Positive changes to Skilled Migration Occupation Lists announced

Tuesday, 2nd April 2019 // Breaking News // Comments (0)

The Federal Government recently announced updates to Skilled Migration Occupation Lists which underpin skilled visa programs.

The Department of Home Affairs published updates to the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List, Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List, and the Regional Occupation List on 11th March 2019.  This page summarises changes to the combined list of eligible skilled occupations for Australia's skilled visa programs that came into effect on 11 March 2019. 

These changes mean that the occupation of Cotton Farmer is now on the Regional Occupation List, rather than the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL). Being on the Regional Occupation List provides access to 482 visas with up to a four-year term, and the possibility of renewal for up to a further four years, and a potential pathway to permanent residency.

In this change, most skilled farming occupations were moved from the Short Term to the Regional List following collective advocacy from peak industry bodies showing evidence of the need.  Other skilled occupations moved to the four year Regional list were:

•             Mixed crop farmer

•             Mixed crop and livestock farmer

•             As well as agricultural technician, engineer and consultant occupations

The Coalition also recently released its ‘Planning for Population’ policy with new regional visas and a range of measures designed to boost regional areas.

These changes will help get the right skills into the right regions to support regional businesses and ensure local communities thrive.  The changes include:

Introducing two new regional visas for skilled workers, requiring them to live and work in regional Australia for three years before being able to access permanent residence.
Under the two new regional visa categories, skilled migrants will be priority processed and will have access to a larger pool of jobs on the eligible occupation lists, compared to those who live in our major cities. Migrants on these visas must demonstrate they have lived and worked in regional Australia for three years before becoming eligible to apply for permanent residence. For more information:

Cotton Australia understands these changes are expected to come into effect in the new financial year (about November 2019).