If you are considering applying for a Skilled visa, one key aspect you will need to consider is whether you have the skills, qualifications and/or experience in a prescribed skilled occupation to qualify. Each skilled visa is specifically targeted to help to fill identified skill shortages in particular areas of Australia. To be eligible for a specified skilled visa, you must demonstrate that you meet these prescribed requirements. Also be aware that the Australian skills occupation list applies to the Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa in certain circumstances, as well as to the Subclass 407 Training visa.
The priority migration skilled occupation list takes this one step further, by zeroing in on critical areas of need in the Australian labour market, to support Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this article, we examine the Australian skilled occupations list, including the visa subclasses to which it applies and its characteristics. We take a look at how it applies to the Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa, and how this differs between the graduate work stream and post study work stream. We then delve deeper into the priority skilled occupation list and when it applies.
Lets start our discussion by taking a closer look at the Australian skilled occupations list.
What Is A Skilled Occupation List?
A Skilled Occupation List sets out the occupations that may be nominated to qualify for a visa to Australia. It applies to all skilled visas, including the Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa, if you apply under the Graduate Work stream only. You are not required to nominate a skilled occupation under the Post-Study Work stream of the subclass 485 visa.
To meet the eligibility requirements under the Graduate Work stream, you must nominate an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and you must have your skilled assessed by a specified skill assessing authority for your occupation. The result must be positive, thus confirming that your skills are suitable for your nominated occupation. This is discussed further below.
When applying for a skilled visa, you must check the relevant skilled occupation list which applies to confirm your eligibility. For some skilled visas, you may also be required to have a positive skills assessment, which confirms that you are qualified to competently perform the occupation in Australia. Skilled work experience may also be a requirement to qualify.
When Does A Skilled Occupation List Apply?
More specifically, the visas below are available to applicants who are qualified to work or train in an eligible skilled occupation in Australia and can meet all other requirements:
- Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa
- Subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa;
- Subclass 190 Skilled Independent visa;
- Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa;
- Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa;
- Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa;
- Subclass 407 Training visa;
- Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa (Graduate Work stream);
- Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (note this visa has been replaced by the subclass 494 visa on 16 November 2019; transitional arrangements apply in certain circumstances); and
- Subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (note this visa has been replaced by the subclass 491 visa on 16 November 2019; transitional arrangements apply in certain circumstances).
Characteristics Of A Skilled Occupation List
Each skilled visa is subject to its own Australian skilled occupations list. On each Australian skilled occupations list, you will find the following:
- the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) code for each occupation. The ANZSCO provides information on the skill level of jobs, qualifications and/or experience that are needed to work in each occupation;
- caveats, which exclude the occupation in certain circumstances (this applies to the ENS and TSS visa);
- whether the occupation is included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL); and
- the prescribed skills assessing authority for skills assessments.
Temporary Graduate Visa
Graduate Work Stream
As discussed earlier in this article, if you are applying for a Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa under the Graduate work stream, you must meet the following requirements in relation to your skills:
- nominate an occupation that is included in the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL);
- each degree, diploma or trade qualification that is used to satisfy the Australian study requirement is closely related to your nominated skilled occupation;
- when the application is made, it is accompanied by evidence to demonstrate that you have applied for an assessment of your skills for the nominated skilled occupation by a prescribed assessing authority; and
- your skills for the nominated skilled occupation have been assessed, during the last 3 years, by a prescribed assessing authority as being suitable for that occupation.
Make sure you carefully select your nominated occupation as you are unable to change this after you have applied for the subclass 485 visa. If you have skills in more than one occupation on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List, then you need to decide before making your Subclass 485 visa application which one of those occupations you will nominate as your nominated skilled occupation.
Also be aware that at the time of decision on your visa application, you must have a suitable skills assessment for your nominated skilled occupation. You need to provide to the Department the written advice of the outcome of the assessment from the skills assessing body (note how this compares with the visa application stage, when you only need to provide evidence that you have applied for your skills to be assessed; this needs to be finalised with an outcome before a decision can be made on your visa application).
If your skills are assessed on the basis of a qualification obtained in Australia whilst you held a student visa, the qualification must have been obtained as a result of studying a course that is registered under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
Post Study Work Stream
As noted earlier in this article, no skilled occupation list requirement applies to the post study work stream under the subclass 485 visa. Therefore, you are not required to select a nominated skilled occupation under this stream.
To be eligible for a subclass 485 visa under the post study work stream, you must have completed a higher education degree in Australia.
You must also have applied for, and been granted, your first Student visa on or after 5 November 2011.
We recommend that you refer to our article which discusses in further detail the differences between the graduate work and post study work streams, and what is required to qualify for each stream.
A Note About The Temporary Graduate Visa
You should carefully review all requirements that apply to each stream of the subclass 485 visa to confirm your eligibility and apply accordingly. Be aware that the migration provisions are complex and constantly changing. Misinterpreting or not being fully informed about these requirements and how they apply to your personal situation can result in making a mistake in your application and therefore risking lodgement of an invalid application or a visa refusal. Such an outcome can have potentially serious consequences, affecting your ability to re-apply for a graduate or other visa whilst you remain onshore. Due to the quite short time-frames that apply to the graduate visa eligibility criteria, this could result in you losing the chance to apply for the graduate visa. In such a case, you would need to re-assess your eligibility for another type of visa, which may require that you depart Australia to lodge the new application. Getting it right the first time is therefore critical, and we would recommend that you seek professional advice from a migration agent or immigration lawyer to give yourself the best chance of a successful result.
For up to date advice on the graduate visa process and requirements, and how to avoid a refusal, book your confidential consultation with a migration agent in Adelaide. PAX Migration Australia is a leading immigration advice service based in Adelaide, and we aren’t expensive! Just ask us!
Subject To Regular Review
The Australian skilled occupations lists and priority migration skilled occupation list are updated by the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) periodically (following regular reviews by the National Skills Commission) in line with changing labour market needs in all areas of Australia, including individual variations in regional areas.
Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List
The Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) identifies specific occupations which are needed to fill critical skills needs in order to support Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The list is based on expert advice from the National Skills Commission and consultation with Commonwealth departments.
There are currently 44 skilled occupations which are included in the priority skilled occupation list.
Employer sponsored nomination and visa applications with an occupation on the PMSOL are given priority processing. That is, the following employer sponsored nomination and visa applications for PMSOL occupations are subject to priority processing by the Department:
- Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa;
- Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa;
- Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa; and
- Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (note this visa has been replaced by the subclass 494 visa on 16 November 2019; transitional arrangements apply in certain circumstances).
All other skilled occupation lists remain active, however the priority skilled occupation list occupations take priority.
Be mindful that the priority skilled occupation list is temporary and priority occupations may change as Australia recovers from the pandemic. The Government and the National Skills Commission continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the Australian labour market and assess Australia’s skills needs as they evolve and new data emerges.
Skilled occupations that have recently been added to the priority migration skilled occupation list include Social Worker (ANZSCO 272511), Veterinarian (ANZSCO 234711), Hospital Pharmacist (ANZSCO 251511), Industrial Pharmacist (ANZSCO 251512) and Retail Pharmacist (ANZSCO 251513).
What Occupations Are Included On The PMSOL?
Listed below are the current priority migration skilled occupation list occupations (note this is subject to change and is updated regularly by the Department; also note the code beside each occupation refers to the ANZSCO code):
- Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
- Construction Project Manager (133111)
- Accountant (General) (221111)
- Management Accountant (221112)
- Taxation Accountant (221113)
- External Auditor (221213)
- Internal Auditor (221214)
- Surveyor (232212)
- Cartographer (232213)
- Other Spatial Scientist (232214)
- Civil Engineer (233211)
- Geotechnical Engineer (233212)
- Structural Engineer (233214)
- Transport Engineer (233215)
- Electrical Engineer (233311)
- Mechanical Engineer (233512)
- Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum) (233611)
- Petroleum Engineer (233612)
- Medical Laboratory Scientist (234611)
- Veterinarian (234711)
- Hospital Pharmacist (251511)
- Industrial Pharmacist (251512)
- Retail Pharmacist (251513)
- Orthotist or Prosthetist (251912)
- General Practitioner (253111)
- Resident Medical Officer (253112)
- Psychiatrist (253411)
- Medical Practitioners nec (253999)
- Midwife (254111)
- Registered Nurse (Aged Care) (254412)
- Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) (254415)
- Registered Nurse (Medical) (254418)
- Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (254422)
- Registered Nurse (Perioperative) (254423)
- Registered Nurses nec (254499)
- Multimedia Specialist (261211)
- Analyst Programmer (261311)
- Developer Programmer (261312)
- Software Engineer (261313)
- Software and Applications Programmers nec (261399)
- ICT Security Specialist (262112)
- Social Worker (272511)
- Maintenance Planner (312911)
- Chef (351311)
Get More Information
Temporary Graduate Visa
To learn more about applying for a subclass 485 temporary graduate visa, please see the following articles:
To learn more about applying for a skilled visa, please see the following articles:
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Contact us to book a no-obligation consultation to find out more about applying for a skilled visa, the Australian skilled occupations list including how it applies to the Temporary Graduate visa under the graduate work stream, and the priority skilled occupation list.
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Australia’s migration laws are complex, and each case is different. We recommend that you seek professional advice if you are interested in applying for a skilled visa in Australia, as being fully informed will give you the best chance of achieving a successful outcome on your case. A migration professional can help you to do this. You will also note that several terms mentioned in the above article are defined in the migration provisions. It is vital to have a good understanding of these terms and how they apply in practice. Detailed advice about these is beyond the scope of this article and we would therefore recommend that you seek further information in this regard.
For up to date advice on applying for a skilled visa, including the Australian skilled occupations list and priority migration skilled occupation list, contact PAX Migration Australia, a leading immigration service providing advice on a range of visas including skilled, temporary graduate under the graduate work and post study work streams, and training visas. Contact us for a no obligation discussion on how we may be able to assist you in your migration goals in Australia.