More skilled workers now eligible to have visas to Australia fast-tracked

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Chefs, civil engineers and software programmers are among skilled occupations that will have their visa applications prioritised by the Australian government.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has announced 22 job categories will be added to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) designed to lure critical workers into the country.

“The Morrison Government will continue to support Australian businesses, including through skilled migration, as the engine room of our nation’s economy,” he said.

The PMSOL list had been expanded following feedback from Australian business stakeholders and industry bodies and now consisting of 41 occupations.

Two of the nation’s peak hospitality bodies and the Australian Resources and Energy Group (AMMA) have welcomed the move, saying it will help to address chronic skills shortages.

The Australian Hotels Association and Tourism Accommodation Australia both pushed for the inclusion of chefs on the critical skills list.

“Our international borders remain closed and we cannot access the usual stream of international chefs who form a critical part of our workforce,” AHA National CEO Stephen Ferguson said.

AMMA CEO Steve Knott added that the changes to include mining, petroleum and geotechnical engineers would help address skill shortages in the resources and energy sector.

This year’s May budget revealed the government’s expectation that temporary and permanent migration is expected to gradually return from half-way through 2022.

It follows Australia’s net overseas migration last year plunging into negative levels for the first time since World War II due to widespread COVID-19 travel bans and border closures.

Mr Hawke told SBS News earlier this year that the government believes migration will play a critical role in Australia’s ongoing recovery from the pandemic.

“I’m convinced that the migration program will be a huge part of how we recover from COVID and whether we will be as successful as we can be on that journey,” he said.

Visa holders who have been sponsored by an Australia business in a PMSOL occupation will be subject to quarantine arrangements at their own expense.

The government says existing skilled migration occupation lists will remain active and visas will still be processed, but priority will be given to those in occupations on the PMSOL.

What occupations are now on the PMSOL list?

Those occupations added to the priority list include:

  • Accountant (General) (221111)
  • Accountant (Taxation) (221113)
  • Accountant (Management) (221112)
  • External Auditor (221213)
  • Internal Auditor (221214)
  • Electrical Engineer (233311)
  • Civil Engineer (233211)
  • Structural Engineer (233214)
  • Geotechnical Engineer (233212)
  • Transport Engineer (233215)
  • Mining Engineer (233611)
  • Petroleum Engineer (233612)
  • Surveyor (232212)
  • Cartographer (232213)
  • Other Spatial Scientist (232214)
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist (234611)
  • Orthotist / Prosthetist (251912)
  • Multimedia Specialist (261211)
  • Analyst Programmer (261311)
  • Software and Applications Programmers (261399)
  • ICT Security Specialist (262112)
  • Chef (351311)

Source: SBS News

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