It is to be noted and disclosed that the following changes are merely proposed changes that have not yet taken affect. Any proposed amendments will not be enacted until March 2020.

Occupation List Proposed Amendments

The skilled occupation lists has in recent time has had some proposed amendments made to it for Immigration purposes. This information was released by the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business in their Traffic Light Bulletin. Some of the potential changes made will have the effect of removing or demoting some occupations in trade, and the addition of occupations relating to personal and aged care.

Red Occupations

The red occupations are the occupations which are at risk of being removed from all occupation lists. This is concerning as the occupations affected include Massage Therapists, Community Workers, Driving Instructors and even Hairdressers. These occupations are in demand in some parts of Australia and many migrants who have come to Australia have previously worked in these specific occupations.

Orange Occupations

Orange occupations listed have been flagged for movement between the three established lists of occupations. The movement is between Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and Regional Occupation List (ROL). Some of the flagged occupations which are proposedly set to be downgraded from MLTSSL to STSOL include occupations such as Cabinetmakers, Tilers, and Painters.

Movement from the ROL to the STSOL are occupations including Mechanical Engineering Draftspersons and Real Estate Representatives. This in turn gives the ability for employers that are situated in non-regional districts of Australia to potentially sponsor for visas.

Movement which is set to potentially occur from the STSOL to the MLTSSL include occupations such as “data scientists” which stem out from the over-arching occupation of Information and Organisation Professionals. Another occupation which is also potentially going to move from the STSOL to the MLTSSL are ICT Project managers. As a result of such a change, this would allow applicants of a 482 visa to potentially pave a pathway into gaining permanent residency in Australia. Not only will applicants have a pathway to permanently reside in Australia, but it would open the possibility of allowing applicants to apply for a Skilled Independent 189 visa. This in turn is a positive movement, however, it is worth noting thar a salary caveat above a certain level may apply to some of the aforementioned occupations. These caveats can be found on the Departments website which is available here.

However, a movement which would in some cases limit potential applicants from residing and working in regional Australia will be the movement of occupations that are currently STSOL to the ROL, one of the occupations which will potentially feel this movement are people that are employed as geologists.

A potential positive is the movement from the ROL to the MLTSSL which will effectively be giving employers another chance to sponsor employees that are outside of regional Australia, some of these particular occupations include Procurement Manager and Ship’s Master.

Green Occupations

After quite some time, personal support occupations will no longer be neglected off all lists as many have been flagged for addition to the STSOL. Some of these occupations which will be affected by this movement will come with a mandatory skill assessment, however this is merely a recommendation and is yet to be approved. These occupations include people in the industry of Aged Care or Disabled Care, Personal Care Assistants, and Nursing Support Workers.

Salary Caveats

The Department has recommended a minimum salary caveat for occupations such as Fitter and Turners, Poultry Farmers and Horse trainers. The minimum salary caveat for these occupations is set to be AU$65,000 per annum compared to Sportspersons nec which would need to have a minimum salary of AU$120,000. These occupations will be unaffected regarding which list they fit into.

Upcoming and Emerging Occupations

There are a number of emerging occupations which the Department have identified to not fit within the ANZSCO system such as:

  • Blockchain Strategists
  • Blockchain Planner/Managers
  • Maintenance Electricians
  • Horticulture farm Managers
  • Biosecurity officers
  • Irrigation Managers
  • Data Scientists

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have now determined that these occupations fit into the following subsequent definitions and can be used for immigration purposes:

  • 261111 ICT BUSINESS ANALYST
  • 135112 ICT PROJECT MANAGER
  • 341111 ELECTRICIAN (GENERAL)
  • 121213 FRUIT OR NUT GROWER
  • 311313 QUARANTINE OFFICER
  • 121213 FRUIT OR NUT GROWER
  • 224999 INFORMATION AND ORGANISATION PROFESSIONALS NEC

Further advice?

If you require further advice regarding what these proposed changes may mean for you, please feel free to schedule a consultation with our immigration lawyers for specific advice given your individual circumstances.