For those thinking about moving to Australia, one of the most common pathways is a skilled migrant visa. This visa is suitable for applicants who are not sponsored by employers to enter Australia, but who have to find employment once they arrive here.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection limits migrant numbers to ensure that only those professions which are in demand or would otherwise provide a significant benefit to the Australian economy or population are permitted under the skilled migrant visas.
In order to enforce this, the Australian government annually updates its Skilled Occupations List (SOL), with the newest changes coming into effect on July 1, 2016.
Obviously these will only apply to visa applications lodged after this date – so if you have already lodged your application and your occupation has now dropped off the list, do not despair!
So what’s new?
Two professions which were not previously listed on the SOL but have been included for the 2016-2017 financial year are orthotists/prosthetists and audiologists.
Although only two new professions were added, nine occupations were dropped from the list, namely:
- Mining engineers.
- Petroleum engineers.
- Environmental health officers.
- Occupational health and safety advisers.
- Dental hygienists.
- Dental prosthetists.
- Dental technicians.
- Dental therapists.
Of course, just because a profession has dropped off the list for one year does not mean that it is permanently off the list – so it always pays to keep an eye on the SOL with a view to seeing if your profession comes back into demand again.
What to do if your occupation is listed on the SOL
If you wish to emigrate to Australia and your job is listed on the SOL, then you are already part of the way to satisfying the criteria to apply for an entry visa!
Other requirements include that you must:
- Be under the age of 50 at the time of your application.
- Pass a threshold English language test.
- Meet various health and character requirements.
Assuming that you meet these criteria, you may then be invited to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to the Australian Government advising of your intention to apply for a skilled migrant visa. Your EOI will be filtered through to the appropriate region in Australia according to need and demand, whether that’s Sydney or another capital city or a regional centre. If the EOI is acceptable, then you may be invited to formally submit a visa application.
It’s a complex process – consider professional help
The EOI and other components of a visa application can be very complicated, and it’s easy to get it wrong. Obviously, making a mistake on your visa application can mean the difference between gaining entry to Australia, and missing out on your dreams of living and working in this fantastic country. It is therefore essential that you obtain assistance from a registered migration agent in Australia who can help you with every step of your application process, from interpreting the SOL all the way through to formally submitting your visa application and beyond.