Immigration Australia announces its skilled occupation list for 2015-16

Both the Skilled Occupations List [SOL] and Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List CSOL have been announced for the 2015-16 Financial Year and will be applicable from 1 July 2015.

The much rumored about Accounting occupations have not been removed from the SOL, which comes as a sigh of releif for accounting professionals.

There have been minor changes to the CSOL with Urban & Regional Planners and Dentists being removed from the the SOL, while Primary School Teachers have been removed from the CSOL entirely.

Immigration Australia's new fee schedule for subclass 189, 190 & 489 Visa Applicants

There has been nominal increase to the set of fees for those applying for subclass 189, 190 & 489 visa with the revised schedule as follows:

Primary/Main Applicant: AUD$3600 as compared to $3520 prior to July1, 2015.
Secondary Appliant [above 18 years]: AUD$ 1800 as compared to $1760 prior to July 1, 2015.
Secondary Applicants [Below 18 Years]: AUD$900 as compared to $880 prior to July 1, 2015.

South Australia releases its occupation List 2015-16:

On July 1, South Australia released its Occupation List for 2015-16 for nominations under sub class 190 & 489. However, owing to the system outrage and technical glitches the application intake, which was scheduled to begin at 8:00, IST am on 1 July 2015 had to be temporarily suspended. The intake will now commence on 8:00 AM IST on 6 June 2015.

A Supplementary List is made available for certain applicants that meet the eligibility criteria for the Supplementary List.

Changes to Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) and Skilled Occupation List (SOL)

Summary of changesThe following changes will apply to applications made for the above visas on or after 1 July 2014.

Occupations added to the SOL

The following occupations will be added to the SOL:

  • • Chef (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) 351311)
  • • Bricklayer (ANZSCO 331111)

• Wall and Floor Tiler (ANZSCO 333411)

Occupations added to the CSOL

The following occupations will be added to the CSOL:

  • • Hydrogeologist (ANZSCO 234413)

• Exercise Physiologist (ANZSCO 234915)

Changes to occupation titles

The following titles will be changed:

  • • Ship's Surveyor will be titled Marine Surveyor (ANZSCO 231215)

• General Medical Practitioner will be titled General Practitioner (ANZSCO 253111)

Changes to assessing authorities

For new applications for the above visas made on or after 1 July 2014, new assessing

authorities will be specified for the following occupations:

  • • Nurse Manager (ANZSCO 254311): Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC)
  • • Nurse Educator (ANZSCO 254211): ANMAC
  • • Nurse Researcher (ANZSCO 254212): ANMAC.
  • • Marine Transport Professional not elsewhere classified (ANZSCO 231299):
  • • Vocational Education and Training Assessment Services (VETASSESS)

Alternative English Language tests for visa applicants

From November 2014, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will accept English language test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test [TOEFL iBT] and the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) across visa programs.

These tests will be acceptable for Australia’s General Skilled Migration Program which includes the most popular visa categories: Skilled Independent [Subclass 189], Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190) and Skilled – Regional (provisional) (subclass 489).

These tests will add to the options of qualifying for the language requirements of visa applications and will be accepted in addition to the currently accepted and most dominant International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Occupational English Test (OET).

Currently, only the International English Language Testing System IELTS and Occupational English Test (OET) are accepted for the purposes of applying for General Skilled Migration.

From November 2014, the following tests will also be accepted:

  • • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)

• Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT)

TOEFL scores are available approximately 10 days after the test date. They can be viewed online, and a hard copy is sent approximately 13 days after the test date. The current cost to undertake the TOEFL iBT in Australia is $240, well under the current cost of IELTS ($330).

Overall, PTE test takes 3 hours. It can be regarded as a user-friendlier test. Results are available within 5 working days, and can be accessed by logging into an online account. It is possible to forward results to institutions via the online account also. This compares favorably with IELTS - results currently take 2 weeks to become available, and there is no online account facility for test takers. The cost to do the PTE Academic test in Australia is $330 - exactly the same as IELTS. Locations and test dates are less extensive than the TOEFL.

The availability of more choices for English language testing from November 2014 will be good for visa applicants. There will be various advantages for the different English tests, for instance:

  • • Pearson: results ready in 5 days, ability to forward results to various recipients after test date

• TOEFL: readily available, inexpensive

From November 2014, intending migrants submitting an Expression of Interest through Skill Select will be able to provide test scores from the TOEFL iBT or PTE Academic tests. The introduction of these tests will allow applicants to save time as they now would have more options for test centers of giving the English test. There would be a variation in the test format giving a breather to those stuck with the inability to score well with the IELTS format. This announcement also breaks the age-old monopoly of IELTS.