Australia’s upcoming Skilled Occupation List changes will determine which occupations are eligible for skilled visas in 2020, so it’s important to understand how the lists may change.
What is a Skilled Occupation List? | Skilled Occupation List Changes
To work or migrate to Australia on a skilled visa, a person needs to be skilled and experienced in an occupation that appears on Australia’s Skilled Occupation Lists, in addition to meeting other eligibility criteria.
There are three Skilled Occupation Lists in Australia, which are known as:
- The Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) – for a short stay visa
- The Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) – for a medium stay visa and a pathway to permanent residence
- The Regional Occupation List (ROL) – for a medium stay visa in a regional area and a pathway to Permanent Residence (PR)
These lists apply to employer-sponsored, points-tested, state-nominated and training visa programs and are reviewed regularly by the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business to ensure skilled migration programs continue to reflect Australia’s genuine skills needs.
It’s important for businesses and skilled visa applicants to stay up to date on flagged changes to Skilled Occupation Lists because amendments may impact:
- A person’s continued eligibility for a temporary skilled visa and PR
- The duration a person can work and stay in Australia
- Where a person can work in Australia
Flagged Skilled Occupation List Changes
The Department has flagged several changes to Australia’s Skilled Occupation Lists for 2020 and is currently consulting with industry groups before finalising their decisions.
It’s important to note that while the below occupations have been flagged for changes, formal decisions are yet to be made on whether changes will proceed. We expect to receive confirmation from the Government from March 2020.
Here’s which occupations may be added, removed or changed on Australia’s occupation lists in 2020 according to the Department’s review, and how the flagged changes could impact skilled visa applicants.
Occupations that may be removed from the STSOL
The following occupations are currently listed on the STSOL, but may be removed in 2020 and become ineligible for skilled migration to Australia.
Occupations that may be moved to the STSOL
The below occupations are currently either listed on the MLTSSL or the ROL for a medium stay visa and pathway to PR, however in 2020 they have been flagged to be moved to the STSOL for a short stay visa.
Occupations that may be moved to the MLTSSL
6 occupations are currently either listed on the STSOL for a short stay visa or the ROL for a long-term regional visa, however in 2020 they may be moved to the MLTSSL for a long-term visa for work in any area of Australia.
Occupations that may be added to the STSOL
The below occupations are currently not listed as eligible for skilled migration, but may become eligible for a short stay skilled visa in 2020.
1 Occupation may be moved to the ROL
Geologists are currently listed on the STSOL for a short stay visa, however in 2020 this occupation may be moved to the ROL for a regional and long-term visa.
Occupations that may have caveats for skilled migration
The below occupations are already listed on either the STSOL or MLTSSL and may stay on their current list, however salary caveats may be introduced. If so, minimum salary requirements may need to be met to apply for a skilled visa under these occupations.
Skilled Occupation List Changes 2020
We encourage businesses and individuals that may be impacted by the proposed changes to contact our team of Registered Migration Agents to discuss how we may be able to assist you.
The flagged changes may present new opportunities to migrate to Australia under certain occupations. However, should changes proceed, they may also render some people ineligible for skilled migration or a long-term visa – this is particularly the case for:
- Occupations that may be removed from the STSOL
- Occupations that may be moved to the STSOL
Businesses and individuals that may be impacted by the above may wish to consider applying for their skilled visa arrangements without delay.
The Government expects to finalise their review of occupation list changes in March 2020 and following this we can expect their final decisions to be announced soon after.