Australian immigration changes update: Draft SOL released by Skills Australia

by Lauren 11/03/2010 17:47:00

Skills Australia provided an indication of
the new Australia immigration SOL

When the most recent Australian immigration changes were announced in February, 2010, one of the most pressing issues was the lack of sufficient clarification regarding the announcement of a new SOL (Skilled Occupation List).

Very little indication was given towards which occupations would appear on the new SOL, aside from that it would be "a new list of targeted occupations determined by the independent body, 'Skills Australia'. As the new SOL will be a comprehensive, targeted list, the current Critical Skills List will be revoked."

As a result, this list of occupations is set to play a huge part in determining not only who is eligible to apply for a visa via the Australian General Skilled Migration (GSM) program, but also the processing priority they will receive upon lodging their application.

Therefore, it was very interesting to see Skills Australia release what seems to be a preliminary draft of the new SOL as part of their release titled 'Australian Workforce Futures: A National Workforce Development Strategy' (which you can see for yourself by clicking here).

If you refer to page 87 of the document, you'll find a section titled 'Specialised Occupations'. It's these occupations that the new SOL seems set to draw upon, although it's very important to take into account the following disclaimer: 

"The revised Skilled Occupation List to be used in the General Skilled Migration Program will be based on these specialised occupations but may well differ in the occupations included. The new Skilled Occupation List will be announced in April 2010."


1331* - Construction managers
1332 - Engineering managers
1341 - Child care centre managers
1342 - Health and welfare services managers
1343 - School principals
1344 - Other education managers
2211 - Accountants (a)
2212 - Auditors, company secretaries and corporate treasurers (b)
2723 - Psychologists
2221 - Financial brokers
2725 - Social workers
2241 - Actuaries, mathematicians and statisticians (c)
2245 - Land economists and valuers
2311 - Air transport professionals
2312 - Marine transport professionals
2321 - Architects and landscape architects
2322 - Cartographers and surveyors
2326 - Urban and regional planners
2331 - Chemical and materials engineers
2332 - Civil engineering professionals
2333 - Electrical engineers
2334 - Electronics engineers
2335 - Industrial, mechanical and production engineers
2336 - Mining engineers
2339 - Other engineering professionals
2341 - Agricultural and forestry scientists
2346 - Medical laboratory scientists
2347 - Veterinarians
2393 - Teachers of English to speakers of other languages
2411 - Early childhood (pre-primary school) teachers
2412 - Primary school teachers
2413 - Middle school teachers
2414 - Secondary school teachers
2415 - Special education teachers
2421 - University lecturers and tutors
2511 - Dieticians
2512 - Medical imaging professionals
2514 - Optometrists and orthoptists
2515 - Pharmacists
2521 - Chiropractors and osteopaths
2523 - Dental practitioners
2524 - Occupational therapists
2525 - Physiotherapists
2526 - Podiatrists
2527 - Speech professionals and audiologists
2531 - Generalist medical practitioners

2532 - Anaesthetists
2533 - Internal medicine specialists
2534 - Psychiatrists
2535 - Surgeons
2539 - Other medical practitioners
2542 - Nurse educators and researchers
2543 - Nurse managers
2611 - ICT business and systems analysts
2613 - Software and applications programmers
2633 - Telecommunications engineering professionals
2711 - Barristers (d)
2712 - Judicial and other legal professionals (d)
2713 - Solicitors (d)
3122 - Civil engineering draftspersons and technicians
3132 - Telecommunications technical specialists
3211 - Automotive electricians
3212 - Motor mechanics
3221 - Metal casting, forging and finishing trades workers
3222 - Sheet metal trades workers
3231 - Aircraft maintenance engineers
3233 - Precision metal trades workers
3241 - Panel beaters
3243 - Vehicle painters
3311 - Bricklayers and stonemasons
3312 - Carpenters and joiners
3321 - Floor finishers
3322 - Painting trades workers
3331 - Glaziers
3332 - Plasterers
3334 - Wall and floor tilers
3341 - Plumbers
3411 - Electricians
3421 - Air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics
3422 - Electrical distribution trades workers
3423 - Electronics trades workers
3942 - Wood machinists and other wood trades workers
3991 - Boat builders and shipwrights
3996 - Sign writers
4112 - Dental hygienists, technicians and therapists
4114 - Enrolled and mothercraft nurses
4115 - Indigenous health workers
4231 - Aged and disabled carers
4233 - Nursing support and personal care workers
4412 - Fire and emergency workers
4413 - Police

(a) CPA or equivalent,(b)Auditors only, (c)Actuaries only, (d)Legal professionals admitted to practice only

What does this draft list of specialised occupations mean for the new SOL?

Unfortunately this list raises more questions than it answers, so it's very hard to know.

While it's useful to finally have an indication of the occupations that will appear on the list (and reassuring that so many of the primary occupations appear, in contrast to what many feared), we must remember that this isn't the final list.

As a result, there's still no guarantee that all the occupations shown here will appear on the final list. Contrarily, there's every possibility that occupations which don't appear here could still appear on the new SOL when it's announced in April.

It's also interesting to see that the occupations are all from the ANZSCO (Australia and New Zealand Skilled Classification of Occupations) as opposed to the previously used ASCO (Australian Skilled Classification of Occupations).

While there have previously been hints and indications that the new SOL would switch to using the more current ANZSCO to classify occupations, it's still surprising that it hasn't been formally announced.

So, for now, I'd advise everyone to keep working and not make any rash decisions before the new SOL is formally introduced in April. In the meantime, I will continue monitoring the situation and provide updates as and when I receive them.

- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

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29/03/2010 15:34:18

I think this list doesn't indicate everything. There are more professional and associate professional occupations listed on the current Skilled Occupations List (SOL). For example, this draft list doesn't contain managerial positions such as HR, Marketing and Sales managers (all related with MBA and busiess-related courses). What I'm surprised to note is that there are still occupations such as social workers, plumbers, electricians and construction workers still included on this list. This is unfair to those who are coming here to study full-time professional courses such as MBA, Marketing and International Business. These are the professionals who should be on the list. I really hope that these are there as I myself am an MBA graduate. I think that this is only a sample of occupations that will definitely appear on the list. Apart from these occupatons, there would certainly be a fair number of managerial and associate professional occupations included on the new SOL, when it's announced on 30th April, 2010. This is what the document relased by DIAC includes in it. Well, this is all that the Australian government wants to do after a spate of Indian students in Melbourne. Very disappointing indeed!


30/03/2010 04:09:14

I couldn't agree more with the above comment and strongly feel for the person writing it even though my race is not Indian. I'm a very experienced Singaporean media professional who is also holding an honours degree and has a strong command of English, my heart sank when I couldn't see my occupation listed on this speculated sol draft.


31/03/2010 07:48:57

This is a response to Linda's comment. Yes, the list is not complete and is only a draft. I also did a Masters in Health Administration course this year and will finish at the end of May. I'm trying my best to get a course completion letter from my department in the uni a.s.a.p. as this will help me apply before the list is actually implemented. The new changes will apply on July 1st 2010. However, there are also increasing speculations amongst the international student community that this list may apply from January 1st 2011 and not from mid-2010. The Australian immigration isn't very flexible because of which they are narrowing down the level of skills that are on the highest demand in the Australian market. The population in Australia is also increasing and that a backlog of previous applicants has not yet been finished. This is why the Australian immigration is cutting down on the number of applicants applying for different GSM visas after 1st July 2010.

I am very pleased with the draft list because it includes Health and Welfare Service Managers in it. However, this list doesn't tell you exactly if these occupations will be in the new list or not. We can't speculate much further. I know that the Australian immigration is ruining the future of many international students. Not all is because of the attacks on Indian students, but is because of the increasing pressures of expanding migration into Australia. Australia is working towards making the system similar to the NZ system for immigration and that could have a serious impact on the Australian education system in the near future.


31/03/2010 11:35:38

Thanks Abbey for your comments. Can't help agreeing with you that the latest immigration changes may upset most international students even though I am not a fresh graduate. However, my fear is that those who are in the journalism field may not be fortunate when they get to know the results of their skills assessment in June 2010. I wonder what are their chances will be when they apply for state sponsorships. Really appreciate your encouraging comments though I wish I can lodge the application before the new sol list takes effect. Thanks.


01/04/2010 14:31:49

Hi Linda again, yes if your course finishes at or by 31st May, 2010, you can definitely file an application date for your residency in Australia. The only required criteria that remains unchanged is the English profciency testing of international students and migrants coming to Australia. I've come across so many PR holders who can't even speak a good sentence in English and they've been here for years. They don't even care about the Australian way of life and for most of them, the only reason to come here is a way of earning a better quality of life. You see, that's the weakness that Australia's immigration department, i.e. DIAC wants to change so that only the brightest of the migrants can migrate into this country. However, if there is a major drop in the number of students during the next semester, the new SOL could possibly be revoked. That's the reason why the document released by the immigration states that these new changes would apply by mid-2010 and not immediately. I think the Australian immigration could see a big disagreement amongst universities, immigration lawyers, agents and international students as a result of the new SOL being implemented.

I would say that you could well possibly see Journalism, Management, HR and other key professional occupations be included in the list. However, I firmly believe that the occupations mentioned in the draft would definitely be there in the new list. If you've not read page 86 of the document released by Skills Australia, it states - "The revised Skilled Occupation List to be used in the General Skilled Migration Program will be based on these specialised occupations but may well differ in the occupations included. The new Skilled Occupation List will be announced in April 2010." So, you could see all these occupations including Accounting, IT and Engineering being included in the finalised list along with some other key professional occupations as alredy mentioned. We'll all hope for the best, good luck!


07/04/2010 11:49:28

i have completed MBA from australia and got 1 year experience as vocational teacher for business s
studies. can Vocational teacher get 60 points or its only for trade skill's teacher. i am confused, i
i saw teacher in demand list but dont know my position give me 60 points or not


10/04/2010 00:01:45

Hi there. I'm an accountant with 2 years job experience but I'm a bit confused about this "2211 - Accountants (a)". what the (a) stands for?? and do you think accountants would be given the possibility to be part of the list??


13/04/2010 16:04:21

Hi Prince and Aldo, please do not take any of my comments all that positively. The draft list will possibly or most likely change when it's officially released in another two weeks' time from now. Although there have been numerous hints that managerial or business courses will be eliminated or included, the question that we all have running in our minds right now is that for how long will the new list remain valid? A new list is being released is all good, but we still have no clue on how many credit points would each of the occupations included will imply. Additionally, Prince, I think you will have to wait and see the final result if at all vocational teachers are there on the list or not. As for now, any or some occupations will most likely not feature on the new list. For your cases, you will have to deal with a professional migration agent to disucuss your prospects for the future if you desire to migrate to Australia. We are all keeping our fingers fixed and I'm really-really hoping that health and welfare service managers are not removed when the new list is finally released by DIAC on 30th April 2010.


22/04/2010 10:42:54

2211(a) CPA or equivalent, is't any chance that all professional accountants not having CPA will be disqualified from migration. What the (a) stands for ??????


22/04/2010 18:34:54

I have got a positive assessment for Accountant 2211-11. The draft SOL is showing Accountant(a)CPA or equivalent, (a) stands for what. Any restriction for me to lodge a visa application later?


29/04/2010 20:47:19

This list does not show any IT indicated by reports across the last few months, Australia will see a huge shortage in filling positions within IT related markets...I don't actually believe that this list is anything to go by whatsoever...SA only just included IT professions to their CSL in January 2010 and it's highly unlikely they fulfilled their quota as of yet...


30/04/2010 02:24:50

Please be aware that the new SOL will not be released on 30th April 2010. I've already reconfirmed this information with DIAC and they informed me that the government is still in reconsideration of certain skill occupations for the new SOL. However, this change will be announced by DIAC later in April and this list will be applicable from mid-June 2010 i.e. June 18th, 2010. I did speak directly at DIAC with an immigration officer and anybody who is still anxiously awaiting the changes on the list should consider speaking to DIAC. And there's another good news for former students with student visa subclasses 572, 573 and 574 on or before 8th February 2010, you can still apply for a visa 485 even if you're not on the new SOL list after mid-June 2010. But, in case, you wish to apply for a permanent visa/residency visa 885/886, then you will have to nominate an occupation from the new SOL. Alternatively, visa 485 holding a VC subclass may intend to work within their respective states and seek employer sponsorship (which in my opinion would be a bit hard). I have confirmed all this information with DIAC and they're yet to announce any new changes to the current SOL during May 2010. It is most likely possible that the new SOL may be released by 31st May 2010. Unfortunately, we all students will still have to wait for both DIAC and the Australian government to respond to the new changes on the SOL. All the best everybody!


30/04/2010 02:36:20

Well here we are at 11.30 am on April 30 and no list as yet??? I spoke to the immigration ministers office yesterday and they weren't sure if would be released today or not.

What the hell is going on?


30/04/2010 09:31:30

And how about community welfare


30/04/2010 10:00:28

its really disappointing ..... its april 30 ,we have been waiting for long , NO Sol is out , now they are saying it is gonna be in May,does anyone have a clue about the new release date???


30/04/2010 15:53:55

Hi, i do agree with all u above.... As it is general rule

Hi, I understand everyone the way they feel.... As i think everywhere around the worl before
changing rules they give certain time fram and when rules are not available they are
considered as to be applied on the basis of previous rules. I applied my gsm visa on 8 march
and i will be new Sol list , if i applied for residency after june... I think there are many
student who get trapped and they are subject to new rules , even new rules are not available
at given time...
sunny (Pakistan)


01/05/2010 17:53:41

Gu Ash, Khan and Saroj! I am myself really disappointed with the fact that the new SOL will take another couple of days before it's finally published on DIAC's website. BTW, Skills Australia had been doing rounds of many universities, TAFE and private institutes across Australia because of which the new SOL could possibly have been delayed. However, I'm not really sure on what this delay is really about. It could be presumably possible that a decline in the number of applications by prospective Indian students could have prompted this delayed change in date for the release of the new list. Its still unsure on which occupations from the previously released draft SOL would stay and which ones could go. Actually some of the occupations (such as Indigineous Health Workers and Disabled/Aged Health Workers) that I double-checked with the current points only carry 40 points, therefore it could be very much possible that Skills Australia may get rid off these occupations and get them substituted with other occupations. But, still its still arguable on which other occupations would be there on the final list and which ones won't. I also think that DIAC would most likely announce the date of release of the new SOL very soon, say by the end of next week or so. Therefore, we might have to only wait for a few days more before the new list finally is published.


05/05/2010 21:14:51

Does anybody know whether there is 2 ANZSCO codes for Carpentry based occupations. 3312 - Carpenters and joiners could obviously be on the new SOL as listed on previous Blog but is there a code for solely Carpenter. If so does this mean Carpenter will likely not be on the list.
Any help would be appreciated


10/05/2010 11:52:23

The skills shortage list for domestic apprenticeships is totally different. This is a list that destroys the hospitality industry and those in the industries that support the Australian hospitalty industry. Please explain why potential Australian apprentices ar told that Cook is in demand (and it is) then you deny the offshore migration programme the chance to bring in fully trained cooks from Italy, France, Switzerland etc. This appears to be aimed at destroying the international education market rather than deal with the actual skill shortage. Shame!


13/05/2010 11:30:53

I am waiting to see is there community worker include in the new SOL.


13/05/2010 16:52:20

Is the SOL not out because of a significant drop in the number of student applications for next semester and 2011? Reportedly, ( international students and especially prospective applicants are beginning to cancel their applications as a result of the removal of major proffessional occupations (which incldes managerial and administrative positions). Therefore, its still presumed that it could probably take until the end of the month before Skills Australia actually submits it's new rewised and final version of the skills. Apparently, I did have a chat with my migration agent (registered) and he said that there are way too many trade positions on the list and it excludes many professional occupations. Therefore, we could see many professional occupations back on the list as Australia doesn't want to loose it's three most important markets China, India and Vietnam. So, it could be possible that this list would be out by 27th or 28th May, but you never know. Eventually, we'll all find out when DIAC is ready and has the list out.


16/05/2010 05:32:53

I got possitive assesment of community worker 2512-13. However, I didn't found commiunity worker in the draft SOL list published in February. But I have seen Social worker-2725 in the list. Is Social worker-2725 and Community worker 2512-13 is same or different occupation? Pls some one answer.


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