Possible changes to the visa requirements for Australia have been appearing in the news. There have been reports recently about changes to the Skilled Occupations List for visa applications. None of these have yet to be implemented but those looking to lodge their applications soon should be aware of the possible changes. A number of common occupations are in line to be taken off the current list, these include; engineers, accountants, catering staff, maritime professionals, laboratory scientists and health workers. These change will not affect any one that has already lodged their application, and none of these have yet to be confirmed so may not appear on the final list. Indeed most of the occupations that appear on the list also did so last year but applications applying under any of these categories are advised to do so as soon quickly to avoid possible exemption. Several of the occupations require an assessment of skill – such as the skills assessment operated by Engineers Australia for engineers which take some time to process. Other occupational organisations offer similar assessments. The government reports that these proposed changes come as the opposition party are putting pressure on the government for restrictions on the visa program. Work is underway to ‘condense’ the list and it is thought that at least some of the categories will be affected very shortly. The moves as the government faces increasing pressure to reduce the numbers migrating to Australia and are part of a wider reorganisation of the current visa system in the country. How many of the proposed changes eventually come into law is unsure but it is clear that the government is intent of tacking the migration issue and some changes are inevitable. Any applicants are encouraged to keep abreast of the changes and contact local offices for more details.
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