Major changes to the skilled occupation lists

In a surprise announcement, the Government has introduced significant changes to the occupation lists used for skilled migration visas, including the subclass 457 visa commencing 19 April 2017.

Two new, amended skill lists have been introduced:

  • Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) (to replace the Skilled Occupation List (SOL); and
  • Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) (to replace the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL).

Significant changes have been made to occupations eligible for temporary and permanent skilled migration.

From a subclass 457 visa perspective this includes:

  • 216 occupations removed from the list of eligible occupations; and
  • caveats added to 59 other occupations

These removed occupations will also affect the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186), the Skilled Nominated (subclass 190), the State and Territory Nominated stream of the subclass 489 and some applicants for the Training visa (subclass 407).

From a general skilled migration perspective, occupations on the SOL will remain on the MLTSSL for the Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189), the Temporary Graduate Visa – Graduate Work Stream (subclass 485) and the Family Nominated stream of the subclass 489 Visa.

Occupation lists are already available on the Department’s website.

 Impact for employers and 457 visas

Clients who lodged subclass 457 nomination and visa applications prior to the Government’s announcement for occupations no longer on the approved skilled occupation list, which have not been processed, will be given the opportunity to withdraw their applications and a refund will be provided. Nomination applications lodged after 19 April 2017 can be refused.

Existing 457 visa holders will not be affected. It is expected that 457 visa holders can apply for the Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Permanent Visa under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream under transitional arrangements.

For subclass 457 visas granted on or after 19 April 2017, the visa will be granted for a four year visa period where the primary applicant’s occupation is on the MLTSSL. For all other applicants where their occupation is not on the MLTSSL, a maximum visa period of two years will be available.

This includes primary visa applications, lodged, which are still pending a decision on 19 April 2017.

Impact for State or Family-nominated visas

If you have recently nominated someone in one of these removed occupations, and they have been sent an invitation to apply in SkillSelect, then they will be able to apply for a subclass 190 or 489 visa. If you have recently nominated someone in one of these removed occupations and they have lodged a visa application, their application will be finalised as normal. From 19 April, you will not be able to nominate and invite someone to apply for a subclass 190 or 489 visa in one of these removed occupations.

Occupations Removed from the Skill List

A list of removed occupations is available on the Department’s website. Some notable deletions on the list include:

Web Developer 261212

ICT Support and Test Engineers nec 263299

ICT Support Technicians nec 313199

Public Relations Manager 131114

Policy and Planning Manager 132411

Human Resource Adviser 223111

Workplace Relations Advisor 223113

Training and Development Professional 223311

Importer or Exporter 133311

Wholesaler 133312

Procurement Manager 133612

Medical Administrator (Aus) 134211

Call or Contact Centre Manager 149211

Financial Institution Branch Manager 149914

Corporate Treasurer 221212

Futures Trader 222212

Migration Agent (Aus) 224913

Sales Representative (Industrial Products) 225411 / Sales Representative (Medical and Pharmaceutical Products) 225412

Actor 211111

Entertainer or Variety Artist 211113

Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers nec 211199

Composer 211211

Music Director 211212

Singer 211214

Artistic Director 212111

Aeroplane Pilot 231111

Ship’s Engineer 231212

Ship’s Master 231213

Ship’s Officer 231214

Multimedia Designer 232413

Chemical Engineer 233111

Materials Engineer 233112

Electronics Engineer 233411

Industrial Engineer 233511

Production or Plant Engineer 233513

Petroleum Engineer 233612

Food Technologist 234212

Conservation Officer 234311

Geophysicist 234412

Hydrogeologist 234413

Biochemist 234513

Biotechnologist 234514

Microbiologist 234517

Life Scientists nec 234599

Vocational Education Teacher (Trades) 242211 99 / (Non-Trades) 242211

School Laboratory Technician 311414

Civil Engineering Technician 312212

Electronic Engineering Draftsperson 312411

Electronic Engineering Technician 312412

Mechanical Engineering Draftsperson 312511

Telecommunications Network Planner 313213

Telecommunications Technician 342414

Interior Decorator 399912 176.

Technicians and Trades Workers nec 399999

Dental Hygienist 411211

Dental Prosthetist 411212

Dental Therapist 411214

Mothercraft Nurse 411412

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker 411511

Emergency Service Worker 441211

Fire Fighter 441212

Flight Attendant 451711 198.

Jockey 452413

Business Broker 612111

Retail Buyer 639211


Caveats are included ‘as a note’ in the skilled occupation for certain occupations to limit their use in the 457 visa programme.

There are three main groups of caveated occupations:

  • Group A: caveats relating to minimum work experience of the visa applicant
  • Group B: caveats related to regional location
  • Group C: occupation specific caveats relating to the size and scope of the sponsoring business

Group A – Caveats relating to work experience

The following occupations can be nominated ONLY where the applicant has 2 years’ work experience (in addition to any relevant qualification):

  • Advertising Specialist 225111
  • Contract Administrator 511111
  • Finance Manager 132211
  • Graphic Designer 232411
  • Hairdresser 391111
  • ICT Project Manager 135112
  • ICT Support Engineer 263212
  • ICT Systems Test Engineer 263213
  • Information and Organisation Professionals nec 224999
  • Software Tester 261314
  • University Lecturer 242111

Group B – Caveats relating to regional location

Occupations in this category include farming, agriculture and forestry positions.

Group C – Caveats for specific occupations

This caveat precludes the 457 visa from being used for semi- or low-skilled positions, or positions in businesses that the Department deems would not require a highly skilled worker based on factors such as salary of the applicant or size, revenue or activities of the business. Occupations subject to this caveat include:

  • Accountants 221111 (note the skill list excludes positions of Accounts Clerk (ANZSCO 551111), Bookkeeper (ANZSCO 5512111), Cost Clerk (ANZSCO 551112) and Payroll Clerk (ANZSCO 551311))
  • Animal Attendants and Trainers nec 361199
  • Baker 351111
  • Cafe and Restaurant Manager 141111
  • Chefs 351311
  • Chief Executive or Managing Director 111111
  • Conference and Event Organiser 149311
  • Cooks 351411
  • Corporate General Manager 111211
  • Corporate Services Manager 132111
  • Customer Service Managers 149212 (note the instrument excludes Retail Manager 142111)
  • Facilities Manager 149953
  • Farmer (various)
  • Hair or Beauty Salon Manager 142114
  • Hotel or Motel Manager 141311 (note the instrument excludes Hotel Services Manager 431411 or a Hotel or Motel Receptionist 542113)
  • Management Consultant 224711
  • Marketing Specialist 225113
  • Massage Therapist 411611
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician
  • Pastry Cook 351112
  • Recruitment Consultant 223112
  • Sales and Marketing Manager 131112
  • Supply and Distribution Manager 133611
  • Technical Sales Representatives NEC 225499
  • Transport Company Manager 149413

If you have any concerns or questions about the changes, please contact us via email and we will respond to you as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience as we aim to respond to all queries as quickly as possible.

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