The Australian Government has announced exemptions to COVID-19 entry rules and is preparing to implement new Labor Market Testing rules.

Key Points:

Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)

  • The Department of Home Affairs has announced a new Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL), which will provide visa holders nominated in 17 select occupations an exemption to the current travel ban into Australia. The department will priority process TSS visa applications in these nominated occupations over other applications. The new PMSOL will allow workers to travel to Australia to fill urgent skills needs in critical sectors, providing additional support to the health industry and aiding Australia’s economic recovery.The occupations on the PMSOL are in health care, construction and the IT sectors and include:
    • Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
    • Construction Project Manager (133111)
    • Mechanical Engineer (233512)
    • General Practitioner (253111)
    • Resident Medical Officer (253112)
    • Psychiatrist (253411)
    • Medical Practitioner nec (253999)
    • Midwife (254111)
    • Registered Nurse (Aged Care) (254412)
    • Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) (254415)
    • Registered Nurse (Medical) (254418)
    • Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (254422)
    • Registered Nurse (Perioperative) (254423)
    • Registered Nurses nec (254499)
    • Developer Programmer (261312)
    • Software Engineer (261313)
    • Maintenance Planner (312911).
  • Officials have not yet indicated whether family members will be included in the travel exemption. Individuals granted the travel exemption will still be required to undergo 14 days mandatory quarantine in a designated facility at their own expense.
  • The introduction of the PMSOL is a positive sign for employers who have a genuine need for TSS visa holders to enter Australia. It is likely that the department will continue to use the PSMOL as a means to facilitate entry into Australia, balancing the need to ensure individuals in critical sectors are able to support Australia’s economic recovery without impacting Australia’s labor market.

Individual travel exemptions

  • The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force may also grant individual travel exemptions to:
    • non-citizens travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response;
    • those providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance services, medical evacuations and delivery of critical medical supplies;
    • non-citizens with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia;
    • non-citizens whose entry would otherwise be in the national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority;
    • military personnel, including those who form part of the Status of Forces Agreement, Commonwealth Armed Forces, Asia Pacific Forces and Status of Armed Forces Agreement; or
    • those travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons.

Labor Market Testing

  • Effective Oct. 1, new advertising requirements for labor market testing will apply to all nomination applications for subclass 457 Temporary Work, Subclass 482 Temporary Shortage and Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visas. In addition to meeting the current labor market testing requirement of providing evidence of two advertisements in one or more of the specified mediums, sponsors will need to advertise the role on the Government’s Jobactive website, which is a free online jobs website. Employers will need to show evidence that the role has been advertised on the Jobactive website for 28 days.
  • Employers should review applications and proceed with lodging nomination applications prior to Oct. 1 where current labor market testing requirements can be met. Where an application cannot be lodged before Oct. 1, employers will need to advertise the role on the Jobactive website as soon as possible. These changes do not apply where an exemption to labor market testing can be accessed for the nominated position.

Analysis & Comments: The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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