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Australian Government to overhaul Skilled Occupation Visa for March 2020

Australian Government to overhaul Skilled Occupation Visa for March 2020

BREAKING NEWS : Australian Government to overhaul Skilled Occupation Visa list for March 2020

Australian Skilled Migration Visa has been one of the most popular migration pathway to Australia. Even if it is not an easy applying process to go through, last year during the fiscal year of 2018, more than 80,000 skilled migrants were granted visas under this program. The program has quickly become one of Australia’s main pathways to boost the economy and fill in the thousands of skilled job vacancies all across the nation.  

However, the reviews may not end with less nominated occupations. As the labor market evolves, new occupations may be added to the skilled list as soon as legacy issues, including limited standard worker ANZSCO classification that have stopped the government from adding new in-demand jobs, are sorted. The standard worker ANZSCO classification had not been updated since 2013, making it hard to add new occupations under the current groups.   

Three months into the new financial year, the Australian government has announced that it has commenced a review of skilled occupations for migration programs, to address public concern that hundreds of the occupations listed, do not represent the real-life market demand for skilled migration workers in some fields, especially in regional Australia.

Minister, Michaelia Cash, for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, announced on 4 September 2019 that the federal government has commenced a review of the skilled migration occupation lists, seeking feedback from stakeholders, particularly from regional Australia.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, David Coleman MP, further reiterated that the Government’s migration program is created to ensure Australian employers can gain access to the skilled workers, particularly in regional Australia. Prior to this, the government has allocated 23,000 regional migration places for regional migration (9,000 places for employer-sponsored and 14,000 for skilled), introducing two new regional visas effective from November 2019, as well as expanding Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) arrangement around the country.

“We’ve allocated 23,000 regional migration places, introduced two new regional visas and signed Designated Area Migration Agreements around the country to attract migrants to the regions to help towns to grow and fill some of the 60,000 job vacancies in regional Australia,” MP Coleman confirmed.

Putting regional Australia first 

However, the skilled migration program the Australian government is determined to encourage foreign workers in filling jobs that cannot be filled by domestic workers. Australian minister has provided 23,000 regional places for migration with two new regional visas to fascinate the migrants to help the growth of the towns and fulfilling 60,000 job vacancies in regional Australia.

Skilled workers are especially needed in regional areas to give new and ongoing businesses a level of certainty and confidence. These workers are need for these businesses to survive and to keep them operating. Developing regional Australia is required to boost the economy, along with placing skilled migrants in regional areas rather than big cities.

Skilled Migration Occupation Lists and Current Status

The Department systematically reviews these lists with relevant industry ministry and holds a public conversation, to ensure the skilled migration lists represents the needs of genuine skills and allows employers or businesses to obtain the skilled workers that they require, if they are not able to find suitable local employers. 

There are three lists supporting this visa program: 

  • The Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL);
  • The Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL); and,
  • The Regional Occupation List (ROL).

The government has indicated that the review will determine the next update to the skilled occupation lists in March 2020 and not sooner. 

Legislative instruments

The table below provides information on the formal legislative instrument(s) that specify the occupations available for the skilled visa types listed.

If you are reading this on a smartphone kindly scroll left to see the full table. 

Visa Program(s) Subclasses (streams or types) Legislative Instrument(s)
Skilled independent permanent visas Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) – Points-tested stream LIN 19/051: Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities
Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) – Family nominated
Skilled nominated permanent visas Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) LIN 19/051: Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities
Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) – State or Territory nominated
Employer sponsored visa programs Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482)