The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) announced this week that as of 1 July, 2013, the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) which prioritises Australian visa applicants with the skills in demand will be updated. We take a look at what the changes are and what this means for those that are affected.
Skilled Occupations List
The Skilled Occupations List is a core part of the Australian immigration system. An applicant applying for an Australian visa must obtain a sufficient points score on the Points System for their application to progress. If an applicant has at least 3, 5 or 8 years of overseas experience in one of the occupations on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL), they may be eligible to claim additional points to boost their total points score.
Occupations listed on the SOL are determined by those occupations and skill sets currently in demand in Australia, this could be due to shortages, economic needs or future expectations; the list is usually updated in line with the new year's migration program each July.
The most recent update will take place at the start of next month when the following five occupations will be removed from the list:
What does this mean?
If you had the required number of points and were intending to lodge a general skilled migration application nominating one of the five occupations listed above, this could affect your visa options as you will no longer be eligible for a Skilled Independent (subclass 189) Visa.
You will be required to change the visa class which you initially applied for.
While the Skilled Independent subclass of visa is one of the most popular courses of migration to Australia, having to change to either the Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) or the Skilled Nominated (subclass 489) visas is not as bad as it may sound.
An applicant for either of these classes of visas will typically be required to live and work within a specified state or territory for the first two years of their residence in Australia, and although the Skilled Nominated (subclass 489) visa is a provisional visa it does provide a pathway to permanent residency.
Both visas also offer a pathway to permanent residency.
Visa Bureau clients
Immigration legislation can be difficult to understand and even harder to predict, especially when the Department of Immigration and Citizenship introduce changes such as these. However, Visa Bureau is committed to working will all clients to find alternative routes to Australia should any change adversely affect their application.
- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Australian Visa Bureau.
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