Occupation list shuffle: 36 more GSM occupations; GPs sent to the country, new caveats

From today, new occupation lists have come into force for General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas, and all other visas that require a nominated occupation on a relevant list. This includes:

  • Subclass 407 – Training visas,

  • Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visas,

  • Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visas,

  • Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visas,

  • Subclass 189 – Skilled—Independent visas,

  • Subclass 190 – Skilled—Nominated visas,

  • Subclass 489 – Skilled—Regional (Provisional) visas, and

  • Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visas under the Graduate Work Stream.

Many of these lists have also amended or added caveats. Perhaps the biggest changes are that certain medical practitioner occupations now require health workforce certificates to have their nomination approved, 36 occupations have been added to the GSM Medium and Long‑term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), and many farming occupations have been moved from the Short‑term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) to the Regional Occupation List (ROL).

All occupation lists have had assessing authorities changed to corerctly match their registered business names, with only four occupations changed to different assessing authority bodies: Welfare Support Workers (411713 Family Support Worker, 411715 Residential Care Officer, and 411712 Disabilities Services Officer) now assessed by the Australian Community Workers Association, and 252611 Podiatrist now assessed by Australian and New Zealand Podiatry Accreditation Council.

Major highlights to each occupations list are addressed individually.

482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visas

The popular TSS visa occupation list has seen the following sport and artistic occupations moved from the STSOL to the MLTSSL:

139911 Arts administrator or manager,

211112 Dancer or choreographer,

211212 Music director,

212111 Artistic director,

452316 Tennis coach, and

452411 Footballer.

Two further occupations have been added to the MLTSSL: 322312 Pressure welder, and 313213 Telecommunications network planner.

Many farming occupations have been moved from the STSOL to the ROL, which is a common sense change as there would be little possibility of dairy cattle farmers being sponsored to work in major capital cities.

One major change is the adding and amending of caveats. 452411 Footballers and 399212 Gas or petroleum operators among others must have nominated annual earnings of at least AUD 120 000. The nominated annual earnings caveat for 223112 Recruitment consultants has been reduced, from AUD 90 000 to AUD 80 000.

Perhaps the biggest caveat change is to the following medical practitioner occupations: 253111 General practitioner, 253999 Medical practitioner (nec), and 253112 Resident medical officer. Any nominee for these occupations must submit a current health workforce certificate, which is issued by certain Federal, State and Territory medical practitioner entities who will consider whether the nominated position is located in an area of workforce need before issuing the certificate to the nominee. This is an initiative to control where a medical practitioner will practice and to direct them to areas of workforce shortages, many of which will be in regional or rural areas. This was foreshadowed more than two years ago.

186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visas

The 186 visa occupation list mirrors changes to the 482 MLTSSL occupation list, including health workforce certificates and caveats. Obviously, there is no STSOL or ROL for 186 visas. Unless a nominee meets transitional arrangements, they are at the mercy of the 186 occupation list. No occupations have been removed from this list.

Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visas

The same occupations moved from the TSS MLTSSL occupation list have been moved from the ROL to the MLTSSL. Currently, there is no distinction between the MLTSSL and ROL as both the Temporary Residence Transition stream and Direct Entry stream can nominate an occupation on either list.

The 187 occupation list, however, adds the abovementioned health workforce certificate requirement which is now the first time a “caveat” has been added.

General Skilled Migration visas

The GSM occupation list visas encompasses four visa subclasses:

  • Subclass 189 – Skilled—Independent visas,

  • Subclass 190 – Skilled—Nominated visas,

  • Subclass 489 – Skilled—Regional (Provisional) visas, and

  • Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visas under the Graduate Work Stream.

The biggest change is that 36 occupations have been added to the MLTSSL:

139911 Arts Administrator or Manager

211112 Dancer or Choreographer

211212 Music Director

212111 Artistic Director

452316 Tennis Coach

452411 Footballer

139912 Environmental Manager

211213 Musician (Instrumental)

224113 Statistician

224311 Economist

233611 Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum)

233612 Petroleum Engineer

233999 Engineering Professionals nec

234211 Chemist

234212 Food Technologist

234312 Environmental Consultant

234313 Environmental Research Scientist

234399 Environmental Scientists nec

234412 Geophysicist

234413 Hydrogeologist

234511 Life Scientist (General)

234513 Biochemist

234514 Biotechnologist

234515 Botanist

234516 Marine Biologist

234517 Microbiologist

234518 Zoologist

234599 Life Scientists nec

234911 Conservator

234912 Metallurgist

234913 Meteorologist

234999 Natural and Physical Science Professionals nec

242111 University Lecturer

261211 Multimedia Specialist

261399 Software and Applications Programmers nec

361112 Horse Trainer

Occupations already on the MLTSSL, namely, 234914 Physicist is no longer restricted to medical physicists. Additionally, 313213 Telecommunications network planner and 322312 Pressure welder will be available again.

Farming occupations, 252312 Dentist, and 253211 Anaesthetist, have been moved to the ROL from the STSOL, meaning they can only be nominated by a State or Territory for a 489 visa instead of a permanent 190 visa.

The effect of these significant additions to the MLTSSL will likely see the minimum points required to be invited for a 189 visa increase due to heightened demand. The last invitation round published, 11 January 2019, has a minimum score of 70 points with a date of effect of 8 December 2018. Because so many professional occupations have been added, this will further exacerbate the woes of trade occupations on the MLTSSL, which have generally seen scant invitations issued.

Subclass 407 – Training visas

Lastly, the changes to the 407 visa occupation list are closely aligned to the 482 occupation list changes, and is stated as such. Occupations for 407 visas do not place any restrictions regardless on whether it is on the MLTSSL, STSOL, or ROL.