Is your business facing skills shortages for critical roles that can’t be filled from the local labour market? Did you know your business may be able to access priority Government visa and nomination processing if you engage a skilled migrant with an occupation listed as critical to Australia’s post-pandemic recovery? During the pandemic, skilled visa applicants with an occupation listed on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) may be able to access priority processing, enabling your business to engage skilled overseas professionals more quickly. If you’re a skilled individual wanting to work in Australia, you may also wish to find out more – here’s what you should know about the Australia Immigration Priority Occupation List.
Thankfully for many businesses, after almost two years of requiring workers to be granted Critical Work Travel Exemptions to enter the country, participating States and Territories in Australia re-opened their international borders to skilled migrants from December 2021. Critical Work Travel Exemptions to enter Australia are no longer required to enter the country, and applicants only need a valid work visa. International testing and quarantine requirements may also apply depending on the State or Territory of arrival.
These relaxed restrictions mean employers are no longer limited to engaging overseas migrants that meet a Critical Work Travel Exemption – they can once again engage any skilled migrant that is eligible for a skilled visa. However, the Government is still prioritising the processing of visas for Critical Work or a Critical Sector in several ways. One of these ways is through a Ministerial Direction, which has been issued to prioritise visas for skilled applicants whose occupation is on the PMSOL or if their work is in a Critical Sector.
The Ministerial Direction directs the Department of Home Affairs to prioritise permanent skilled migration visas in the below circumstances and in the following order:
It also provides direction for TSS 482 and 457 Temporary Skilled Visas to be prioritised in the following order:
The above summary indicates the top 2 priorities for Government skilled processing, as per the Ministerial Direction. Subsequent priorities were also provided in the Ministerial Direction.
The Australia Immigration Priority Occupation List was first announced in September 2020 to enable overseas skilled migration to fill several critical occupations in support of Australia’s COVID-19 recovery.
It is a skilled occupation list that allows businesses to sponsor visa applicants under a critical occupation with priority Government Visa and Nomination processing for the following visas:
It is important to note that the PMSOL is a temporary list and priority occupations may change in response to the COVID-19 impact on the labour market and as per the National Skills Commission and industry feedback. When the PMSOL was first announced, it only listed 17 occupations but since then, extra occupations have been added and the list has grown to 44 occupations.
A total of 44 occupations are now listed on the PMSOL for access to priority processing:
(Last updated on 4 January 2022 – you may wish to seek professional migration advice so that your circumstances can be assessed with the most updated information).
Especially now that Australia’s international borders have opened to skilled migrants across participating States and Territories since December 2021, skilled visas are being processed for applicants with occupations on the standard skilled migration occupation lists. This is also the case for applicants already in Australia. However, PMSOL occupations may take priority as the Department of Home Affairs focuses on boosting post-pandemic recovery. It will be interesting to see which occupations are added to the list as more businesses appear to be facing labour shortages that have worsened during the pandemic.
Our migration agents would be happy to assess your candidate’s eligibility for skilled migration and whether they meet Australia’s critical skill classifications for visa and migration purposes. We begin by reviewing a copy of your candidate’s resume including their skills, experience, and qualifications, and then advise on the options available and application requirements. During a consultation, our migration agent will also provide advice on any visa conditions that you may need to be aware of so you can make a more informed decision. After the consultation, you can choose to engage our services to manage the sponsorship, nomination and visa application and receive ongoing advice on how to prepare the evidence requirements.
If you would like to understand your options to migrate through the Australia Immigration Priority Occupation List pathways, we encourage you to get in touch with Interstaff’s Registered Migration Agents servicing Perth, Melbourne and Sydney on 1800 449 858 (Free Call Within Australia) or +61 8 9221 3388 (International).
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