Want to migrate to Australia? New occupation list replaces SOL (Skilled Occupation List)

Source: AAP

The new occupation list has come into effect after Prime Minister Turnbull's announcement to abolish the 457 visa program.

With the decision to abolish the controversial 457 visas and replacing it with two new visas, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has also cut the list of eligible occupations for the general skilled migration.

The Skilled Occupation List that was the guide for nominating an eligible occupation for applying for skilled visas, has now been reduced to 435 occupations, down from 651.

The SOL has been replaced by the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) which has 216 occupations, including Actors, Authors, pilots, biochemists, firefighters, flying instructors, conveyancers etc cut from the previous list.

Applicants applying for General Skilled Migration under visa subclass 189 are now required to nominate an occupation from this new list.

Temporary graduate visa applicants (under subclass 485) will also nominate an occupation from this list.

Replacing the SOL with MLTSSL in effect will tighten the eligibility criteria not just for 457 visa applicants, but also those looking to migrate to Australia under the General Skilled Migration Program.

Melbourne-based immigration consultant Sooraj Handa says the truncated list will significantly tighten the eligibility criteria of those applying for not just under employer-sponsored subclasses but also general skilled migration.

“The new list has many occupations dropped from the SOL. This obviously means lesser people will qualify under the new rules,” Mr Handa told SBS Punjabi.

However, another registered migration agent in Melbourne, Jujhar Bajwa says his clients will not be greatly affected by the changes.

“Most of the occupations dropped from the SOL in the new list are those that Indians and particularly people from Punjab do not nominate. The occupations that most Indian applicants nominate are largely untouched in the new list,” Mr Bajwa told SBS Punjabi.

On Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced he was scrapping the 457 visas that allowed employers to sponsor foreign workers to work in Australia.

The Prime Minister said two new visas would be introduced to fill the skill gap that will allow Australian businesses to sponsor foreign workers. But the new visas will have a more stringent eligibility criterion, both for sponsoring employers and the visa applicants.

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