Australian Visa Legislation Changes 2017

Only certain occupations are approved for use under Australia’s permanent and temporary skilled visa programmes. These occupations are listed in a legislative instrument that contains two schedules or ‘occupation lists’ that apply to different visa programmes.

On 19 April 2017, the:

  • Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) replaced the previous ‘Skilled Occupation List’ (SOL) and is available in Schedule 1 of the relevant legislative instrument
  • Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) replaced the previous ‘Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List’ (CSOL) and is available in Schedule 2 of the relevant legislative instrument.

The information below explains which lists are relevant for particular visa programmes. Information is also provided about occupations that were removed from the list of eligible skilled occupations on 19 April 2017.

Note: different eligible occupation arrangements are in place for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187).

 

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

You must nominate an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) if you are applying for any of the below:

 

Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)

There is no separate STSOL list on our website as visa programmes that utilise this list can also access some additional occupations on the MLTSSL. For ease of reference, we have combined both the STSOL and the eligible MLTSSL occupations  together. See: Combined list of eligible skilled occupations.

You must nominate an occupation on this Combined list of eligible skilled occupations if you are applying for any of the below:

 

Removed occupations

On 19 April 2017, 200 occupations were removed entirely from the STSOL.

See: List of the removed occupations

A further 16 occupations on the MLTSSL (indicated by ‘** asterisks’) were restricted to only apply to the following visa programmes:

See: Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

If your occupation has been removed from the list, you will be impacted if:

That is, any applications already lodged before 19 April 2017 for the above visa subclasses (other than a 457 visa) will not be impacted (even if the occupation was removed on 19 April 2017).

  • your subclass 457 visa or nomination application is still being processed by the Department on 19 April 2017. In such cases, your application cannot be approved. Once your application has reached the assessment stage, you will be contacted by the Department and given the opportunity to withdraw your application in writing. Alternatively, you can request a withdrawal in writing at any time and request a refund of the application fee. If you do not withdraw your application, it will be refused.

If you already hold a subclass 457 visa, you will not be impacted by these removed occupations unless you apply for a further subclass 457 visa or are changing your occupation or employer.

 

Caveats on occupations

As of 19 April 2017, caveats apply to 59 occupations for the purposes of the subclass 457 programme. A summary of Caveats on 457 occupations  that apply to particular occupations is available.

These caveats do not currently apply to any visas other than subclass 457 visas.

Caveats apply to all 457 visa and nomination applications which:

  • are lodged on or after 19 April 2017
  • were lodged before 19 April 2017 and have not yet been decided by the Department.

If your occupation for a subclass 457 visa is now subject to a caveat, an officer will assess whether the caveat applies in the particular circumstances of your nominated position.

If you have a pending application with the Department which was lodged before 19 April 2017 and you are certain you cannot meet the caveat requirements, you can request a withdrawal in writing at any time and request a refund of the application fee. If you do not withdraw your application and do not meet the caveat requirements, your application will be refused.

These caveats are designed to ensure that the subclass 457 programme is used to fill skilled positions that cannot be filled via the local labour market. If you are working in a highly skilled position, you are unlikely to be impacted by these new arrangements. For the specific wording of each caveat – see legislative Instrument.

If you already hold a subclass 457 visa, you will not be impacted by these removed occupations unless you apply for a further subclass 457 visa or are changing your occupation or employer.

 

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