There is more than one skilled occupation list

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We are often contacted by applicants who say “I have looked at the occupations list and my occupation isn’t there – what do I do?” What we have found is that many people don’t realise that there is more than one occupations list for skills-based visas to Australia.

The government’s skills lists are provided in two parts. They are called the SOL and the CSOL. I explain the main differences between them below.

Skilled Occupations List (SOL):

The SOL is the Skilled Occupations List. It is also referred to as “Schedule 1.” There are around 200 occupations on this list. These are what the Department of Immigration considers to be the higher value occupations. It includes many of the Accounting, Teaching, Medical and Engineering occupations. There are also a number of high value trades such as Carpenters, Mechanics and Welders (to name just a few).

Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (CSOL):

The CSOL is the Consolidated Skilled Occupations List. It is also referred to as “Schedule 2”. There are around 700 occupations on this list. Aside from trade occupations such as Landscape Gardener, Cabinetmaker, Cooks and Chefs, this list also has many of what are referred to as the “generalist” occupations. These include, for example, Marketing Specialist, Farmers, HR Managers and many other occupations (including many ICT occupations).

What’s the difference?

There is one main difference between the SOL and the CSOL: If your occupation is on the SOL, you do not require state government nomination (sponsorship) to apply for the skilled migration visas, provided you meet all other eligibility criteria, of course. If your occupation is on the CSOL, you must be nominated by a state government to be able to apply for the skilled migration visas.

You can apply for any of the employer sponsored visas (temporary or permanent) if your occupation is on either the SOL or the CSOL—again, subject to all other eligibility criteria.

Regional benefits:

In fact, if you have an employer who may be willing to sponsor you in a regional area of Australia, there are even more occupations available than just those listed on the SOL and the CSOL. Although there is no specified “list” as such, the additional occupations are all identifiable.

The additional occupations are classified as “ANZSCO Skill Level 3 in Major Groups 4 – 8.” That sounds a little confusing, I know, but it’s actually pretty simple. The classification refers to a government dictionary of occupations which describes all occupations by, among other things, skill level. The regional visa allows for lower skill level occupations.

A few examples of what is included in this “extended” list available for regional sponsorship include:

  • Sports coaches or instructors
  • Flight attendants
  • Fire Fighters
  • Family Support Workers
  • Dental Technicians
  • Secretaries

The regional list is not available for skilled migration or the employer sponsored temporary visa (subclass 457). This list is only available for the employer sponsored permanent visa (subclass 187).

How can a professional help?

One of the main problems visa applicants have is a lack of understanding of how the Australian government classifies different occupations, how each occupation has different skill requirements, and where their occupation may fit. To make matters more complex, you need to understand how all of this relates to state government requirements and then to actual visa eligibility. Sometimes the process is even more involved when there are mandatory skills assessments or mandatory English language requirements.

We have a number of services which could help you. A good starting point may be to book a Skype consultation to discuss your situation with one of our professionals. From there we can start to put some shape around your case and work together to achieve your goal of a new life in Australia.

Other services which may help include the Job Assistance Service or our Visa Advantage Service. With both of these services, the starting point is to find the best occupation match for you from the relevant government list.

How to get started:

Our website has all of the occupations from all of the lists built in to our assessments. You can get the process started by taking an online assessment on our website. From there, you will be provided service options.

You may also benefit from some very first level advice and direction. A good place to start is to book a Skype consultation to have a face-to-face chat with us.

I look forward to being able to help you with your visa situation in future.

Finding reliable, professional visa help can be very challenging. If you have found this article helpful, please take a moment to share it using the icon visible on the left hand side of this page.

John Bell
General Manager and Senior Migration Agent
MARN 0321386

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John Bell

Migration Advisor at National Visas
John Bell has been involved in the immigration industry since 2000 and has practiced in Australia as an Australian Registered Migration Agent since 2003. John also worked in the UK as a UK immigration adviser between 2000 and 2002.

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