TSS Visas - Be aware!
Australian TSS Employer Sponsored Work Visas
We always put our clients and peoples needs before profit. Therefore, we always recommend if you want to emigrate to Australia permanently as a skilled migrant you should secure a 189 Visa, 190 visa or a 489 visa.
We have found the new TSS employer sponsorship visas leave workers and their families at risk and therefore, best avoided. If you are considering this visa option we would like to highlight some of our key concerns. After that, what you decide is up to you and we respect your decision.
Beware of the hidden perils…
Australia remains committed to securing the international skills required to build their economy. But they are now coming to grips with the problems inherent in employer sponsorship visas.
Here’s our insider’s guide to the good and the bad of Australian employer sponsorship visas.
Recruitment agents often promise the best jobs and provide an attractive range of benefits to go with signing-up a recruit for an employer-sponsored visa. The truth is, these promises often leave that recruit contractually trapped upon arrival, working in a job that is not right for them, with no way out other than to leave Australia and return to their home country.
The claimed benefits of Australian recruiters
- Cheaper than securing a permanent residency visa
- Faster than securing a permanent residency visa
- Peace of mind that you have a job offer before applying for your visa
- Potential offer of paid flights and accommodation
Let us take a minute to examine each of these claims:
Cheaper Than Other Australian Working Visas
This depends on what you call ‘cheap’. Yes, it can delay your costs in the near term. However, you do not own your visa. Your employer owns your visa, and if the employer decides that the job is finished — wholly at their discretion — you must leave Australia within 90 days.
Having this much power over an employee is a recipe for poor industrial relations with managers, who value that leverage, and can seek to maximise their advantage.
If you ever do manage to secure permanent residency, the same costs you avoided up-front would then become payable — so no net savings, but instead a good deal of added risk and expense put on your shoulders, and far less control over your future. Not exactly a bargain.
The Fastest Way To Emigrate as a Skilled Worker
This is false: there is no net time saving by having an employer-sponsored visa. The only thing that is faster is how quickly they can sign you up.
Each employee still needs to have their skills assessment completed, and every job MUST be advertised for SIX months by the employer, in an immigration compliant way, before it can be offered to an overseas national.
Here’s the key red flag: the employer MUST be able to prove no Australian resident is willing or able to take the position offers. This should ring alarm bells: if a job has been advertised for SIX months nationally and the role cannot be filled, by definition it can’t be that great a job and/or package!
A job offer in Australia provides peace of mind
This can be the most alluring falsehood of all. It stands to reason that everyone wants the security of having a job in hand before emigrating. However, if you secure your own permanent residency visa, you can secure a better job before you leave the UK, as you will be work-ready and therefore more attractive to ALL employers — not just those looking to fill unattractive positions with unwary workers.
Bear in mind that the job promised is often not the same as the one you are eventually given upon arrival, as employers seek to hook people in with inflated claims of pay, conditions and benefits.
Naturally, we hear directly from people looking for help out of these situations. One worker was promised a job in Perth, then left stranded in Kalgoorlie. Another was promised an enviable salary in Brisbane, then told days before flying that he was being sent to Sydney for half the salary — but not before having sold his home, pulled his children out of UK schools. This is not the peace of mind you’re looking for.
The Australian Employer will pay for my flights & accommodation
This is true: employers may well front the cost of your flights and accommodation. But you should expect to pay for them, in several ways. First, you can rely on the fact that the cost of these “perks” will be deducted (with interest) from your salary each month. So they aren’t free, they are just deferred costs. Second, ask yourself whether a cheap flight and even cheaper accommodation are worth sacrificing your freedom and peace of mind.
The perils of a TSS visa
Unless you hold a permanent residency visa, each state will require you to make a contribution to your children’s education. Our research shows this contribution ranges from $2,00 up to $17,000 depending on the state. There may be an opportunity to negotiate lower rates in some instances, but more often than not these requests are rejected.
Purchasing a home
Unless you are a permanent resident, you will be subject to the Foreign Investment Review Board rules while on your work visa. In the simplest terms, you will either be restricted from purchasing the home of your choice or end up paying a good deal more for it.
New builds are available but, their resale value can drop significantly as they can not be sold on to other new arrivals later, and often residents of Australia do not want to purchase the new builds available.
Many people are therefore forced into rented accommodation until such time as they secure permanent residency.
TSS Visa holders are second-class residents
Without permanent residency in Australia, you will face restrictions on every aspect of your life, not just at work. While on a sponsored visa your relationship with your bank, credit agencies, Medicare, potentially better employers and other agencies are all adversely affected.
The overhanging fear of being forced to return to the UK
While in employment your visa is secure, but if the job finishes or the law changes while you are on the sponsored visa –as it did in 2017 when the 457 visa was abolished without warning — you may find you have no choice but to return home.
Thousands face this nightmare each year, and many come to us seeking help. Often there is little they can do, other than pulling their children out of school, leave their homes in Australia, and fly home to re-establish themselves in the UK — all without the benefit of income, or secure prospects for work upon arrival.
It is worth mentioning that most professionals who are currently eligible for a TSS visa will only be eligible to secure a two-year work visa. This can be extended while they are employed, but it will NEVER lead to permanent residency.
Working visas explained by Australian Prime Minister
“What we want to have is not one more person coming to Australia, not one, that we do not want or need,” the Prime Minister told 3AW Melbourne radio host Neil Mitchell.
“I’m giving you this commitment, that my government and my government alone, the Australian government, elected by the Australian people, determines who comes to Australia, whether they are on the humanitarian program, whether they’re on family reunion, whether they’re skilled migration, whether they’re students, [or] a foreign student sitting on the tram with me this morning going off to his lectures.”
“We determine who comes here, and that’s the big difference between us and Labor, because under Shorten and Labor when they were in government, they outsourced our migration program to people smugglers [This is a reference to employers who relied on recruitment agents to source cheap overseas workers, as well as those who bring in refugees]. That’s a fact. That’s not political rhetoric. That’s the truth, and we’re not having any more of that again.”
“We decide who comes here. We, being the government, representing the Australian people.”
Asked whether it was time for a reassessment of our immigration levels, Mr Turnbull said immigration was run “solely in the national interest of Australia”.
“It is constantly under review,” he said.
“We are constantly ensuring that we get the highest quality of migrants we can.
“You talk about numbers as though every person is exactly the same. This is a talent business. “We’re in a war for talent and we want to get, through our skilled, permanent migration program, the smartest people who bring skills that are not available here, and by bringing their skills here we ensure that Australian businesses grow and prosper.”
Our advice on Australian TSS Visas
Australia only offers those people with genuine skills in high demand an opportunity to emigrate. They are only interested in people who will contribute to their workforce and help grow their economy. They would NEVER offer residency to a person who was at risk of arriving in Australia and unable to find suitable employment, just to end up as a burden on the public purse.
That is why a person with the right skills, who has a well-prepared case, does not need an employer to sponsor them. The small additional cost of securing permanent residency prior to departure is worth every penny in the medium and long-term. And given the words of the Australian prime minister, it could not be more clear that this is how Australia wants things done!
We assist our clients to find employment once they have secured their permanent residency visa, but we never advocate a person goes to Australia on a TSS visa or via employer sponsorship. The risks are far too high versus the potential reward.
Emigration is a high-stakes move that should provide excellent opportunities and benefits for the rest of your life. It is important to do it correctly from the start. Therefore, we recommend if you can not afford to emigrate as a permanent resident at this time, without the need for employer sponsorship we urge you to hold fire until you can.
If you are serious about emigrating and want to discover more about emigrating as a skilled migrant contact us for further advice.