482 Visa Labour Agreement stream

The 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa allows employers to sponsor overseas workers to live and work in Australia on a temporary basis. This visa is designed to assist employers who are unable to meet their skilled Australian workforce needs from the local labour market. It is valid for a maximum of four years. The requirements for the Labour Agreement stream of this visa are as follows:


NOTE: The specific requirements that you and your employer must meet will depend upon the type of labour agreement that applies to your employment.


In general, the business seeking to employ you must:

  • be party to a labour agreement. There are 5 types of labour agreements:
    • Industry agreement, for employers in specific industries with ongoing labour shortages. The industries currently covered by labour agreements are: dairy; fishing; meat; Minister of Religion; on-hire; pork; restaurant (fine dining); advertising; and horticulture
    • Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA), which is an overarching agreement between the Australian government and a regional, state or territory authority, which gives access to more workers than a standard skilled migration program. There are currently DAMAs in place for: Northern Territory; Goldfields, WA; Great South Coast, VIC; Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement; South Australia Regional; Orana, NSW; and Far North Queensland
    • Project Agreement (PA), for project companies with genuine skills shortages during the construction phase of resources or infrastructure projects
    • Company-specific agreement, for employers with a genuine skills need that cannot be met by Australian workers, and which is not already covered by an industry labour agreement, DAMA or PA
    • Global Talent Employer Sponsored (GTES) agreement, for employers sponsoring workers in highly-skilled niche positions that cannot be filled by Australian workers or through other standard visa programmes
  • be actively and lawfully operating in Australia
  • meet any conditions for entering into the relevant labour agreementg. genuine need for skilled employees, inability to source suitable Australian employees

NOTE: The nature of the conditions that the business must meet will depend upon the relevant labour agreement. Please contact us for further details.

In addition, there must not be any adverse information known that is relevant to the business’s suitability as an approved sponsor.

NOTE: Adverse information includes (but is not limited to) contraventions of Commonwealth, State or Territory Laws relating to matters such as immigration, industrial relations or taxation; pending investigations or disciplinary actions; being the subject of administrative action for possible contravention of the law; insolvency; or having provided bogus documents or false/misleading information to the Department of Home Affairs (the DOHA).

Nominated Position

In general, and unless specifically exempt or a labour agreement concession applies, the position to be filled must:

  • be a genuine, full-time position that is included in the employer’s labour agreement

NOTE: Occupations included in a particular labour agreement may be subject to additional requirements (e.g. work experience, location, type of business operated by the sponsor, nature of position). Please contact us for further details based on your particular circumstances.

  • have a salary that is:
  • at least $53,900 per year (excluding any non-monetary benefits) AND
  • at least the annual market salary rate (AMSR) for your nominated occupation

NOTES: the AMSR for your nominated occupation (excluding non-monetary benefits) must also be no less than $53,900 per year. The AMSR is the salary that an Australian earns (or would earn) for performing equivalent work on a full-time basis for a year in the same workplace at the same location. You will be exempt from this requirement if your salary is more than $250,000 per year. Any permitted concessions to this requirement will be described in the labour agreement.

  • be subject to conditions of employment (other than earnings) that are no worse than those that apply (or would apply) to Australians performing equivalent work in the same location
  • have been subjected to ‘Labour Market Testing’ (LMT) i.e. the sponsor must have attempted to recruit a suitably skilled and qualified Australian to work in the nominated position. This requires the sponsor to provide evidence that it has advertised the position within the last 4 months, for a period of at least 4 weeks

NOTE: Alternative LMT criteria apply in certain circumstances. Evidence provided in support of LMT must meet strict criteria regarding the location, type and content of the advertisement. Please contact us for further information regarding the type of LMT required for your nomination.

Visa Applicant

As the visa applicant, you must:

  • have the relevant skills (qualifications and/or work experience) that the labour agreement specifies for the nominated position

NOTE: Certain applicants will be required to undergo a formal skills assessment, which must be commenced prior to lodging the visa application. Please contact us for further details based on your particular circumstances.


Stage 1: Labour Agreement Request

The labour agreement request is lodged with the DOHA on behalf of your employer. The main criterion is that your employer’s business is actively and lawfully operating in Australia, and meets all of the requirements for the type of labour agreement requested. A labour agreement is generally valid for five years. During this time, the business can nominate overseas workers for subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visas (and subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme and/or subclass 494 Skilled Employer Regional (Provisional) visas, if provided for in the labour agreement).


Businesses who are approved to sponsor overseas workers for TSS visas under a labour agreement MUST comply with certain obligations imposed by the DOHA. These obligations are designed to protect overseas workers from exploitation, and to ensure that the visa program is used correctly.

In particular, please note that a business approved as a labour agreement sponsor must not attempt to recover any of the costs associated with applying for a labour agreement or nominations (including migration agent costs and Skilling Australians Fund levies), or any costs directly associated with recruiting overseas workers for nominated positions. Approved sponsors may however be able to recover GST and/or claim a tax deduction for payment of fees and costs associated with applying for a labour agreement, and we recommend that independent tax advice is sought in this regard if relevant.

Approved sponsors must also maintain certain records relating to their labour agreement and subclass 482 (and 186 and/or 494) nominations. This includes records substantiating the sponsor’s annual turnover, as well as records confirming how, and by whom, each Skilling Australians Fund levy was paid. Such records must be provided to the DOHA upon request.

Please contact our office for further information, including a full list of the sponsor obligations.

Stage 2: Nomination Application

The nomination application is lodged with the DOHA on behalf of your employer, after the labour agreement comes into effect and during the labour agreement validity period. The main criterion is that the nomination meets the requirements listed above.

Skilling Australians Fund Levy

Sponsors must pay the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy for EACH subclass 482 nomination lodged with the DOHA. The amount payable varies based on the sponsor’s annual turnover and the visa applicant’s proposed period of stay in Australia:

·         For sponsors with an annual turnover of LESS THAN AU$10 million, the SAF levy is AU$1,200 for each year of the nominated visa applicant’s proposed period of stay i.e. AU$1,200 for a 1-year visa; AU$2,400 for a 2-year visa and so forth.

·         For sponsors with an annual turnover of AT LEAST AU$10 million, the SAF levy is AU$1,800 for each year of the nominated visa applicant’s proposed period of stay i.e. AU$1,800 for a 1-year visa; AU$3,600 for a 2-year visa and so forth.

The SAF levy must be paid upfront, at the time that the nomination is lodged.

Please contact our office for further information regarding the SAF levy.


Stage 3: Visa Application

Your visa application is lodged with the DOHA either at the same time as the nomination application, or before the nomination expires (generally within 12 months of approval). The main criterion is that you fulfil the requirements listed above.

You may generally be in or outside Australia when applying for this visa. However, you may be ineligible to apply in Australia if you do not hold the required type of visa or have previously been refused a visa (or had your visa cancelled). Please contact us for further details.

Once the DOHA has approved the nomination and visa applications, you will be granted a subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa in the Labour Agreement stream. Your visa will be valid for up to four years, with the exact term dependent upon your sponsor’s labour agreement and requirements.

Related: TSS visa processing times

Book a meeting today for a commitment free briefing with our Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne to find more about your visa options.