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  • Writer's pictureElan Rysher

The Ultimate Guide to TSS Visa Costs

Updated: May 9, 2020

Imagine being offered sponsorship for an Australian working visa. The promise of life in Australia is tantalising. Your first reaction would be jumping for joy and telling all your friends. Then you will start looking at the nuts and bolts - are you eligible? What will your salary be? And how much will it all cost?

You may want to take notes

It is often said that everything has a price. When it comes to Australian immigration, costs are an important consideration. Navigating the visa system can be an expensive affair and stakes are high. Those who are seeking sponsorship for work visas will want to plan their finances in advance.

If your employer has offered you sponsorship (congratulations!), both of you will have to pay application charges. But who should pay what? In this post, I will discuss sponsored visa costs. Grab a notepad and a pen, you may want to take notes.

The basics

The cost of obtaining sponsored work visas can generally be divided into three categories: application charges, Migration Agent fees (if you use an Agent) and ancillary expenses. Some are paid by the visa applicant and others by the sponsor.

Application charges depend on many factors: visa subclass, nominated occupation, turnover of the business, the visa period requested and more. The most popular sponsored work visa is the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS - Subclass 482) visa. Let’s take a closer look at the costs associated with applying for this visa.

Manager offering TSS sponsorship to an overseas employee
Employers are required to pay sponsorship fees and charges

Application charges

1. Sponsorship: Employers wishing to sponsor staff for TSS visas must be approved as Standard Business Sponsors (SBS). If your employer is not yet approved or their SBS has expired, they will need to lodge a sponsorship application. The SBS application charge is $420 and it is payable by the sponsor.

2. Nomination: so that you can lodge your TSS visa application, your employer will need to lodge a Nomination application for your position. The TSS Nomination application charge is $330, payable by the sponsor.

3. Training levy: Sponsors must also pay the Nomination Training Contribution Charge. It is commonly known as the SAF levy or Training levy. The levy amount varies so it is important to check the required sum in advance. It is calculated as $1,200 per year X (years of visa period requested). For example, 4 year visa period X $1,200 per year = $4,800.

If the business turns over more than $10,000,000, the levy is $1,800 per year.

4. Visa: Short-term stream TSS visa applicants pay $1,265 per adult applicant and $320 for each child. Medium-term and Labour Agreement streams applicants pay $2,645 per adult and $660 per child. If you have previously lodged a visa application in Australia, a $700 subsequent onshore application surcharge may apply. Anyone may pay the visa application charges.

Manager and employee in office looking for information about Australian TSS sponsored work visa subclass 482
TSS visas applications are complex. Get help from a Migration Agent

Migration Agent fees

If you use a Migration Agent, they will charge you a fee for their services. Many Migration Agents charge fixed rate fees, while others charge hourly rates. It is common practice to invoice clients for application charges which are then paid to Immigration on their behalf.

Registered Migration Agents are required to follow strict guidelines regarding client payments, including providing detailed quotes and costs agreements. You should talk to a few different agents about their services and fees before you choose one. Here are few factors which influence how Migration Agent set their fees:

the amount of time it will take to prepare your application. Some visa applications take longer to prepare than others.

the level of service you need.

if you have complex circumstances.

the experience and qualifications of your agent.

If an Agent charges professional a fee for a sponsorship or a nomination application, it is payable by the sponsor.

Anything Else?

Ancillary expenses are additional payments which are required for your TSS visa application. They are paid to different organisations for different reasons. Your individual situation will determine which ancillary services you need, so make sure you know what is required. The cost of ancillary expenses varies. For example, translation fees depend on the Translator. English exam charges depend on the type of exam you will take. Here are a few more examples of ancillary expenses:

  • Migration health examination

  • Health insurance

  • UK Police checks by ACRO

  • Australian Federal Police check

  • Skills Assessment

  • Biometrics collection

Calculations to check the cost of the Temporary Skills Shortage TSS subclass 482 visa application
TSS applications can be costly. Make sure you apply correctly

The bottom line

Applying for a TSS visa isn’t cheap. Sometimes it can be downright expensive. Having a willing sponsor and being eligible is great. You and your employer will need to pay fees and charges so it is essential to be financially prepared.

Generally speaking, application charges are not refundable in case of a refusal. If you apply on your own and not succeed, you may not be able to afford trying again. An experienced Migration Agent should help you maximise your chances of success as well as give you a detailed costs breakdown.


Information (or the lack of it) contained in past, the present or future editions of the ImmiUpdates blog should not be relied on by anyone as immigration assistance or legal advice. ImmiUpdates expressly disclaim any liability, arising at law, in equity or otherwise, for any information published or not published in past, the present or future editions of the blog. People seeking immigration assistance should seek advice from a registered migration agent and those seeking legal advice should consult a lawyer. The copyright in the newsletter belongs to Rysher Migration Services and no part of the blog is to be reproduced by any means without the written consent of Rysher Migration Services


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