16 March 2009

Immediate changes made to Critical Skills List and Australian visa processing

In addition to the cuts announced for the the 2009-10 Australian skilled migration intake level, immediate changes have been made to the Critical Skills List and the number of occupations and applicants who receive priority processing for their visa applications.

The changes have come as a result of amendments made to the Critical Skills List (CSL). The CSL is the list of occupations that determines whether Australian visa applicants are eligible to receive priority processing upon lodging their application.

While the CSL was only introduced on January 1, 2009, a number of primarily trades-based occupations have now been removed from the list, including bricklayers, welders, plumbers, metal fitters and carpenters. As a result, the CSL now focuses almost entirely on occupations in the healthcare, medical, engineering and IT professions. 

Australian visa applicants should understand that having their occupation removed from the CSL does not affect their eligibility to receive additional points according to the Australian visa points system and qualify for an Australian visa, as this is still determined by the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL). The CSL is only used to determine which visa applicants will receive priority processing upon lodging their application.

Despite these cuts though, there could still be hope in the future for anyone whose occupation does not currently feature on the CSL. Minister Evans stated "The Critical Skills List will remain under constant review and the Government will remove occupations from the list if demand for those skills can be satisfied by local labour", implying that occupations will be added to and removed from the CSL on a regular basis.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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