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Stay Ahead in the Permanent Residency Race: Understanding the Changes to Australia’s Skilled Occupation Lists

Sometimes laws change slowly. But sometimes the law can change quickly and create new opportunities. Equally though, change can take away opportunities. We can advise you on how best to take advantage of your options now to avoid missing out on Permanent Residency opportunities.

On 19 April 2017, the Minister replaced the Skilled Occupation Lists with a Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). This change took away a Permanent Residency Pathway (PR pathway) for many skilled workers by unreasonably judging some occupations as more important than others. For example, as it stands now, a solicitor in Sydney can be granted Permanent Residency through employer sponsorship but the person who takes care of that solicitor’s mother in an aged care home cannot.

We do not agree that it’s right – it isn’t fair, and it isn’t good for Australian businesses looking to attract and retain skilled workers. It’s a competitive global village and Australia will lose out to other nations like Canada and Ireland.

The lesson is, if you’re eligible now – do not delay because opportunities can be lost through delay. There is talk in Parliament, and industry-wide about making significant changes the subclass 482 and skilled occupation lists to open up PR pathways to give a more certainty to skilled people looking to make Australia home.

If you have an occupation on the Short Term Occupation List (STOL) and are thinking about leaving Australia because you don’t currently have a clear PR pathway with a subclass 482 to subclass 186 – don’t go. Change is coming. As it stands now, you can be granted a two-year subclass 482 followed by a second onshore subclass 482 and another 2 years lodged offshore. That’s up to six years in your career in Australia.

There is a migration review happening now and there is serious pressure on the Minister to consolidate the skilled occupation lists into one list with equal opportunity for different workers to become permanent residents. We support merging the lists as a benefit to our clients, their employees, their families. One thing is for certain – if you are not in the game, you will not get Permanent Residency.

If you are an employer looking to keep and support your skilled workers, or you are skilled worker looking for options to stay, contact us here or call 02-8223-6550



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