The Department of Employment has commenced public consultation on potential changes to the skilled migration occupation lists.
The Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) applicable for Australia’s General Skilled Migration visas is likely to remain the same next year as no changes have been proposed by the Department of Employment.
While announcing the new skilled visa occupations lists in June this year, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton had said, “As part of its reforms to skilled migration announced in April, the Government will update the lists on a six monthly basis to ensure the best outcomes for Australian workers and employers alike.”
However, the Department of Employment, responsible for undertaking a regular review of the occupation lists used for skilled migration to meet short-term and long-term needs of the Australian economy states, “There were substantial changes to the skilled migration occupation lists in April and July 2017. Therefore, the Government has prioritised continuity and stability.
“For this reason, no changes have been proposed for the medium and long-term strategic skills list at this time.”
Any change to skilled visa occupations is likely to have an impact on migrants from India and the sub-continent.
CHECK IF YOUR OCCUPATION IS IN THE MEDIUM AND LONG-TERM STRATEGIC SKILLS LIST (MLTSSL)
Last month, federal government figures revealed India as Australia’s biggest source of skilled and family migrants.
Over 20% of migrants in 2016-17 came from India with 38,854 visas granted to Indians. Migration from the sub-continent which includes India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and others accounted for 30% of the migration program.
Melbourne-based migration consultant Jitesh Chheda says this development will come as a relief to those who want to make Australia as their permanent home.
“This year, we have seen substantial changes being made to skilled occupations lists. The decision to not make changes in the MLTSSL will come as a relief to many who are keen to apply for permanent residency in coming months.”
“This is a good move by the department as frequent changes impact the confidence of potential migrants. Stability in policy will help attract good talent,” Chheda told SBS Hindi.
His advice to those waiting to apply for skilled migration visas is, “If you are ready, do not wait as it is evident from what we have seen in recent months, policies can change.”
The department is considering developing a Traffic Light Bulletin which may be used in future to decide the skilled occupations list. They are currently holding a public consultation on the potential changes to the skilled occupations lists and have invited members of the public and stakeholders to review the Traffic Light Bulletin.