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Australia has announced changes to the skilled occupation lists for the immigration intake program for the year 2018. The changes take effect on Wednesday, 17th January 2018.
17 Jan 2018 - 12:47 PM  UPDATED 26 Jan 2018 - 1:07 PM

Every year hundreds of thousands of foreign workers choose to live and work in Australia because of the lifestyle and employment opportunities offered.

The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) is a list of skilled occupations that deliver high value skills needed by the Australian economy.

SOL aims to meet medium- to long-term skills needs of high value occupations, rather than immediate short-term shortages.

The suitability of occupations for inclusion on the SOL is assessed on time to time basis.

Department of Home Affairs today announced changes to Australia’s Skilled Occupation Lists.

A summary of the proposed changes can be found on the Department’s website - summary of 17 January 2018 changes to the lists of eligible skilled occupations

Occupations added to the lists

The three occupations below, which were previously unavailable on either list, will be added to the STSOL. Details of any caveats applicable to these three occupations are also provided below:

Occupations moved between the lists

The two occupations below will be moved from the STSOL to the MTLSSL. Details of any caveats applicable to these occupations are also provided below. 

According to Home Affair website*, these changes have been made to reflect the skills needs of the Australian labour market.

The changes also aim to support Australian businesses to address skills shortages that they are unable to fill locally.  

Migration expert, Jujhar Singh Bajwa told SBS Punjabi that the changes in the SOL primarily impact applications in general skilled migration independent category.

“The occupations of Hair or Beauty Salon Manager and Building Associate will be removed from the lists for all skilled visa programs on 17 January 2018.”

“The biggest gain would for the applicants applying under the tags of Property Manager, Psychotherapist and as Real Estate Representatives.

“These three occupations that were previously unavailable on either list will be added to the visa program.

“Horse Breeder and Management Consultant trades have been moved between the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) for particular visa programs.

The six-monthly review cycle of the occupation lists was established by the Australian Government in April 2017 to ensure that the occupations lists are responsive to changes in the Australian labour market, and align with the Australian Government’s policy that Australian workers have priority.

The changes will apply to applications made on or after 17 January 2018 and will not affect existing nominations or applications made prior to this date.  

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Australia has skilled migration visa schemes that allow entry of skilled migrants each year on temporary or permanent basis.

In the case of points-tested visas, the changes will apply to invitations issued on or after 17 January 2018.

Caveats on occupations

The visa programs of Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) and Employer Nominated Scheme visa (subclass 186) – Direct Entry Stream can no longer be used for the occupations listed here where the nominee’s position does not meet the ‘caveat’ requirements as specified in the relevant legislative instrument. 

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From March 2018, current 457 visa holders won’t be able to apply for Permanent Residency under the Direct and Employer Nominated Transition Streams if their occupation is not on the long and medium term occupation lists.

A summary of the caveats that apply to particular occupations is provided below. For the specific wording of each caveat, see the legislative instrument for the relevant visa program as outlined on the Department’s website.

A new regional occupations list is currently under development. This additional list will come into effect with the introduction of the new Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018 and will help ensure regional employers are well supported.

In March 2018, the subclass 457 program will be closed and replaced by the new, more targeted TSS visa.

*Immigration laws are regularly reviewed by the government so it is always recommended to check the updated information available on their official website.

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