For skilled migrants, the list of approved occupations is critical in determining whether to proceed with a visa application. The relevant list is always open to tweaking by the Minister, which one of his last actions before federal election was called and Parliament was dissolved.
The new lists will be in force on 1 July 2016. The relevant instrument consists of two schedules: the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL). The distinction between these lists is very important. The SOL is the only list that an applicant can nominate for a Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa, and is also the list for the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489), sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated regional area, and the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa under the Graduate Work stream.
The much larger CSOL, which incorporates the SOL, are the eligible occupations for the Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa and the Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa, which requires nomination by a State or Territory, the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa, the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa under the Direct Entry stream, and the Training and Research (subclass 402) visa under the Occupational Trainee stream.
To summarise, the following occupations have been moved from the SOL to the CSOL:
- 233611 Mining Engineers (excluding Petroleum)
- 233612 Petroleum Engineers
- 234912 Metallurgists
- 251311 Environmental Health Officers
- 251312 Occupational Health & Safety Advisers
- 411211 Dental Hygienists
- 411212 Dental Prosthetists
- 411213 Dental Technicians
- 411213 Dental Therapists
The following occupations have been moved from the CSOL to the SOL:
- 251912 Orthotist or Prosthetist
- 252711 Audiologists
No occupations have been removed from the CSOL that has not been added to the SOL.
In order to ensure that applicants up to 1 July 2016 are not affected by these changes, additional legislation has been passed to allow applications made up to this date to still rely on the old occupation lists that were current at the time of application.