New Skills In Demand Visa Australia 2024

The Concept of Skills In Demand Visa 

One of the changes in the Australian Government’s Migration Strategy that will have the biggest impact on employers and skilled visa applicants at the end of year 2024, will be the replacement of the Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa with a new Skills in Demand Visa.

The Skills in Demand Visa program recognizes the importance of skilled migrants in addressing labor shortages and driving economic growth. By targeting occupations that are in high demand, the Australian government aims to attract talented individuals who can contribute to the country’s workforce and bridge the skills gap in industries such as healthcare, engineering, information technology, and construction.

Eligibility Criteria for Skills In Demand Visa

The new Skills In Demand visa is a 4-year temporary skilled visa consisting of three streams targeting applicants at different skill levels in various industries:

  1. Specialist Skills Pathway – Attracting highly skilled workers: The Specialist Skills Pathway will no longer rely on skilled occupation lists, will require a minimum salary threshold of $135,000, and provide a fast 7-day processing time. Available to applicants in any occupation except trades workers, machinery operators and drivers, and labourers (they may be able to apply through the Core Skills Pathway)
  2. Core Skills Pathway – To meet targeted workforce needs: The largest pathway for temporary skilled migrants, featuring a regularly updated occupation list and minimum earnings of at least at the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT), set at $70,000.
  3. Essential Skills Pathway – Targeted at lower paid workers: Under evaluation for lower-paid workers

It is important to note that the eligibility criteria for the Skills in Demand Visa is currently being determined to ensure that the program responds to the changing needs of the Australian labor market.

Overview of High Demand Skills

High demand skills are those that are deemed critical for the growth and development of the Australian economy. These may include healthcare professionals, engineers, IT specialists, childcare workers, tradespeople, and teachers. It’s important to note that the specific occupations may vary depending on the state or territory in which you wish to reside.

Healthcare professionals, including nurses, doctors, and allied health workers, are indispensable members of the workforce, especially in light of global health challenges. Engineers, spanning across disciplines such as civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering, are instrumental in driving infrastructure projects and technological advancements. IT specialists, equipped with expertise in cybersecurity, data analytics, and software development, are essential for businesses to thrive in the digital age.

Industries with High Demand Skills

Certain industries are projected to have a significant demand for skilled workers in the coming years. Industries such as healthcare, childcare, construction, information technology, engineering, and education are likely to offer excellent job prospects for visa holders. Researching the labor market and identifying the specific industries that align with your skills can give you a competitive edge.

The construction industry, fuelled by housing shortages, infrastructure projects and urban development, presents opportunities for skilled tradespeople such as carpenters, electricians, and plumbers. The education sector, essential for nurturing future generations, seeks dedicated teachers and educators to impart knowledge and shape young minds.

Additionally, the information technology sector continues to expand, creating a demand for professionals proficient in cybersecurity, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.

Jobs and Skills Australia is responsible for labour market analysis and by the end of 2024, will provide advice to the government on the CSOL – Core Skills Occupations List.

How will the Skills in Demand Visa compare to the Subclass 482 TSS Visa?

As indicated in the Government’s Migration Strategy, here’s 10 ways the Skills in Demand Visa is likely to compare to the current Subclass 482 Visa currently used for employer sponsorship. 

A 4-year stay in Australia

Similar to the Subclass 482 TSS Visa, the Skills in Demand Visa will allow for a stay of up to 4 years to live and work in Australia.

Guaranteed Pathways to Permanent Residence (PR)

PR is expected to be available to all Skills in Demand Visa holders, whether through sponsored and/or independent pathways. Since November 2023, the Subclass 482 TSS Visa also provides PR pathways to all visa holders (whether or not they are on the Short Term or Long Term Stream).

More time for migrants to find a new job

If employment with a sponsor ceases, Skills in Demand Visa holders are set to have 180 days to find another sponsor and also be able to work during this period. The Subclass 482 TSS Visa only allows for 60 days.

Greater mobility for migrants to switch employers

Under the Skills in Demand Visa, periods of employment with any approved sponsor may count towards PR requirements, enabling migrants to change their employer without risking their migration prospects. In contrast, Subclass 482 TSS Visa holders are reliant on a single employer for a pathway to PR.

Streamlined Labour Market Testing (LMT)

Mechanisms for independent verifications of labour market needs may be explored under the new Skills in Demand Visa. Currently, the requirements to test the local labour market before engaging a migrant on a Subclass 482 TSS Visas are largely employer-conducted.

Streamlined Visa Processing

Clear service standards for visa processing will be established to provide employers and migrants greater certainty of processing times for the Skills in Demand Visa.

A 21 day median service standard has been planned for the Core Skills pathway and 7 days has been planned for the Specialist Skills Pathway. Skills in Demand Visa processing times are expected to be shorter than waiting periods for the Subclass 482 TSS Visa.

Sponsorship Fees to be Paid in Stages

Rather than seeking upfront employer fees, such as the SAF training Levy, the Government is exploring a monthly or quarterly ‘pay-as-you-go’ model for Government charges and fees to hire migrants. Compared to the current Subclass 482 TSS Visa, which requires upfront government fees, the new payment structure for the Skills in Demand Visa may make it cheaper for employers to sponsor an overseas worker.

Public Register of Sponsors

To enable skilled migrants to switch employers, a public register of approved sponsors including the number of migrants sponsored and their occupations, may be developed alongside the new Skills in Demand Visa. Currently a list of sponsors is not being made widely available as a public register to skilled migrants on a Subclass 482 TSS Visa, except a list of current labour agreements.

When will it come into effect?

Australia’s new Skills in Demand visa was announced on the 11th of December 2023, but more details will be available by the end of 2024, which is when the visa is due to come to effect.

How to prepare?

As the new Skills in Demand Visa is expected to commence later this year, 2024, you must remember these things to avoid visa application errors:

  • Research: Clearly understand the specific criteria for your selected pathway.
  • Documentation: As the Skills in Demand Visa replaces the 482 visa, both programs will likely have similar requirements. Thus, it is essential to prepare any necessary documents ahead of time.
  • Health & Character Requirements: Make sure you meet health and character requirements.
  • Ask for assistance: If you want to have a strong migration strategy in place for your move to Australia, the best thing to do is ask for assistance from certified migration experts.



Published by Maddie Phillips

Australian Immigration Law Specialist with over 12 years experience, I provide high touch immigration solutions for businesses and individuals, all aspects of Australian immigration law. OMARA Licenced, Member Migration Institute of Australia and Australian Human Resources Institute.

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