New occupations added to Victorian State Migration Plan

Victoria has added occupations to its
Migration Plan (SMP). 

Victoria has jumped on the State Migration Plan update bandwagon, releasing the highly anticipated changes to its state sponsorship occupation list today

The new list indicates that the Victorian Government will offer Australian visa sponsorship for a number of new occupations, including:

  • Ships Engineer (Marine Engineer);
  • Surveyor; and
  • Computer Network and Systems Engineer.

It is expected that applicants for the Ships Engineer sponsorship have 2 years experience in the field and are class one or two engineers. Surveyors must also have 2 years experience while Computer Network and Systems Engineers must have 3 years experience and an IT specialisation.

A number of other ICT occupations have retained their position on the list, including 'ICT business analyst', 'systems analyst', 'analyst programmer', 'development programmer', 'software engineer' and 'software tester'.

The inclusion of these ICT roles is significant considering that Victoria ceased processing applicants from these occupations in January 2011. The re-emergence of ICT occupations on the list indicates a long-term demand. 

The release of the updated list follows a statement released by Workforce Victoria yesterday, which stated that the state "is seeking to attract up to 6000 skilled migrants and dependants in a range of priority industries".

Beyond ICT occupations, applications will be sought from people with work experience as cooks, pastry cooks, welders and air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics. No occupations were removed from the previous list.

The Victorian Government has also made a notable change to financial criteria, explicitly outlining the amount of funds needed in order to secure sponsorship. In the past, financial assessments were made on a case-by-case basis and the list only stipulated that "sufficient funds" were required in order to settle. 

While the updated list is good news for many potential applicants, the Victorian Government has stressed the competitiveness of the sponsorship program.  "There is very strong competition for Victorian sponsorship.  Meeting the minimum eligibility requirements will not guarantee you an offer of sponsorship,” the document states.

What are the benefits to being sponsored under a State Migration Plan?

One of the main benefits of being sponsored under a State Migration Plan is how it will affect visa processing timeframes. Applicants whose occupations appear on this list will be assigned, or re-assigned, into Priority Group 3, according to the current processing directive. This means that these applicants should see their applications finalised in approx. 12 months after lodgement, or as soon as possible if their existing application has already be lodged longer than that.

- Aleks Vickovich is Online Editor for the Australian Visa Bureau.