New Skilled Occupations List (New SOL)

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Different Types of Visas for Australia

New Skilled Occupations List (New SOL)

A new Skilled Occupations List ( New SOL) is to be introduced by mid 2010. The list will be compiled by Skills Australia, an independent body which has been set up by the Department of Employment, Education and Training. The list should be available by 30 April 2010, and will come into effect by mid 2010.

Click Here to see the New SOL in the occupations that interest you.

The New SOL will include occupations that require a long lead time of formal education and training and where the economic impact of not having the skills is significant. The result will most likely be a much shorter list. If your occupation is not on the new SOL, you will only be able to apply for a state or territory nominated GSM visa.

However, there are generous transitional provisions for international students studying in Australia. In particular, you will not be affected by the changes if:

* You have already applied for a permanent or provisional GSM visa prior to 8 February 2010; or
* You have already applied for or been granted a subclass 485 Graduate Skilled visa prior to 8 February 2010, and lodge your permanent or provisional GSM visa application prior to 31 December 2012.

If you are in Australia on a student visa as of 8 February 2010, then you can apply for a skilled graduate visa in any occupation on the current SOL, but must then apply for a permanent or provisional skilled visa in an occupation on the New SOL.

Because the new SOL is not available, this change will create a significant amount of uncertainty and anxiety. When the list is published, it is likely that:

1. Many applicants will seek to lodge GSM applications ahead of the changeover date; and
2. International students not studying in an new SOL occupation will seek to change to courses which are on the SOL

New SOL Compared to MODL

The new SOL will effectively replace the current MODL as the “beacon” for people wishing to complete studies in Australia which will then qualify them for permanent residence.

The new arrangements also inherit other problems associated with the MODL – namely that the process of creating the list is to be handled by an agency external to the Department of Immigration with all the delays and communication issues associated with this.

It is hoped that the New SOL will be relatively static, and that issues of the skill level appropriate to actually work in the occupation in Australia will be taken into account. Many felt that the skill level for occupations on the MODL such as cookery and hairdressing were too low and led to the remarkable growth in student numbers in these occupations.

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