Important Changes to Australian Skilled Immigration
09 February 2010
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Removal of the Migration Occupations in Demand List:
Immigration Minister Chris Evans announced the outcome of a review of the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL). This has resulted in MODL being revoked with immediate effect; This has been replaced by a more targeted skilled occupations list which it is hoped will better meet the demands of Australia's labour market.
The revocation of the current MODL will not affect the following groups of people:
- Those who hold a Skilled—Graduate (subclass 485) visa, or have a pending subclass 485 visa application and are yet to apply for a permanent or provisional General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa or
- Those who have a pending GSM visa application.
The changes mean that for new General Skilled Migration visas you will not be able to gain points for an occupation in the previous MODL. Existing applicants are unaffected by the change.
New Skilled Occupation List from mid-2010:
The Immigration Minister also announced that the current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) will be replaced in the second half of 2010. There will be a new list of targeted occupations to be determined by an independent organisation 'Skills Australia'. Australian Immigration feels that SOL will be a comprehensive, targeted list, and therefore the current Critical Skills List will no longer be required.
From mid-2010 the new skilled occupation list will apply to all skilled immigration application. However, this will not apply to people who on the date of the announcement of 8 February 2010 are in the following visa categories:
- hold a Skilled—Graduate (subclass 485) visa, or had a pending subclass 485 visa application and had not yet lodged an application for a provisional or permanent GSM visa and who make an application by 31 December 2012, or
- have a pending GSM visa application.
The new SOL will also not apply to people applying for a Skilled—Graduate (subclass 485) visa who on 8 February 2010 hold the following visas:
- Vocational Education and Training Sector (subclass 572) visa
- Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) visa
- Postgraduate Research Sector (subclass 574) visa.
However these student visa holders will be required to have an occupation on the new SOL to apply for a permanent GSM visa.
GSM applications lodged before 1 September 2007:
The Immigration Minister can decide a maximum number of visas of a particular class that can be granted in a particular financial year. On 8 February 2010 the Minister decided that he would set a maximum number of offshore GSM visa applications made before 1 September 2007 that could be granted. This will mean that once the maximum number of visas is reached no new applications will be considered and any further applications will be returned. Australian immigration will also refund the visa application charge to those people who are no longer able to continue with their application.