Points and occupation changes to skilled migration lists

Two important changes were announced by DIAC this week – lowering of the pass mark for the skilled visa points test and the annual revision of the Skilled Occupation List (SOL). Both  of these changes will take effect on 1 July 2012 and will only affect applications lodged from this date onwards – not applications lodged up until 30 June 2012.

Lowering of the points tested pass mark

The lowering of the points test pass mark from the current 65 to 60 is welcome news and expands the opportunity for migrants to qualify for Australian permanent residency on a points tested skilled visa.

Revision of the SOL

The annual SOL (Schedule 1) update sees 4 new occupations added and 4 occupations removed. Therefore the SOL remains at 192 occupations in total. The SOL (Sch 1) is the list of occupations eligible for a skilled visa without sponsorship from an Australian state or territory government. These occupation changes are:

Additions to the SOL

133513 Production Manager (Mining) , 234912 Metallurgist, 251411 Optometrist,  263111 Computer Network and Systems Engineer

Removals from the SOL

234211 Chemist, 252711 Audiologist, 331111 Bricklayer, 333411 Wall and Floor Tiler.

DIAC advises that “Information about the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List will be available shortly on the department’s website”. This new Consolidated List that also takes effect from 1 July rolls into one three existing lists – the current Skilled Occupation List (CSOL Schedule 1) – StatSOL, Employer Nomination Scheme  Occupation List (ENSOL) and Subclass 457 Occupation List (CSOL Scedule 1 & 2)

The StatSOL (Sch 2) is the list of occupations that each state/territory government can choose from to decide which occupations they respectively sponsor through their individual State Migration Plans. The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List will now perform this function as well as list the eligible occupations for permanent employer sponsorship (on an ENS visa) and temporary employer sponsorship (on a subclass 457 visa.)

It is likely that the four occupations being removed from the SOL (Sch 1) will be on the new Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List.