The Australian government has introduced a new Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) that means certain employer sponsored nomination and visa applications will be given priority processing. Applicants under the PMSOL can also request individual travel exemptions to Australia.
At the same time, a stricter labour market testing requirement –the requirement to advertise on the government’s job-seeking site, jobactive – was announced. This will apply not just to the PMSOL occupations, but to all nominated occupations.
Why a new priority occupation list?
The purpose of the new PMSOL is to allow sponsored skilled workers in sectors judged critical to Australia’s COVID-19 response and economic recovery to return to Australia.
In a media statement, Acting Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge explained, “Our priority is getting Australians back into work but we also need key health workers to help fight the virus and skilled migrants who are going to be job multipliers, to help the economy recover.”
Applicants applying under existing skilled migration occupation lists will still be processed, but priority will be given to those in occupations on the PMSOL.
Which occupations will benefit?
Visa holders who have been sponsored by an Australian business in one of the following 17 occupations (listed with their corresponding ANZSCO codes) will be able to apply for fast-tracked entry to Australia:
Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
Construction Project Manager (133111)
Mechanical Engineer (233512)
General Practitioner (253111)
Resident Medical Officer (253112)
Medical Practitioner nec (253999)
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)
Will PMSOL applicants be subject to quarantine?
Yes. While those applying under a PMSOL occupation can request a travel exemption, they will still be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at their own expense
Will there also be an exemption to labour market testing?
On top of the current requirements of two national advertisements, employers must also advertise their vacancy on the Australian government’s jobactive website, a free site for advertising positions to Australian job seekers.
This additional requirement will apply not only to the occupations listed on the new PMSOL, but to all nominated positions under the Subclass 457 Temporary Work, Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage and Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visas
This move towards stricter labour market testing has been billed both as a response to the many Australian workers who have been stood down or had their employment terminated due to COVID, and as a calculated counterbalance to the new PMSOL.
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