Revised Skilled Occupation List Will Affect Skilled Migrants

Posted on May 24, 2016 by Emily

The Australian government has issued a new legislative instrument (IMMI 16/059) which will affect applicants for several skilled and employer-sponsored visa programmes in Australia.

From 1 July 2016, a number of changes to the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) will come into effect. These changes will impact invitees and primary applicants under the following visas:

  • Skilled – Independent (subclass 189)
  • Skilled – Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489)
  • Temporary Graduate (subclass 485)

Notable changes include the addition of Orthodontists or Prosthetists (VETASSESS) and Audiologists (VETASSESS) to the SOL. The following occupations will no longer be on the SOL from 1 July:

Occupation Assessment Body
Mining Engineers EA
Petroleum Engineers EA
Metallurgists VETASSESS
Environmental Health Officers VETASSESS
Occupational Health and Safety Advisers VETASSESS
Dental Hygienists VETASSESS
Dental Prosthetists TRA
Dental Technicians TRA
Dental Therapists VETASSESS


Between now and 1 July, applicants for the above visas should be aware of procedural implications flowing from the incoming changes:

  • Subclass 189 and subclass 489 visas:

Applicants hoping to receive an invitation from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection for one of the soon-to-be removed occupations must first obtain a positive skills assessment from the relevant assessment body. With the exception of mining and petroleum engineers, this is likely to be unfeasible as processing times for VETASSESS and TRA are typically in excess of 10-12 working weeks. These authorities will only expedite processing in limited circumstances (for example, imminent visa expiry for VETASSESS or evidence of an employment offer for TRA).

  • Subclass 485 visa:

For graduates seeking to remain in Australia temporarily at the completion of their studies it is sufficient to have merely applied for the skills assessment prior to lodgement.

While the new legislative instrument also contains the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL), this list will remain largely unchanged. The nine occupations removed from the SOL will be added to the CSOL. This list applies to applicants for the following visas:

  • Temporary Work (subclass 457)
  • Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (Direct Entry stream) (subclass 186)
  • Training and Research (Occupational Trainee stream) (subclass 402)

If your occupation is likely to be affected by the changes, contact Immigration Solutions Lawyers and our team of highly skilled lawyers and migration agents will endeavour to help you navigate a new path to Australia.