It’s a little late, however the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL), has finally been released by the Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Evans.

The current SOL has more than 400 occupations. The new list of occupations, which was announced by the Minister on 17 May 2010, includes 181 occupations. This makes the new SOL less than half the size of the previous list but still includes medical professionals including dentists, nurses and osteopaths, as well as engineers, teachers, IT professionals, welders and other trade occupations.

The new SOL will take effect from 1 July 2010 and will apply to all individuals who wish to apply for an Australian Visa to live and work in Australia under the General Skilled Migration Program.

The SOL will not affect Australian Immigration applications under the Employer Nomination Scheme or employer sponsored temporary residency visas.

“This SOL represents a new direction which aims to ensure we choose migrants who have the skills to meet our nation’s economic needs,” Senator Evans said.

“The initiative builds on the reforms announced in February. The Government has increased English language requirements for trade applicants and introduced a new job ready program for onshore trade applicants.

“There is now increased priority for employer sponsored migrants and this will ensure industry is able to quickly access the skilled workers it needs,” he said.

Individuals who have already submitted skilled Australian Visa applications will have their applications assessed against occupations appearing on the current SOL.

The new SOL will also not apply to people who, on the 8 February 2010, held a subclass 485 (skilled graduate) visa or had a pending subclass 485 visa application and who apply for a provisional or permanent onshore General Skilled Migration visa before the 31 December 2012.

The department is operating a dedicated phone line to respond to any queries on the new list of occupations. The contact number is 1300 735 683.

Further reading (links open in a new window):

Fact sheet – The new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) ( 72KB PDF file)
New List of Skilled Occupations Intended To Replace The Current Skilled Occupation List
Frequently Asked Questions – How will I be affected by the introduction of a new Skilled Occupations List? ( 99KB PDF file)
Fact sheet – Options for people who may not be eligible for independent migration ( 70KB PDF file)