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15 Feb 2018

Information Sheet – TSS Visa Advice

International Students’ Network 2018

Version 1.1: Last updated 14 February 2018

Summary of Updates

AMSA Central and ISN have been fielding concerned enquiries from both international students and medsocs about eligibility criteria for the new Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa that is replacing the 457 visa as of March this year (2018). The concerns relate to the requirement for 2 years relevant work experience in order to qualify for the TSS visa. 

 The following statement received in February 2018 from the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) reiterates the verbal commitment made to AMSA in August 2017.  There are no new changes to the TSS eligibility, but it should reassure international students that they are eligible for the TSS visa.



Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa:


1.      From March 2018, the subclass 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with the TSS visa.

2.      The new TSS visa requires visa applicants to have at least two years’ work experience in their skilled occupation, which raised concerns that FGAMS (Foreign Graduates of Australian Medical Schools) would not be eligible for this visa. The Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) clarified in August 2017 that FGAMS would be eligible for the TSS visa and reiterated this advice in February 2018.

3.      In February 2018, the Department of Home Affairs disseminated the following statement via the National Intern Data Management Committee:

“(With regard to the TSS visa) Experience gained through clinical placements and internships may be considered as work experience for medical practitioners. Work experience does not need to be paid.”

In addition to AMSA, this statement was communicated to all state and territory health departments and is consistent with both statements from the Government and the working interpretation of relevant stakeholders since August last year.

4.      The TSS visa is subject to the SAF (Skilling Australian Fund) levy for visa nominations ($1,200 to $1,800 per nominee per year, payable by the employer). The ISN and AMSA Central are continuing to work in reducing any potential negative impact of this levy on FGAMS. We will keep you updated on our progress.


Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) Visa


1.      The 485 visa remains another option for FGAMS who obtained their first student visa in Australia after 5 November 2011 ONLY.

2.      Eligible FGAMS can apply under the “Post-Study Work stream” of the 485 visa.

3.      485 visa validity periods

a)     2 years for students who complete a Bachelor degree (including honours) or Masters by Coursework degree or Masters (extended) degree

b)     3 years for students who complete a Masters by Research degree

c)      4 years for students who complete a Doctoral degree

4.      For more information on the 485 visa, please refer to




The International Students’ Network can be reached at








1.    General advice warning

1.    The information contained is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation.

2.    You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice.

1.    All information is correct as of 14 February 2018.

2.    Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained, ISN disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy in, or omission from the information contained on this website or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

Published: 15 Feb 2018