Employing Overseas Vets & Vet Nurses

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Visa pictureWith the shortage of vets and vet nurses in Australia, many clinics are now considering sponsoring an overseas vet or vet nurse. At the start of October 2020 some slight changes were introduced to the requirements for Labour Market testing. Information below has been sourced from the Department of Home Affairs website www.homeaffairs.gov.au in April 2018 and Feb 2021.

In addition, employers should be aware of the current international border controls due to COVID – for more information on how this affects visa holders, and people applying for visa, visit https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/

Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)

The Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa was replaced with the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) in March 2018

TSS visa holders can work in Australia in their nominated occupation for their approved sponsor under one of three streams:

Short-term stream

  • Length of stay – up to 2 years
  • Vet Nurses are currently on the Short term Skilled Occupation list (STSOL)
  • Requirements for eligibility include English language requirements, skills assessments (by VETASSESS for VNs), nomination by an employer, health and character requirements.
  • Must have worked in the nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least two years
  • There is no age requirement

Medium-term stream

  • Length of stay – up to 4 years
  • Vets are currently on the Medium term Skilled Occupation list (MLTSSL)
  • Requirements for eligibility include English language requirements, skills assessments (by AVBC for vets), nomination by an employer, health and character requirements.
  • Must have worked in the nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least two years
  • There is no age requirement

Labour Agreement stream

  • This stream is available if your employer wishes to sponsor you (as an overseas worker) and has entered into a labour agreement with the Department

Application for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) involves a three-step process:

Step 1: a sponsorship application by the employer

Step 2: a nomination application for a skilled position by the employer

Step 3: a visa application by the proposed employee

Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa – Labour Market Testing requirement

For a nomination to be approved, the Department must be satisfied that a suitable qualified and experienced Australian worker is not available to fill the nominated position.

Advertising must meet all of the below (further requirements may apply – please see www.homeaffairs.gov.au for up to date information):

  • the nominated position has been advertised in Australia
  • the advertisement was in English and included the following information:
    • the title, or a description, of the position
    • the name of the approved sponsor or the name of the recruitment agency being used by the sponsor and
    • the annual earnings for the position (unless the annual earnings will be greater than the Fair Work High Income Threshold – from July 2017 this is $142,000)
  • at least two advertisements were published:
    • on a national recruitment website. Note: a general classifieds website is not an acceptable method
    • in national print media
    • on national radio or
    • if the sponsor is accredited – on the businesses’ website.
  • if the advertisement is published on a website, it is expected that the advertisement would have ‘remained live’ for at least 21 consecutive calendar days

Kookaburra Veterinary Employment can supply a statement on request with information regarding your job advert, the period that it was listed, and the total cost of advertising.

Additional Requirements for nominations lodged on or after 1 October 2020

In September 2020, the Australian Government introduced new labour market testing measures for employer sponsored applications. 

In addition to the 2 advertisements mentioned above:

  • the nominated position must be advertised on the Government’s jobactive website ( https://jobactive.gov.au/ )
  • the jobactive advertisement must have included all of the information required to be included in the other 2 advertisements mentioned above
  • jobactive advertisements are expected to have run for at least 4 weeks
  • applications or expressions of interest for the advertised position must have been accepted for at least 4 weeks

Note: advertising may have been undertaken by a third party if authorised to do so by the sponsor (for example, an associated entity or a contracted party, such as a recruitment agency) – there is no requirement that the sponsor placed the advertisement themselves

Evidence of a total of 3 advertisements, including an advertisement published on the Government’s jobactive website, must be provided at the time the nomination is lodged.

Meeting TSMIT requirements

Both the Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR) for the nominated occupation and the guaranteed annual earnings that will be paid to the nominated overseas worker, excluding any non-monetary benefits (for example, accommodation or car provided to them as part of their salary package), must not be less than the TSMIT (Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold).

TSMIT is currently AUD 53,900 as specified in the relevant legislative instrument (14 Oct 2020)

The requirements and process for visa application can be very complicated and there are more conditions than are listed in this article – you can find more information at www.homeaffairs.gov.au

Author:

Wendy Nathan
Kookaburra Veterinary Employment

This information includes the views and opinions of Kookaburra Veterinary Employment and is of a general nature only. Factual information is believed to be correct at the time of writing, however, should not be relied upon and any person should confirm details with the relevant authorities and through their own research prior to acting on any of the suggestions in this article.

15/02/2021 |

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