The Skilled Occupations List, or SOL
The SOL is a threshold list of skilled occupations – if your occupation is not on this list you do not meet one of the basic requirements of a skilled visa application, and as such cannot migrate to Australia under the general skilled program.
This list does not vary very often, but with a reclassification of skilled occupations having taken place in Australia in the last few months there is an expectation that the SOL will be subject to fairly significant amendment within the next year => as ever, if you are an intending migrant and you have an occupation that appears on the SOL as presently constituted it would be prudent to lodge your application sooner rather than later, just in case your occupation is omitted from a new SOL.
The Skilled Occupations List is published in DIAC booklet 1121i.
Note also that a migration skills assessment from the appointed assessing body for the nominated skilled occupation must be obtained before you lodge your application for an offshore general skilled visa.
The Migration Occupations in Demand List, or MODL
In times past the MODL was a key list, in that those who nominated an occupation that appeared on the MODL could claim additional points towards the skilled visa points pass mark, and could anticipate that their visa application would be processed as a priority – occupations that appear on the MODL are likely to be in relative shortage in Australia and applications where a MODL occupation is nominated ought therefore reasonably be prioritised.
However, since the Immigration Minister published the Critical Skills List (see below), MODL occupations have been effectively demoted in the processing pecking order – the only real advantage to having a MODL occupation at the present time is an ability to claim additional points, as follows:
* nominated occupation is on the MODL
* employed in the nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation for a period totalling at least one year in the four years immediately before the visa application is lodged with the Department of Immigration.
As above, plus the visa applicant has a job offer for full time employment in Australia in the nominated occupation from an organisation that has employed at least ten people on a full time basis for the two years immediately before the visa application is lodged.
The present MODL is available here.
The Critical Skills List, or CSL
The CSL was introduced by the Immigration Minister last December, as a means of prioritising skilled visa applications where the nominated occupation was identified by DIAC as being in “critical demand” in Australia. The Department of Immigration will therefore process applications where a CSL occupation is nominated as a priority over other skilled visa occupations, save for those occupations that have been sponsored by a State or Territory Government (see below).
The CSL can be viewed here.
A review is under way presently into the MODL which is likely to lead to the abolition of the CSL => as above, if you are an intending skilled visa applicant and have an occupation on the CSL it would be prudent to prepare and lodge a visa application now, while you have comfort that your visa application will be processed as a priority.
Wanted Skills Lists Published by State and Territory Governments
All of Australia’s State and Territory Governments participate in Australia’s skilled migration program to the extent that they are given the ability to sponsor or nominate individuals who have occupations that are wanted in their State or Territory for the grant of a visa under the skilled migration program.
This sponsorship can be for the grant of a visa under one of the permanent visa subclasses, eg subclass number 176, or a provisional visa, eg subclass 475, which leads to permanent residency after the required period of living and working in a “regional area” of Australia.
In addition to having a skilled occupation the States and Territories each have additional requirements they will require applicants to satisfy prior to the sponsorship being granted.
The principal reason for seeking State or Territory Sponsorship is to facilitate the priority processing of a skilled visa application.
The lists of skilled occupations that are wanted in each State and Territory have been amended relatively frequently over the last 9 months, as have the additional details required of applicants for sponsorship. We believe this is in no small part due to the significant number of individuals that have been applying for State and Territory sponsorship since the Immigration Minister’s announcement as to skilled visa priority processing last December – we suspect that additional requirements are being introduced in an effort to reduce the large numbers of applicants; our preference would be for the State and Territory Governments to make available suitable resources to meet the demand for sponsorship.
The relevant wanted skills lists and asociated requirements to be met if sponsorship is to be approved are available at each State and Territory Government’s website.