In order to meet the skill shortage in critical sectors and support Australia’s economic growth from COVID-19, the Australian government has released a Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) that identifies 17 occupations that fill critical skills. The occupations in the list were identified based on the advice from the National Skills Commission and consultation with Commonwealth departments.
Visa applications which includes an occupation in the PMSOL will be given priority processing. This will allow a small number of sponsored skilled workers to move to Australia and fill urgent skills in critical sectors that will help rebuild Australia’s economy.
The acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alan Tudge has said the changes would strike the right balance for Australia’s economic recovery.
He said, “These occupations in the health care, construction and IT sectors will supercharge both our health and economic response.’’ According to Tudge,“Visa holders, who have been sponsored by an Australia business in a PMSOL occupation can request an exemption from Australia’s travel restrictions, but will be subject to a strict 14 days quarantine on arrival at their own expense.”
The government announced that the PMSOL would be supported with better labor market testing requirements. In order for an appointment to be accepted employers need to offer proof that they have checked the local labor market (unless they are exempted due to international trade agreements).
While existing skilled migration occupation lists will remain active and visas will still be processed, priority will be given to those belonging to occupations on the PMSOL.
The 17 occupations (ANZSCO code) in the PMSOL list 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 Nurse (Aged Care) (254412)
- Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) (254415)
- Registered Nurse (Medical) (254418)
- Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (254422)
- Registered Nurse (Perioperative) (254423)
- Registered Nurses nec (254499)
- Developer Programmer (261312)
- Software Engineer (261313)
- Maintenance Planner (312911)
Priority processing of nomination and visa applications for PMSOL occupations are applicable to the following employer-sponsored visa subclasses:
- Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482)
- Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)
- Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186)
- Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187)
This initiative also comes with strengthened labor market testing requirements. Currently, for a nomination to be approved employers need to provide evidence that they have tested the local labor market (unless exempt due to International Trade Agreements).
Offshore visa holders, who have been sponsored in any of the PMSOL occupations by an eligible Australian business, will be able to seek an exemption from current travel restrictions. If the exemption is granted, these individuals will be subject to a strict quarantine of 14 days upon entry and at their own expense.
These occupations were selected after careful analysis of labor requirements and are subject to change.