What is the change? Australia has adjusted its Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for independent skilled migration applicants.

What does the change mean? Cabinet makers and panelbeaters (auto body mechanics) will be added to the list, while urban and regional planners, dentists and dental specialists will be removed. The changes are based on the levels of demand in Australia for people holding such jobs.

  • Implementation time frame: 1 July.
  • Visas/permits affected: Independent points-based skilled migration visas (for those who are not nominated by a state or territory government agency), Family Sponsored Points Tested visas, Temporary Graduate visas (subclass 485) in the Graduate Work stream.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying in any of the visa categories listed above.
  • Business impact: Australian Government officials say the changes will help the Australian economy by filling jobs where there is a shortage of labour.
  • Next steps: Additional occupations have been “flagged for close review” for next year, though a joint statement from Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash and Assistant Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham did not detail any specific jobs that might be removed from or added to the list.

Background: The SOL provides a list of jobs available to skilled migrants who are applying for visas independent of sponsorship from a company or nomination from a state or territory. The list is adjusted to reflect changing demands in the Australian labour market. The changes described above take effect 1 July. A complete list of the nearly 200 jobs on the SOL is available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website.

BAL Analysis: The changes make it easier for cabinet makers and panelbeaters to migrate to Australia, even absent a sponsor. It makes it more difficult for urban and regional planners, dentists and dental specialists to migrate to the country. BAL will continue to monitor news of any possible changes to the SOL in the future.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

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