Australia: Skilled Migration Occupation Lists Flagged for January 2018 Changes

Australia's Department of Employment recently released a draft bulletin which flagged possible changes to list of occupations eligible for the employer-linked temporary and permanent visa programs. The bulletin is open for public consultation until December 1, 2017 with the changes scheduled to take effect January 1, 2018.

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Nov 20, 2017
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On November 17, 2017, the Department of Employment released its Traffic Light Bulletin of occupations that are flagged to undergo possible changes in status in Australia's employer sponsored temporary and permanent visa programs, which would be effective January 1, 2018. Four occupations are flagged for removal from these visa programs and a further five are proposed to be added to the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List. Employers have until December 1, 2017 to make submissions in response to the proposed changes prior to the release of occupation lists.

A closer look
Most of the occupations currently on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) are not expected to change. Those that are flagged for a change are listed below:

  • STSOL occupations that are flagged for possible complete removal
    • Accommodation and Hospitality Managers NEC 141999
    • Hair or Beauty Salon Manager 142114
    • Recruitment Consultant 223112 
    • Building Associate 312112
  • STSOL occupations not currently on the lists that are flagged for addition
    • University Tutor 242112
    • Psychotherapist 272314
    • Property Manager 612112
    • Real Estate Agent 612114
    • Real Estate Representative 612115

Background

Since April 2017, the occupations available for nomination in the subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) and subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa programs have been divided into two lists:

  • Short-Term Skilled Occupation List.  Eligible for a two-year 457 visa, with the possibility of a renewal for a further two years, and no access to the ENS after March 2018. 
  • Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List.   Occupations in high demand, with a high value to Australia's economic development, and with a relatively long lead time for development of occupational skills within Australia. Occupations on the MLTSSL are eligible for a four-year visa, with the possibility of indefinite renewals, and access to the ENS. 

The same lists will be utilized in the Temporary Skills Shortage visa program, which will replace the subclass 457 visa in March 2018.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection has requested the Department of Employment to review the STSOL and MLTSSL every six months, to ensure that they are responsive to changes in the Australian labor market. The review will examine whether occupations should be added or removed from the lists, or moved between the lists. 

What this means to employers

Employers of 457 visa holders who are in one of the flagged occupations for removal, or who are preparing or lodging an application for permanent residence should seek guidance from Fragomen as to the impact of the potential removal of those occupations come January 1, 2018. 

Employers may also make evidence-based submissions to the Department of Employment regarding the proposed list changes. These submissions will be taken into account along with the labor market information and material available to the Department indicating the need for a change. Submissions are due by December 1, 2017. Fragomen is able to assist employers with the preparation of submissions to the Department of Employment in response to the proposed changes. 

Fragomen will continue to monitor developments in this area and will provide updates as soon as available.

If you have any questions or are interested in a consultation, please contact your Fragomen team, or contact GovernmentRelationsAU@fragomen.com.

MARN 0849574

© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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