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AUSTRALIA: Traffic Light Bulletin – Skilled Migration List Review

, 16/12/2019

Following consultations with various stakeholders, including the Newland Chase Australia team, the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business has released their Traffic Light Bulletin outlining their proposed changes to Immigration’s skilled occupation lists.

Of interest are the number of occupations that have been flagged for movement between the occupation lists. This would indicate an increase or decrease in demand for these occupations, with trades occupations most affected.

Please note that these are only proposed changes at this stage. Changes will not be formalised until closer to the release date in March 2020 and there is no guarantee that any or all of the proposed amendments will occur.

Flagged for Removal (Red)

The occupations of Hairdresser, Massage Therapist, and Community Worker are amongst those that have been flagged for removal from all occupation lists, making migrants in these occupations ineligible for almost all skilled visas (it may still be possible under a labour agreement). These occupations have been in decline over the previous years, though there has still been some demand under the employer-sponsored pathways, particularly in more regional areas.

Flagged for Change of List (Orange)

There are a number of occupations that have been flagged to move between the three occupation lists:

Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
Regional Occupation List (ROL)

All of the occupations that appear on the list to be moved from the MLTSSL to the STSOL are trades related. This includes Glaziers, Automotive Electricians, Painting Trades Workers, and Cabinetmakers.

Occupations that could move from the STSOL to the MLTSSL – giving pathways for permanent residency under employer-sponsored and skilled independent pathways – are ICT Project Manager (which includes Blockchain Planner/Manager), Information and Organisation Professionals (which includes Data Scientist), and Sales and Marketing Manager. There are recommendations for a salary caveat for each occupation, indicating significantly skilled applicants are required.

Moving from the ROL to the MLTSSL could be the occupations of Procurement Manager and Ship's Master, giving employers the chance to sponsor employees outside of regional Australia, as well as opening up a skilled independent pathway.

Identified as occupations that could be moved from the ROL to the STSOL are Mechanical Engineering Draftsperson, Post Office Manager, and Real Estate Representative. This again opens up the option for employers in non-regional Australia to sponsor for visas.

Finally, moving from the STSOL to the ROL could be Geologist, which would limit applicants to living and working in regional Australia.

Flagged for Addition (Green)

After being off list for a long time, a number of personal support occupations have been flagged for addition to the STSOL, with a recommendation that there is a mandatory skill assessment. These include Aged or Disabled Carer, Nursing Support Worker, and Personal Care Assistant. The occupation of Corporate Treasurer is also flagged, but no skill assessment has been recommended.

Salary Caveat Recommendations

Certain occupations - not otherwise affected by list changes - have been identified as those where a minimum salary caveat should be applied. Poultry Farmer, Baker, Pastry Cook, Horse Trainer and Fitter and Turner would now require a minimum salary of AU$65,000 per annum, while “Sportspersons nec” (not elsewhere classified) would require a minimum salary of AU$120,000 per annum.

New and Emerging Occupations

In addition to the skilled occupation list review, the Department identified a number of new and emerging occupations that do not currently fit into the ANZSCO definitions. In collaboration with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), these occupations have now been defined (as follows). It is possible to use these definitions now for Immigration purposes.


Occupation not currently in ANZSCOOccupation Code Designated by ABS
Blockchain Strategist261111 ICT Business Analyst
Blockchain Planner/Manager135112 ICT Project Manager
Data Scientist224999 Information and Organisation Professionals nec
Irrigation Manager121213 Fruit Or Nut Grower
Biosecurity Officer311313 Quarantine Officer
Horticulture Farm Manager121213 Fruit Or Nut Grower
Maintenance Electrician341111 Electrician (General)