Skilled occupation list for Australian visas to stay unchanged

by Ray Clancy on January 3, 2018

in Australia Immigration

The medium and long term strategic skills list in Australia which contains the occupations eligible for general skilled visas is unlikely to change at the beginning of 2018.

In July 2017 it was announced that as part of a package of reforms to skilled migration visas the list would be updated on a six monthly basis.

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But there is no change expected to be announced in January 2018 as the Department of Jobs and Small Business has not proposed any additions to the list or recommended that any occupations be removed.

It is the Department of Jobs and Small Business that is responsible for undertaking a regular review of the occupation lists used for skilled migration to meet short-term and long-term needs of the Australian economy.

‘There were substantial changes to the skilled migration occupation lists in April and July 2017. Therefore, the Government has prioritised continuity and stability. For this reason, no changes have been proposed for the medium and long term strategic skills list at this time,’ a spokesman said.

According to migration agents the move is welcome as it gives some stability to those applying or working towards applying for skilled migration visas.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is considering the introduction of a traffic lights bulletin to indicate which occupations are most needed.

There has also been discussions about simplifying the visa process, in particular reducing the current 99 visas available to just 10, but it has not been made clear if this is likely to happen in 2018 as it is described as a long term Government goal.

Another potential change in the coming months is the introduction of mandatory provisional visas where immigrants may need to spend a certain period of time before they are granted permanent residency.

A consultation found that around 55% opposed a provisional period and among those who supported the principle of provisional residence, a provisional period of a minimum of two years was most popular.

Some 88% of the submissions supported visa simplification with suggestions that importance be given to transparency around decision making, reduced processing times and a system that was easier to understand and navigate.

‘This is a long term programme of improvement to the way we deliver our services. There is no immediate impact for visa applicants or holders. The first step will be broad consultation with the market on the design and build of a new visa processing platform,’ said a DIBP spokesman.

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