What is the change? The Australian Government has commenced a review of its skilled occupation lists, a process that will impact applicants for Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visas and company-sponsored applicants for permanent residence under the Employer Nomination Scheme, among others.

What does the change mean? Stakeholders will have the chance to provide input on potential changes to the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Regional Occupation List (ROL).

  • Implementation time frame: The Government commenced the multi-step review process on Sept. 4. Changes are expected to be finalized in March of 2020.
  • Visas/permits affected: Temporary and permanent skilled migration categories, including the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa, the Employer Nomination Scheme and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.
  • Who is affected: Australian companies sponsoring skilled foreign workers.
  • Business impact: The review provides employers with the chance to help shape the occupation lists that determine eligibility for skilled workers.

Additional information: The timeline for the review is as follows:

  • September 2019. The Government begins the review and consultation process. Initial steps include collecting data, undertaking a labor market analysis, and meeting with stakeholders–including through industry roundtable discussions and bilateral meetings.
  • December 2019. The Government publishes a Traffic Light Bulletin outlining outcomes of the initial data collection, labor market analysis, stakeholder consultation and views from within the government. The Government then opens the formal submission period and provides an online survey tool for stakeholders to make submissions and guidance on what to include in a submission.
  • February 2020. The formal submission period closes. Officials review the information gathered up to this point and provide recommendations to the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs.
  • March 2020. The minister makes final decisions on changes to the skilled occupation lists. The review closes.

Analysis & Comments: Employers are encouraged to participate in the review, especially if the current skilled migration lists are impacting their ability to recruit and retain foreign talent. Employers may wish to consider (1) occupations that are not on any of the skilled occupation lists that should be included on them; (2) occupations on the ROL that should be moved to the STSOL or MLTSSL and (3) occupations on the STSOL that should be moved to the MLTSSL. The current skilled occupation lists are available on this Department of Home Affairs website. Deloitte is available to work with clients to ensure the current challenges their businesses experiences are represented in the consultation process.

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