If moving to Australia in 2021 is something you want to do, it may still be possible (even during Covid). The Australian government has released new occupations that are part of the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL). These critical skills are needed to support the pandemic recovery, so visas are being fast-tracked and persons holding them are exempt from inward Covid travel restrictions.

Jobs that will allow you to move to Australia

Currently, Australia’s international borders are only set to reopen in mid-2022. This has been a major setback for those interested in moving to Australia. However, migrants with some in-demand skills are still being welcomed into the country and their visa applications are being prioritised.

On the 22nd of June, Alex Hawke, the Minister of Immigration announced a new range of skilled occupations which will allow one to gain an Australian work visa and immigrate to Australia.

These skills, which are needed to curb the virus and get the economy back on track, can be found on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL). Altogether there are now 41 occupations that Australia has listed as the most in-demand and critical skills.

Work in Australia: The new Skilled work list

The 22 new occupations added in June are:

  1. Accountant (General) (221111)
  2. Accountant (Taxation) (221113)
  3. Accountant (Management) (221112)
  4. External Auditor (221213)
  5. Internal Auditor (221214)
  6. Electrical Engineer (233311)
  7. Civil Engineer (233211)
  8. Structural Engineer (233214)
  9. Geotechnical Engineer (233212)
  10. Transport Engineer (233215)
  11. Mining Engineer (233611)
  12. Petroleum Engineer (233612)
  13. Surveyor (232212)
  14. Cartographer (232213)
  15. Other Spatial Scientist (232214)
  16. Medical Laboratory Scientist (234611)
  17. Orthotist / Prosthetist (251912)
  18. Multimedia Specialist (261211)
  19. Analyst Programmer (261311)
  20. Software and Applications Programmers (261399)
  21. ICT Security Specialist (262112)
  22. Chef (351311)

From November 2020 to May 2021 these occupations were added:

  1. Veterinarian (234711)
  2. Social Worker (272511)

The initial list included:

  1. Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
  2. Construction Project Manager (133111)
  3. Mechanical Engineer (233512)
  4. General Practitioner (253111)
  5. Resident Medical Officer (253112)
  6. Psychiatrist (253411)
  7. Medical Practitioner nec (253999)
  8. Midwife (254111)
  9. Registered Nurse (Aged Care) (254412)
  10. Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) (254415)
  11. Registered Nurse (Medical) (254418)
  12. Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (254422)
  13. Registered Nurse (Perioperative) (254423)
  14. Registered Nurses nec (254499)
  15. Developer Programmer (261312)
  16. Software Engineer (261313)
  17. Maintenance Planner (312911)

The employer-sponsored visa

If your occupation is on the PMSOL list, you can apply for an employer-sponsored visa. The visas that make up this category are the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186), the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) and the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494).

How to get a job in Australia

Once you have an employer who will sponsor you to work in Australia you may apply for an exemption from Australia’s inward travel restrictions to travel to the country and start your new job. A business can also make the application for this travel exemption on your behalf. You should have both a valid visa and a travel exemption by the time you are ready to leave.

Once in Australia, you will have to undergo the 14 day quarantine period, which may be at your own expense.

Don’t see your skill on this list? There may still be a way to move to Australia with your family through the Business and Innovation visa

Australian employer-sponsored visas vs the skilled visa options

You need to be offered a job in Australia before you can apply for an employer-sponsored visa, unlike with the standard skilled visas. In addition, you need to pass a skills test, health assessment, English language requirements and have relevant work experience and qualifications. These applications are complex and can usually take months. However, due to the demand for the skills on the PMSOL list, the applicants will be given priority processing, making this the ideal time to apply.

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186)

This visa allows you to live and work in Australia permanently from the day the visa is granted.

With Australian permanent residency, you can also access public healthcare. It’s a direct route to Australian citizenship and you can bring your spouse and children.

If your employer is approved as a sponsor they can then nominate skilled workers for this visa. Generally, you should be under 45 years of age when you apply (although there are a few exemptions) and have at least three years of experience in your occupation.

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)

Usually, migrant workers coming to Australia work and settle in Australia’s biggest cities. This means that there is a greater demand for certain skills in some regional areas of Australia, and this visa addresses that skills shortage.

If you have at least three years of relevant work experience and would be happy to live in regional Australia, then this is an excellent option. You can bring your family and it leads to permanent residence and Australian citizenship.

However, you do need to be under 45 years of age to apply unless you meet specific exemptions, and you will need to live and work in a particular region for the length of the visa.

Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482)

This visa allows employers to address labour shortages where Australian workers cannot be sourced. This TSS visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to four years where an International Trade Obligation applies.

There is also no age requirement for this visa. When you reach the end of your nominated period, your employer may choose to sponsor you to stay for longer by submitting a new nomination for a permanent residence visa, such as the 186 subclass, or you may switch to a skilled work visa.

This visa allows you to bring your family to Australia, including your spouse and children up to 23 years old, who are single and dependent on you.

How many visas will Australia grant?

In May of 2021, the government announced immigration planning levels for 2021-2022 would remain unchanged for the skilled visa. Therefore, there are 22,000 Employer-Sponsored visas available, just under 14% of the year’s total visas.

If you are thinking of applying for one of these Australian work visas, it’s worth looking at your options sooner rather than later. Once the cap is reached, you will need to wait another year before applying. The PMSOL list is only temporary and the occupations on it could be removed.

Should you need more information on whether or not you qualify for an Australian visa, take our free Australian visa assessment today.

If you’re in a qualifying PMSOL occupation and would like more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at migration@sableinternational.com or by calling +27 (0) 21 657 1526. Our registered migration agents can offer you expert advice and representation for moving to and gaining permanent residency in Australia.

We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you'll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.