earn a standard livelihood. The implication of TSS visa shall ensure that the workers recruited from overseas nations shall meet the skill requirements of the nation in a better manner. Implementation of the TSS visa shall enhance the quality of the skilled migrants along with their economic contribution.


On the other hand, according to Wright (2014), the implementation of TSS visa shall bring several changes in the recruitment policies and practices of all those companies that have been hiring labor force from overseas nations. The recruitment policies shall become more strict towards the immigrants as the local labor shall be preferred over them. The companies shall have to search for the required skills and abilities among the local residents and only on unavailability of the required skilled labor, the company shall be permitted to hire labor from other countries. Additionally, the overseas applicants shall have to go through several processes and shall have to meet all the requirements of TSS visa in order to become an eligible candidate.

Differences Between 457 Visa and TSS Visa

According to Markus (2014), the two industries that shall be highly affected by the TSS visa are Information technology industry and professional services industry. Several occupations such as authors, painters, biochemists, singers, detectives, brokers, pilots and many others shall be completely removed from the list of occupations in the 457 visa. Several professionals who have applied for any of these categories shall be highly affected. According to Johnson (2017), the Information Technology industry in Australia has been hiring more efficient employees from overseas at a much lower wage rate however; now the companies shall have to hire the employees from the local labor market even if they are lesser efficient. This shall increase the costs for the companies and shall also impact the working efficiency of the company. On the contrary, Breen (2016) stated that implementation of TSS visa shall help the Australians to grab opportunities and improve their skills and abilities that will indirectly improve the economy of the nation.

References:

Boucher, A., & Cerna, L. (2014). Current policy trends in skilled immigration policy. International Migration, 52(3), 21-25.

Breen, F. (2016). Australian Immigration Policy in Practice: a case study of skill recognition and qualification transferability amongst Irish 457 visa holders. Australian Geographer, 47(4), 491-509.

Breunig, R., Deutscher, N., & To, H. T. (2016). The relationship between immigration to Australia and the labour market outcomes of Australian workers.

Breunig, R., Deutscher, N., & To, H. T. (2017). The Relationship between Immigration to Australia and the Labour Market Outcomes of Australian?Born Workers. Economic Record, 93(301), 255-276.

Campbell, I., & Tham, J. C. (2014). Labour market deregulation and temporary migrant labour schemes: An analysis of the 457 visa program.

Ferguson, S., Giuseppi, C., & Australia, T. A. (2017). Submission to the Department of Immigration & Border Protection.

Howe, J. (2014). Is the net cast too wide? An assessment of whether the regulatory design of the 457 visa meets Australia's skill needs.

Johnson, C. (2017). Welcome and concern for new visa system. Australian Medicine, 29(8), 4.

Markus, A. (2014). Attitudes to immigration and cultural diversity in Australia. Journal of Sociology, 50(1), 10-22.

McMillan, J., Edwards, D., & Phillips, D. (2017). Australia's degree-qualified workforce: Contributions of the Australian higher education system and overseas migration. Joining the Dots Research Briefings, 12.

Minister - Joint media release with the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister - Putting Australian workers first. (2017). Minister.border.gov.au. Retrieved 6 August 2017, from https://www.minister.border.gov.au/peterdutton/2017/Pages/putting-australian-workers-first.aspx

Murphy, K. (2017). Breaking down the 457 visa changes. Eureka Street, 27(7), 8.

Wright, C. F. (2014). How do states implement liberal immigration policies? Control signals and skilled immigration reform in Australia. Governance, 27(3), 397-421.

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