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DIBP announces major changes to the skilled occupation list

Source: SBS

The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) will also be renamed as the new Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) and will be updated every six months based on advice from the Department of Employment.

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

According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), the TSS visa will be comprised of a Short-Term stream of up to two years, and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years.

In addition the DIBP has also announced changes to the skilled occupation lists.

The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) will also be renamed as the new Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) and will be updated every six months based on advice from the Department of Employment.

The occupation lists that underpin the 457 visa will be significantly condensed from 651 to 435 occupations, with 216 occupations removed and access to 59 other occupations restricted.

Of the 435 occupations, access to 24 occupations has been restricted to regional Australia (e.g. occupations relating to farming and agriculture).

The other occupations list used for skilled migration, the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) will be renamed the new Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

The Short-Term stream will include the following criteria:

- Renewal: Capacity for visa renewal onshore once only.

- Occupations:

  • For non-regional Australia, the STSOL will apply.
  • For regional Australia, the STSOL will apply, with additional occupations available to support regional employers.

- English language requirements: A requirement of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (or equivalent test) score of 5, with a minimum of 4.5 in each test component.

- Genuine entry: A genuine temporary entrant requirement.

The Medium-Term stream will include the following criteria:

- Renewal: Capacity for visa renewal onshore and a permanent residence pathway after three years.

- Occupation lists:

  • For non-regional Australia - the MLTSSL will apply.
  • For regional Australia - the MLTSSL will apply, with additional occupations available to support regional employers.

- English language requirements: a requirement of a minimum of IELTS 5 (or equivalent test) in each test component.

These lists will contain occupations that have been assessed as being of high value to the Australian economy and aligning to the Government’s longer term training and workforce strategies.

The maximum duration of 457 visas issued from this date for occupations that are on the STSOL will be two years. Occupations on the MLTSSL will continue to be issued for a maximum duration of four years.

In addition, English language salary exemption threshold, which exempts applicants whose salary is over $96,400 from the English language requirement, will be removed.

Click here to see the Combined List of Eligible Skilled Occupations.