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Australian news

Posted at 30 June 2017 04:06 (UTC)

2017 - 2018 SOL List of eligible skilled occupations

Removed occupations australia 2017

List of eligible skilled occupations

Only certain occupations are approved for use under Australia’s permanent and temporary skilled visa programmes.  As of 1 July 2017, these occupations are listed in legislative instruments for the relevant visa programme.

Separate instruments are available for the following visa programmes:

A further instrument which relates to the following subclasses is also available:

Each of these instruments still contains two occupation lists:

  • the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).

As of 1 July 2017, these lists have, however, been revised following a further review of the available occupations. The main changes to these lists are summarised below:

  • 12 occupations have been completely removed from the lists;
  • a number of occupations have been added to the lists for certain visa programmes;
  • some additional occupations have moved between the STSOL to the MLTSSL;
  • the caveats on some occupations have been revised;  
  • caveats on occupations now apply to both the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) and the Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186) – Direct Entry Stream.

The information below explains where to find eligible occupation information for particular visa programmes, and the impacts of recent changes.

Occupations available for General Skilled Migration visa programmes

If you are applying for any of the below:

you will need to nominate an occupation from the MLTSSL of the relevant legislative instrument – see: IMMI 17/072 Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities. 

If you are applying for any of the below:

You will need to nominate an occupation from the same legislative instrument above. Additional occupations included in the STSOL will, however, also be available to you.

Note: the above instrument also restricts the use of certain occupations to certain subclasses listed above.

Occupations for employer sponsored visa programmes

Separate legislative instruments now exist outlining eligible occupations for the following sponsored visa programmes:

The occupations available for the subclass 186 and 457 programmes are the same. Consequently, for ease of reference, a single alphabetical list of these occupations is available.  See: Combined list of eligible skilled occupations.

Note: Different eligible occupation arrangements are in place for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187) - Direct Entry Stream.

Removed occupations

On 1 July 2017, 12 occupations were removed entirely from the list of eligible skilled occupations. See: List of the removed occupations    

If your occupation has been removed from the list, you will be impacted if:

  • your subclass 457 visa or nomination application is still being processed by the Department on 1 July 2017. In such cases, your application cannot be approved. Once your application has reached the assessment stage, you will be contacted by the Department and given the opportunity to withdraw your application in writing. Alternatively, you can request a withdrawal in writing at any time and request a refund of the application fee. If you do not withdraw your application, it will be refused.

This means that any applications already lodged before 1 July 2017 for the above visa subclasses (other than a 457 visa) will not be impacted (even if the occupation was removed on 1 July 2017).

If you already hold a subclass 457 visa, you will not be impacted by these removed occupations unless you apply for a further subclass 457 visa or are changing your occupation or employer.

Caveats on occupations

As of 1 July 2017, caveats apply to 67 occupations for the purposes of the following visa programmes only:

These caveats are designed to ensure that the above visa programmes are used to fill skilled positions that cannot be filled via the local labour market. If you are working in a highly skilled position, you are unlikely to be impacted by these arrangements. 
 For the specific wording of each caveat – see the relevant legislative instrument:

A summary of Caveats on occupations  that apply to particular occupations is available.

The caveats apply to:

  • subclass 186 visa and nomination applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017
  • subclass 457 visa and nomination applications which:
    • are lodged on or after 1 July 2017
    • were lodged before 1 July 2017 and have not yet been decided by the Department.

If your occupation is now subject to a caveat, an officer will assess whether the caveat applies in the particular circumstances of your nominated position.

If you have a pending application with the Department which was lodged before 1 July 2017 and you are certain you cannot meet the caveat requirements, you can request a withdrawal in writing at any time and request a refund of the application fee. If you do not withdraw your application and do not meet the caveat requirements, your application will be refused.

If you already hold a subclass 457 visa, you will not be impacted by these caveated occupations unless you apply for a further subclass 457 visa or are changing your occupation or employer.

Australian news

Posted at 28 June 2017 02:06 (UTC)

Victoria: New application process for ICT occupations

State maps victoria

26 June 2017

On 1 July 2017, the Victorian Skilled and Business Migration Program is reopening applications for ICT occupations. For the full list of occupations, please see the Visa nomination occupation list for Victoria.

Due to the high number of ICT applications that Victoria receives, we are changing our application process for ICT occupations. The aim of this is to reduce processing times and hopefully improve your experience with our program.  To apply for Victorian nomination (in ICT occupations), follow these steps:

1. Check you meet the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s (DIBP) Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) requirements and Victoria’s minimum nomination requirements.

2. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) in DIBP’s SkillSelect, and indicate your interest for Victorian nomination. You do not need to notify Victoria that you have submitted an EOI.

3. Regularly check your email (including your junk mail folder) to see if you have been selected by Victoria. There is no set timeframe to expect an invitation after submitting an EOI. Invitations are not guaranteed. If selected, an email invitation to apply for Victorian visa nomination will be sent to your email address used for the EOI.

4. Submit an online application for Victorian visa nomination within 14 days of receiving the invitation. Note that you must be able to demonstrate that you still meet the claims that were in your EOI when you were invited. We recommend that you have all your supporting documents ready before you submit your EOI in SkillSelect, as the 14 days cannot be extended.

5. If you are successfully nominated by the Victorian Government, you will receive a SkillSelect invitation to apply for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190).

6. Submit a visa application to DIBP within 60 days of being nominated by Victoria.

Selection considerations    

The Victorian Government will review and select the top ranking ICT candidates from SkillSelect, who have indicated Victoria as their preferred state.  Candidates who are selected to apply are still required to meet Victoria’s minimum eligibility requirements, including demonstrating employability and commitment to Victoria, and are not guaranteed nomination.

If you are not selected by the Victorian Government, you will not receive an email. Your EOI will continue to be considered for as long as it remains in DIBP’s SkillSelect system.

Exemptions from this process

This application process is for ICT occupations only. However, if you are an ICT applicant and  currently hold an offer of employment in Victoria, or meet the streamlined 457 or PhD pathways, you are exempt from this process and can lodge a Victorian visa nomination application without lodging an EOI first.

Canadian news

Posted at 11 June 2017 01:06 (UTC)

Canadian e-APR Weekly round up report June 11th 2017


Quick weekly round-up:

If you have any feedback on this report please e-mail: 

If you find this status update useful please SHARE on Facebook and Twitter - thank you in advance. 

Passport Request by month this year up to date: 


Passport Request by month June up to date: 


Statuses by the month of submission up to date: 


Statuses by day of submission for January: 
*PNP Inland and Outland are almost non touched, a lot of cases are not active as people just not getting any kind of update from CIC (the same also applies to December 2016) 


Statuses by day of submission for February: 
*Please note CEC and FSW outland/inland have been processed actively this is especially true for CEC. PNP Outland/Inland are also remain pretty much untouched. 

Statuses by day of submission for March: 

Statuses by day of submission for April: 
*Please note we have seen some quick Passport Requests (~65 days) this months. Which is a positive sign. 

Statuses by day of submission for May: 

Source for these reports:

Average waiting time to PPR By STREAM: 

Source for this reports:

Cheers everyone and enjoy the weekend (for some its a long weekend)!

Australian news

Posted at 07 June 2017 03:06 (UTC)

General Skilled Migration Changes - 1 July 2017

Australia flag

1 July will see a number of changes to the General Skilled Migration program - for instance:

  • The maximum age for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa will be reduced from 49 to 44
  • A new permanent residence pathway for NZ citizens will be introduced
  • The skilled occupations lists are likely to be reviewed
  • Occupational ceilings will be released
  • State Migration Plans will reopen

This article goes through each of these changes and explains the likely consequences for applicants.

Changes to Age Limit for Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visas

The maximum age for General Skilled Migration is currently 49. For the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa, this will be reduced to 44 from 1 July.

At this stage, none of the following visa types will be affected by the change:

According to Department of Immigration figures, only around 1% of applicants for the 189 subclass are between 45 and 49 at present. Whilst the overall impact on program numbers is small, for people between 45 and 49 the effect will be significant because the age limit for permanent employer sponsored is also being reduced to 44.

NZ Citizen Pathway

permanent residence pathway for New Zealand citizens who have lived and worked in Australia for at least 5 years will be introduced from 1 July 2017.

The pathway will be implemented as a stream within the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa. The NZ citizen stream will be significantly easier to qualify for than the traditional 189 subclass, and in particular:

  • No skills assessment, English language test, points test or SkillSelect invitation will be required
  • No age limit
  • Concessions on the health requirement
  • Small initial application fee

The Australian government estimates that 60-70,000 New Zealanders may be eligible for the new stream. This may mean that fewer places are available for applicants in the points tested stream. This in turn may affect the occupational ceilings for skilled migration, and result in higher points being required for an invitation through SkillSelect.

Revision of Skilled Occupations Lists

We expect the occupations lists for General Skilled Migration - the MLTSSL and STSOL - to be revised from 1 July 2017.

There are a number of occupations, mainly in the engineering sector, which are on the MLTSSL but not the STSOL. This is unusual and we expect these occupations to be candidates for removal.

The Department of Education maintains a list of "Flagged Occupations". These could also be considered for removal, but based on previous years, only a few flagged occupations are removed each year.

On the other hand, the changes to employer sponsorship announced on 18 April have resulted in restrictions on sponsoring staff for permanent residence or longer-term 457 visas, unless the occupation is on the MLTSSL. There have also been some unexpected occupations removed from the STSOL (eg Human Resources Advisor, and many science and engineering occupations).

We expect Australian business groups to lobby for critical occupations to be added to the MLTSSL and STSOL. This would also be good for applicants for General Skilled Migration in any of the occupations which might be added.

Occupational Ceilings to be Released

Occupational ceilings play a very important part in managing the General Skilled Migration program. They give a maximum number of EOI invitations which can be issued to Skilled Independent Subclass 189 and Skilled Regional Provisional (Family Sponsored) Subclass 489 applicants.

In the last few years, it has become more competitive for people in popular occupations in the accounting, IT and certain engineering specialisations. If the occupational ceilings stay the same or are reduced, we expect it to become even more competitive. This will mean higher points scores may be required for an invitation.

State Migration Plans Reopen

Many states have either closed their state nomination programs or restricted them significantly - examples include Queensland, Western Australia and ACT. Others have reached quotas for popular occupations.

Most states will restart their state migration plans from July. For some states, ACT and South Australia in particular, many occupations fill very quickly after the program reopens. Applicants should make sure that they are ready to lodge for state nomination as soon as possible after they reopen to avoid disappointment.


The 1 July changes are likely to make it more difficult to qualify for General Skilled Migration. Particularly for those affected by the decrease in the age limit, applying before 1 July will be advisable if at all possible.

We expect that the Skilled Independent program will be more competitive in 2017-18 - this makes looking at alternative options such as state nominated or employer sponsored visas more important.


Canadian news

Posted at 27 May 2017 23:05 (UTC)

Canadian e-APR Weekly round up report May 28th 2017


Quick weekly round-up:

If you have any feedback on this report please e-mail 

If you find this status update useful please SHARE the link - thank you in advance. 

Year to date number of PPRs reported (May is the most fruitful months by far): 

May PPRs: 

Source for this report:

Statuses by month of submission: 

You can see a clear trendline showing how CIC is working on cases. Jan is ~50% done, Feb is ~30%, March-10% 


January current statuses:


February current statuses:


March current statuses:


April current statuses:

May current statuses:

Source for the report:

Average Processing by Stream:



Canadian news

Posted at 07 May 2017 07:05 (UTC)

Foreign Workers in New Brunswick May Now Apply to Express Entry Labour Market Stream


Foreign workers currently employed in the province of New Brunswick have a fresh opportunity to obtain Canadian permanent residence, after the provincial government reopened its Express Entry Labour Market stream (EELMS) to these workers only. This enhanced Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) stream is part of the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP), through which the province welcomes new permanent residents who can settle quickly.

Previously, this stream was closed to all new applications. Prior to the stream's closure, individuals who had attended a NBPNP information session, and workers eligible for the open category (which allowed certain IT workers to apply) — as well as candidates already working in New Brunswick — were eligible to apply, so long as they fulfilled the program criteria.

Candidates who are successful in obtaining a provincial nomination certificate from the NBPNP through this stream receive 600 additional points under the federal Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and will be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence in a subsequent draw from the Express Entry pool.

In order to be eligible for the NBPNP - EELMS, foreign workers in New Brunswick must:

  • Be between the ages of 22 and 55;
  • Have a profile in the federal Express Entry pool;
  • Be currently employed in New Brunswick in a skilled occupation (NOC 0, A or B level);
  • Have at least 12 months full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) paid skilled work experience in New Brunswick in the three years before the application is made, which cannot have been gained through self-employment or while the candidate was a full-time student (volunteer work, unpaid internships, co-op terms, etc. do not count) and which is in NOC level 0, A or B;
  • Demonstrate proficiency in each of the four language abilities (speaking, reading, writing, and listening) equivalent to or greater than Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7. Language test results must be no more than two years old and must come from a designated agency: IELTS (General Training Test only) or CELPIP (General test only) for English, or TEF for French;
  • Have a completed Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary educational credential (at least one academic year in length) OR a completed foreign educational credential from a recognized institution or authority; and
  • Sign and submit a Commitment to Live and Work in New Brunswick form.

Aside from this pathway, foreign workers in New Brunswick may have other means of pursuing permanent resident status, including the new Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), as well as through Express Entry, without necessarily obtaining a NBPNP nomination certificate.

Canadian news

Posted at 07 May 2017 00:05 (UTC)

Nova Scotia Reports on 'Remarkable Year' for Immigration to the Province

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Nova Scotia welcomed nearly 5,500 new immigrants in 2016, more than at any time in the last seven decades. The province's Minister of Immigration, Lena Diab, stated in the provincial legislature that the results show that Nova Scotia is well on the way to achieving its goal of welcoming 7,000 immigrants per year by 2024.

"It’s my extreme pleasure to report that we’ve had a remarkable year for immigration to Nova Scotia," said Diab to her peers. "I am so proud of these results; they reflect the hard work that we’ve been doing to grow our population and make Nova Scotia a more diverse and welcoming province."

Of the newcomers who settled in Nova Scotia as new permanent residents last year, 1,350 were nominees through the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP), one of Canada's Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) (PNPs). As recently as 2013, only around 600 people came through this route.

Recently released data from the federal government shows that a further 2,386 newcomers (applicants and accompanying family members) came through the federal Express Entry system. Other newcomers arrived through family sponsorship programs and as refugees.

With an eye towards breaking this new record again in 2017, Minister Diab added that she is "looking forward to another outstanding year for immigration. We have a total of 2,150 spots to fill in 2017, that is the 1,350 spots for our Provincial Nominee Program and 800 spots in our new program, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot [Program, AIPP]. We’re on track to break more records."

In addition to the NSNP and AIPP, Nova Scotia continues to welcome a steady flow of federal economic migrants, sponsored persons, and refugees.


Canadian news

Posted at 04 May 2017 14:05 (UTC)



Ministerial Instructions respecting invitations to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system #61 – May 4, 2017

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, pursuant to section 10.3 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, gives the annexed Ministerial Instructions Respecting Invitations to Apply for Permanent Residence under the Express Entry System (May 4, 2017).

Ottawa, May 4, 2017

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration


Determination — number of invitations

1. (1) For the purposes of paragraph 10.2(1)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the number of invitations that may be issued during the period beginning on May 4, 2017, and ending on May 5, 2017, is 3,796.

Required rank

(2) Foreign nationals who, on May 4, 2017, at 12:20:49 UTC, have been assigned a total of 423 points or more under the Comprehensive Ranking System that is set out in the Ministerial Instructions Respecting the Express Entry System, as published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 1, 2014, and as amended from time to time, occupy the rank required to be invited to make an application for permanent residence.

Canadian news

Posted at 02 May 2017 23:05 (UTC)

IRCC 2016 Express Entry Year-End Report: More Candidates Outside Canada Invited to Apply

Windsor tunnel

Occupation distribution among invited candidates also changes significantly

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has published its Express Entry year-end report for 2016, showing that more candidates residing outside Canada were issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in 2016 than in 2015. Moreover, IRCC has stated that the countries of residence among invited candidates is likely to continue to diversify throughout 2017 as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off threshold decreases even further.

In 2015, 78 percent of invited candidates were residents of Canada. However, this proportion decreased to 69 percent throughout 2016. In 2015 and 2016, Canada was the main country of residence among invited candidates because of the high number of temporary foreign workers with a job offer that wished to settle in Canada permanently.

However, this may all be read in the light of changes made to the CRS by IRCC in November of last year. Of the 27 draws from the pool that took place last year, 24 took place before these changes came into effect. As such, most of the data for 2016 covers a period before these changes — which included a reduction in the number of CRS points awarded for a job offer — were introduced. According to IRCC, ‘these changes have helped to attract top talent in the world.’

IRCC’s report alludes to these changes having had an effect on the occupations and place of residence of invited candidates. However, given that they were introduced late in 2016, the changes are more likely to have an effect throughout 2017, diversifying the range of invited candidates even further.

Indeed, over the opening four months or so of 2017 there has been a dramatic increase in the number of ITAs issued, with more candidates having been invited so far this year than in the entirety of 2016. Over this time, the CRS cut-off threshold has decreased accordingly, to its most recent cut-off point of 415. Therefore, and taking IRCC’s projection of a more diverse range of candidates being invited as the CRS threshold goes down, it may well be the case that more candidates outside Canada have received an ITA so far in 2017 than in the whole of 2016.

The table below, which includes the top eight countries of residence among invited candidates other than Canada, shows that each country in this group has seen more of its residents obtain an ITA in 2016 than in 2015.

It should be noted that the above table represents only 21 percent of all ITAs issued in 2016, and that thousands of ITAs were also issued to residents of other countries around the world.

Aside from place of residence, the report also delves into the occupations of invited candidates. The report says that the changes introduced last November ‘rebalances the CRS and allows for more highly skilled candidates to receive an ITA,’ which has led to a more equitable distribution of occupations among invited candidates than was previously the case.

In 2015, the top 10 invited occupations represented 38 percent of all invited candidates, with 16 percent of all invited candidates being cooks or food service supervisors. However, in 2016, the top 10 invited occupations represented 31 percent of all invited candidates, and the picture was somewhat different.

From IT to ITA

Over 2016, IT workers around the world brought their A-game to Express Entry, resulting in many more of them being issued an ITA than in 2015. In doing so, they shot up the rankings to overtake workers in the food industry. IRCC states that workers in occupation group service supervisors and specialized service occupations (NOC 63, which includes food industry workers) were ‘more likely to have a lower human capital’ and that ‘only a small number of candidates’ in these occupations have been invited since November.

Information Systems Analysts and Consultants, Software Engineers, and Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers together represented 14 percent of all invited candidates last year.

Other workers that benefited throughout 2016 included Graphic Designers and Illustrators, University Professors and Lecturers, those in Advertising, Marketing and Public relations, and Financial Auditors and Accountants. Besides, it is important to remember that 69 percent of all invited candidates in 2016 were in an occupation outside this top 10 list.

Fewer candidates with job offers receiving ITAs

Taking the three comprehensive Express Entry reports published by IRCC together, it can be revealed that, over time, fewer candidates with a qualifying job offer have received an ITA. Consequently, a higher percentage without a job offer have been invited to apply. This trend was already well underway before the changes introduced last November came into effect — and those changes have served to accelerate the trend even further.

Increased diversification

“The range of information and analysis contained in this year-end report shows that 2016 was both a transitional and a breakout year for the Express Entry system,” says Attorney David Cohen.

“In particular, we can see that over time a more diverse range of candidates is getting the opportunity to submit an application for permanent residence. Based on IRCC’s own words, as well as the recent changes to the system and the increase in invitations issued, it is very likely that this diversification has continued into 2017, and will continue into the future. Consequently, individuals and families thinking of immigrating to Canada are encouraged to create an Express Entry profile and capitalize on the opportunity before them.”

The wide-ranging year-end report will be covered in further depth by, which will publish a range of articles covering the different aspects contained therein.


Australian news

Posted at 24 April 2017 02:04 (UTC)

Australian Citizenship Changes - Guide for Applicants


The Australian Government has announced changes to Australian citizenship requirements which are effective 20 April 2017.

The changes will require:

  • That applicants hold their Australian permanent residence for longer
  • Formal English language testing
  • A revised Citizenship test
  • Evidence that applicants show that they have integrated into Australian society

This article explains the changes and gives guidance for people affected by the changes.

Changes to General Residence Requirement

Applicants for citizenship by conferral would generally need to show that they meet the "General Residence" requirement.

This would mean showing that they have been present in Australia for at least:

  1. The last 4 years, on any temporary, permanent or bridging visa, with a maximum of 12 months overseas; and
  2. The last 12 months, on a permanent visa, with a maximum of 3 months overseas

Previously, it was possible to count time spent in Australia on a temporary visa or bridging visa towards the 4-year requirement in (1) above.

The announced changes would require that applicants hold a permanent visa for 4 years before applying. This would potentially require applicants to wait a further 3 years before applying for Australian citizenship.

Read more:

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