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Skilled Occupation List

Improve your chance of gaining Permanent Residency

The Australian government has developed policies designed to attract migrants with experience in areas where there is a skill shortfall through its skilled migration program. It’s designed to appeal to those who can contribute to the Australian economy and fill roles where no local workers are available. Therefore, if you’re planning to live and work permanently, it would be advantageous to know what the most in-demand jobs are in Australia. Improve your chances of getting a permanent residency by completing a course that will offer you great career prospects in the fields that are highly sought after in Australia.

The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) combines all eligible skilled occupations in Australia and it includes the following:

  • The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) code for each occupation. The ANZSCO offers details on the skill level of jobs, qualifications and/or experience needed to work in occupations
  • specifies if the occupation is included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)*, the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)**, the Regional Occupation List (ROL) or the ***Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) ROL List.
  • the assessing authority for skills assessments
  • conditions: which exclude the use of the occupation in certain circumstances (applies to the ENS and TSS visas only)

*Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL): Nominate an occupation from this list to qualify for skilled migration

**Short term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL): Your occupation should be on this list to apply for a state or territory government nomination

***The RSMS ROL list is a separate list of occupations that applies to the RSMS visa only.


These following visas are available to you if you have the experience to work or train in any of the eligible skilled occupation in Australia and can satisfy all requirements.

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186) This visa allows skilled workers who are nominated by their employer, live and work and Australia permanently
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 494)- This visa allows skilled workers who are nominated by their regional employers to live, work and study in regional Australia for five years
  • Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) – Points-tested stream This visa allows skilled workers, who are nominated by their employer, live and work in Australia permanently.
  • Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) – State nominated points-tested stream This visa allows skilled workers to live and work in Australia as permanent residents
  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) This temporary visa allows an employer to sponsor a skilled worker to fill a position they can’t find a skilled Australian to fill.
  • Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) – Graduate Work This visa is ideal for international students who have recently graduated with qualifications that are applicable to the occupations that are in demand in Australia.
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) This is a visa for skilled people who are nominated by a state or territory government to live and work in regional Australia.
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 494) This visa allows regional employers to address identified skill/labour shortages in their region by sponsoring skilled workers where employers can’t source a suitably skilled Australian worker.

Eligibility for these visas differ so we recommend you check on all requirements thoroughly after you’ve determined which visa is ideal for you.

Generally, to be eligible for the above visas above you need to:

  • be over 18 and under 45 years old. Except for the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) that allow applicants under 50 years of age to apply.
  • Be invited to apply
  • meet the points test
  • meet the study/skill requirements
  • work experience in the skilled occupation
  • have competent English
  • meet the Australian health requirements
  • meet the character requirements

What happens if my occupation is removed from the list?

If your application or nomination is pending, you won’t be impacted by the removal of any occupation from the skilled occupation lists. The same also applies if you already hold a skilled visa unless there are changes in your circumstances which require the submission of a new nomination application. If you’re changing your occupation or employer, and your occupation is no longer on the combined list of eligible skilled occupations, it may impact your application. Feel free to book an appointment with us if you require guidance and support.

What are the top courses for permanent residency?

Top courses are:

How does the points-based system work for skilled migration and state nomination?

Both types of migration are points based system assessing factors like:

  • age - more points are allocated to younger age bracket versus older
  • English level-The higher score achieved on the English test, the more points you can gain
  • skilled employment (months worked) - your experience working in the occupation you will apply for, outside of Australia
  • specialist qualification
  • Australian study requirement (degree/postgraduate) course with an Australian approved provider)
  • other factors such as study in regional areas, partners qualifications and level of English, single applicants and professional year in Australia

View the full breakdown of points:


  • nomination/sponsorship (where required)
  • nomination by state or territory government (visa subclass 190 only)- 5 points
  • nomination by state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member to reside and work in a specified/designated area- 15 points (an increase of 5 points, it was 10 points previously)

English Level

  • Proficient English - 10 points
  • Superior English - 20 points

Other factors

  • STEM (Master’s by Research or PhD- min two years’ study) – 10 points, (increase of 5 points since the last update)
  • partner – if your partner has a valid positive skill assessment outcome from the occupation list you are using and competent English, 10 points awarded (was previously only 5 points)
  • a single applicant is now awarded 10 points
  • partners with competent English but no skills to claim are awarded 5 points

Should I study in regional Australia?

It’s highly recommended to consider regional opportunities given the introduction of the 491 Visas and the fact that more points are awarded for living in regional areas and there is priority processing on regional visas. However, it’s also important to consider that the occupation you’re applying for would be available in the regional area that you will live in.

If you’re following an academic pathway, you can consider Visa 189 where you can live anywhere in Australia, (metro and regional options). However, consider that at least 80 points should be earnt (this keeps changing with every invitation round), and you want to try and score as many points as possible. It’s recommended to also consider Professional Year, NAATI and obtaining a high level of English to be successful.

Does your level of study meet the skilled occupation list?

Ensure that what you’re studying is high enough level of study for the occupation you plan to work in. For example, if you want to become a teacher, at least a bachelor’s degree will be required.

What is the course length?

If you want to apply for a 491 or 494, you need to ensure your course length is at least 2 years. This needs to be 2 years of continuous study in the skilled occupation. Post your study, you will have 3 years of working rights. This will give you valuable time to satisfy the work experience requirement needed for the permanent residency visa.

What rights do I have once I am a permanent residency in Australia?

  • Invite a family member or a relative to Australia
  • Obtain Medicare health card
  • Travel to and from Australia up to 5 years
  • Unlimited work rights
  • Social security benefits
  • Financial opportunities (First Home Buyer benefits, home/bank loan)


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