Australia is opening its borders to some skilled migrants

Australia is opening its borders to some skilled migrants

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Acting Minister of Immigration Alan Tudge and Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michealia Cash released a joint statement on 2 September 2020 detailing Australia’s plans to support businesses to fill critical skills needs. The aim is to help create jobs in Australia and to rebuild the Australian economy.

New Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List to guide Australia’s efforts

Australia has developed a new priority skills list with 17 occupations called the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL).

This list is going to allow small numbers of sponsored skilled workers into Australia to fill urgent skills needs in critical sectors.

Minister Tudge advised that the occupations on the list are based on advice from the National Skills Commission and consultation with relevant Commonwealth agencies.

As to the reason behind the creation of the list, Minister Tudge said “Our priority is getting Australians back into work but we also need key health workers to help fight the virus and skilled migrants who are going to be job multipliers, to help the economy recover.”

The occupations on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List

The PMSOL includes occupations in the healthcare, construction and IT sectors and applies to subclass 482, 494, 186 and 187 visas.

Existing skilled migration occupation lists will remain active and visas will still be processed, but priority will be given to those in occupations on the PMSOL.

The 17 occupations are:

  • Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
  • Construction Project Manager (133111)
  • Mechanical Engineer (233512)
  • General Practitioner (253111)
  • Resident Medical Officer (253112)
  • Psychiatrist (253411)
  • Medical Practitioner nec (253999)
  • Midwife (254111)
  • Registered Nurses:
    • Aged Care (254412)
    • Critical Care and Emergency (254415)
    • Medical (254418)
    • Mental Health (254422)
    • Perioperative (254423)
  • Registered Nurses nec (254499)
  • Developer Programmer (261312)
  • Software Engineer (261313)
  • Maintenance Planner (312911)

PMSOL complemented by strengthened labour market testing requirements

Minister Cash said that her Department would complement the PMSOL with strengthened labour market testing requirements:

“In addition to the current requirements of two national advertisements, employers must also advertise their vacancy on the Government’s JobActive website. JobKeeper is keeping many Australians in work and our $1 billion JobTrainer fund will create 340,700 new training places, but some sectors still need more skilled workers now.

The [17] occupations were chosen after careful analysis of recent changes to the internet vacancy index, changes in employment, and longer-term stability in the labour market for individual occupations.

As COVID-19 continues to play out both at home and abroad, we will closely monitor labour market trends and respond to any changes in our skills needs.”

How do eligible skilled migrants go to Australia?

Visa holders with sponsorship from an Australian business in a PMSOL occupation can request an exemption from Australia’s travel restrictions from the Department of Home Affairs.

Successful applicants will be subject to a strict 14-day quarantine on arrival in Australia. This quarantine will be at the expense of the visa holder.

The information about how to apply for a travel exemption can be found on the website of the Department of Home Affairs – click here to visit the relevant page.

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