Revisions have been made by the Government to the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) which take effect from 1 July 2017 alongside important legislative changes that impact temporary and permanent skilled migration.
The revisions to the lists of occupations eligible for either 2 year or 4 year sponsorship on a Subclass 457 visa (and Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa once introduced in March next year) have been made following stakeholder consultations held by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and industry feedback and representation to the Government.
These changes will result in previously removed specialist occupations such as Petroleum Engineer, Geophysicist, Hydrogeologist, Biotechnologist and Metallurgists added to the MLTSSL, and engineering occupations such as Chemical Engineer, Materials Engineer, Industrial Engineer, Civil Engineering Technician and Electronic Engineer which were previously restricted, to be eligible for 4 year visa sponsorship.
Importantly, senior management occupations notably Managing Director and Corporate General Manager have been transferred from the STSOL to the MLTSSL with specific caveats affording multinational corporations with the ability to appoint high salaried foreign executives entering as intra-corporate transferees to fill these executive level roles for up to 4 years.
Apart from the revisions made to the eligible occupation lists (as effected by legislative instrument IMMI 17/060), a raft of other legislative changes have also come into effect as part of progressive changes in the lead up to introduction of the TSS visa in March 2018 (as flagged in our Migration Newsflash releases of 20 April and 10 May 2017).
The expanded list of occupations will provide businesses with greater access to key skills from overseas to help bridge the gaps in skills which cannot be reasonably filled locally. Employers however will need to be aware of the specific caveats placed on eligible occupations when nominating these occupations for either temporary work visas or employer sponsored permanent migration. These will be critical in determining whether an occupation is eligible for sponsorship on nomination.