Priority Skilled Visas Australia | Interstaff Insights
Update August 2021: In addition to the below, the occupations Hospital Pharmacists, Retail Pharmacists and Industrial Pharmacists were recently added to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) to assist with distributing COVID-19 vaccines. This brings the number of occupations on the PMSOL to 44. The PMSOL allows skilled visa applicants to access fast-tracked visa processing.
Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke this week announced 22 occupations have been added to Australia’s Priority Skilled Migration List (PMSOL).
Resources, Hospitality, IT, Medical and Professional Services industries have benefited from the changes.
Skilled migrants in the below occupations can be sponsored by an employer to work in Australia with access to a fast-tracked Visa and Inbound Travel Exemption.
What is the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)?
The PMSOL was first announced in September 2020 to enable skilled migration to fill several critical occupations in support of Australia’s COVID-19 recovery.
It allows businesses to sponsor visa applicants under a PMSOL occupation with priority
Government Visa and Nomination processing for a:
Importantly, sponsored visa applicants under a PMSOL occupation may also obtain an Inbound Travel Exemption to enter Australia – a barrier for many businesses facing skill shortages.
In our experience, visas are generally being granted to skilled migrants that can obtain a Travel Exemption to enter Australia – such as via an occupation on the PMSOL or for Critical Work/Industries.
Applicants currently in Australia also receive priority processing with a PMSOL occupation.
The PMSOL is temporary and priority occupations may change in response to the COVID-19 impact on the labour market as per the National Skills Commission and industry feedback.
Visa holders who have been sponsored by an employer under a PMSOL occupation should be aware the Government requires them to pay for their own quarantine.
Industry Feedback | Border Closures Emphasise Skill Shortages
Several industry groups have welcomed the changes and some believe the PMSOL could be expanded further:
- The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) believes skill gaps exist for chefs, engineers, medical technicians, regional cafe and restaurant managers, IT specialists and mechanics – including heavy diesel mechanics. Some of these have been listed on the PMSOL.
- The addition of mining, petroleum and geotechnical engineers to the PMSOL has been welcomed by the Australian Resources and Energy Group (AMMA).
- The Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) are lobbying for aged care to be listed – not just registered nurses.
- Chief executive of the WA branch of the Australian Hotels Association (AHA), Bradley Woods told the ABC the hospitality industry needs an extra 8,000 workers including cooks, chefs, food and beverage attendants, staff, housekeeping and management. Chefs have been added to the PMSOL.
Which other occupations are on the PMSOL? | Priority Skilled Visas Australia
A total of 41 occupations are now listed on the PMSOL for access to priority processing and Inbound Travel Exemptions. Other PMSOL occupations include:
- Chief Executive or Managing Director
- Construction Project Manager
- Mechanical Engineer
- Veterinarian (added last month)
- General Practitioner
- Resident Medical Officer
- Medical Practitioner nec
- Registered Nurse (Aged Care)
- Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency)
- Registered Nurse (Medical)
- Registered Nurse (Mental Health)
- Registered Nurse (Perioperative)
- Registered Nurses nec
- Developer Programmer
- Software Engineer
- Social Worker
- Maintenance Planner
What about migrants that don’t have an occupation on the PMSOL?
Businesses with labour needs not listed on the PMSOL or for critical work may wish to consider options to engage visa holders that do not need a Travel Exemption – such as visa holders already in Australia.
Skilled visas are still being processed for applicants with occupations on other skilled migration occupation lists – particularly if the applicant is already in Australia, but PMSOL occupations take priority.
Working Holiday Maker Visa Changes to Ease Skills Shortages
Mr Hawke also announced changes to the Working Holiday Maker program to address workforce shortages in remote parts of Australia.
From March 2022, Working Holiday Maker Visa holders in the tourism and hospitality sector in these areas will be able to count this work towards their application to extend their stay in Australia.
Currently, Working Holiday Visa holders are required to complete 88 days of specified work to be eligible for an extension.
Interstaff | Priority Skilled Visas Australia
The expansion of the PMSOL is a positive step for many businesses facing skill shortages, especially given that the international border is only expected to re-open from mid 2022.
We believe it is also important for Skilled Visa holders to be given a path to Permanent Residence to give certainty that shortages will not worsen.
We hope this is helpful – you may also be interested in other articles:
Australia’s Border Could Re-Open in 2022
Leaving Australia | Outbound Travel Exemptions
Critical Work and Compassionate Travel Exemptions to Come to Australia
Applying for a Partner Visa in the COVID-19 Era
Interstaff’s Registered Migration Agents
The Department of Home Affairs
The Market Herald
Immigration Minister – Media Release
Immigration Minister – Media Release