New skill lists effective 1 July 2017

The Australian government has updated the occupations lists for a range of temporary and permanent employer sponsored skilled visas, with the new lists effective from 1 July 2017.

The Immigration Minister Peter Dutton states that whilst the changes to the lists are aimed at protecting Australian workers, he understands the important of enabling employers to recruit overseas workers in occupations in high demand or shortage in the Australian labour market.

“The Government recognises the importance of enabling Australian businesses to tap into global talent to remain internationally competitive and support a strong national science and innovation agenda,” said Peter Dutton.

The changes to the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) will affect what occupations non-Australian employees can be nominated into these skilled visas.

Visas Affected

The MLTSSL and STSOL lists outline the skilled occupations that can be filled by non-Australian employees under the following visa categories:

  • subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa,
  • subclass 407 Training visa,
  • subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme permanent residence visa and
  • subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa programmes.

Short Term Skills List – Occupations Added:

  • research and development manager *
  • production manager (manufacturing) *
  • production manager (mining) *
  • music director *
  • music professionals (nec) *
  • artistic director *
  • aeroplane pilot *
  • flying instructor *
  • helicopter pilot *
  • nurse researcher *
  • web developer *
  • ICT Support and Test Engineers (nec) *
  • ICT support technicians (nec) *
  • textile, clothing and footwear mechanic *
  • butcher or smallgoods maker *
  • retail buyer *

Medium – Long Term Skills List – Occupations Added

  • chief executive or managing director
  • corporate general manager
  • chief information officer
  • faculty head
  • university lecturer
  • environmental manager
  • musician (instrumental)
  • statistician
  • economist
  • mining engineer (excluding petroleum)
  • petroleum engineer
  • engineering professionals (nec) *
  • chemist
  • food technologist *
  • environmental consultant
  • environmental research scientist
  • environmental scientists (nec)
  • geophysicist *
  • hydrogeologist *
  • life scientist (general) *
  • biochemist *
  • biotechnologist *
  • botanist
  • marine biologist
  • microbiologist *
  • zoologist
  • physicist
  • life scientists (not elsewhere classified) *
  • conservator
  • metallurgist *
  • meteorologist
  • natural and physical science professionals (nec) *
  • multimedia specialist
  • software and applications programmers (nec)
  • ICT security specialist
  • horse trainer *

* indicates an occupation removed from the skill lists in April 2017, and re-instated on 1 July.

Occupations Removed from 1 July

  • Equipment Hire Manager
  • Fleet Manager
  • Picture Framer
  • Property Manager
  • Psychotherapist
  • Real Estate Agent Principal
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Real Estate Agent Representative
  • Ship’s Engineer
  • Ship’s Master
  • Ship’s Officer
  • University Tutor

Caveats Revised

The use of additional caveats or restrictions for certain occupations was introduced in April 2017. Caveats specify the type of business, nature of the role or minimum salary required for approval of a nomination or visa.

The Government has varied and/or removed some of the caveats under the new skill lists, including remove of the $1 million turnover and employee requirements for certain roles which precluded access to these roles by Australian start up companies.

Caveats previously applied only to 457 visa applications , and will now apply to the 186 ENS Direct entry visa as well.

What does this mean?

The changes take effect from 1 July, and will impact visa applications lodged on or after 1 July AND also those applications lodged before 1 July but have not yet been finally determined.

Applicants with pending 457 visa applications whose occupation is no longer eligible should withdraw their application and request a refund.

Subclass 457 visas will be granted for up to two years for occupations on the STSOL and four years if the occupation is on the MLTSSL. MLTSSL occupations will have a pathway to Australian permanent residency through Employer Sponsored visa from March 2018 once the new Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa commences.

The Government will update the lists on a six monthly basis to ensure the best outcomes for Australian workers and employers alike.

A note on General Skilled Migration

Prior to 1 July, a single MLTSSL applied to both Employer Sponsored and General Skilled Migration programs.

However, going forward different lists will apply to the two programs from 1 July:

  1. Occupations for subclass 189 Skilled Independent visas and subclass 489 Family Sponsored Skilled Regional visas.
  2. Occupations for subclass 190 / 489 State Nominated visas.

13 occupations have been removed from the GSM lists entirely – these include Senior Managers, Statisticians, Economists, Mining Engineers, Engineering Professionals NEC and Chemists.

6 occupations have been removed from the list for Skilled Independent 189 visas and family sponsored 489 visas including Sea Transport Professionals and Psychotherapists (removed entirely), some of which are still available for State Nomination such as Production Manager (Mining) and Anaesthetists.

16 occupations have been added to the State/Territory Nominated occupation list which were not previously available – these include Air Transport, ICT Support Technician, Butcher & Small Goods and Retail Buyers.

How you can get help

If you would like an assessment of your eligibility for a skilled visa or advice as to how the changes to the occupations list affect you, please book a consultation with one of our specialists.

We will continue to analyse the skill list changes and provide further updates. Sign up to our newsletter to receive regular updates.

Further information:

Media Release – Update of skilled visa occupations lists

List of eligible skilled occupations – DIBP Website

IMMI 17/072: Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities

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