Coalition eases visa rules for three occupations

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June 20, 2014 – To address Australia’s labour shortages, the Coalition government has added occupations to the Skilled Occupation List, allowing three occupations in the hospitality and building industries to apply now for independent permanent visas.

Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash, together with Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb, announced that chefs, bricklayers, and wall and floor tilers will be added to the Skilled Occupation List beginning July 1.

Additional occupations added to permanent visa list

The addition of these occupations, according to Robb, was based from the analysis of the current labour market, which shows “an increase in demand for these occupations as well as a decrease in apprenticeship completions.” Cash agreed that chefs are in short supply, and the labour market is expecting growth in the cafe and restaurant sector.

“The addition of these occupations will be especially welcomed in regional areas, where there is a known deficit of skilled workers in the hospitality and constructions industries,” said Cash.

Beginning this migration year, skilled workers in the three occupations will be able to apply for skilled independent visas (subclass 189), which means they do not require state sponsorship, employer or family sponsorship. Subclass 189 is a points-tested visa that allows holders to live in Australia as a permanent resident.

As part of the regulation, chefs, bricklayers, and tilers still need to get a positive skills assessment from the relevant skills assessing authority and meet all other requirements. Aside from satisfying all pre-requisites for the 189, applicants also need to submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect, followed by a visa application if invited to apply.

Following the update to the SOL, Australia has indicated that it may grant visas for a significant number of these skilled workers: 2283 for overseas chefs, 1401 for bricklayers, and 948 for floor and wall tilers.

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