5 Jul 2021

Priority Skilled Visas Australia | More Skilled Workers Now Eligible for Fast-Tracked Visas

Update in August 2021: In addition to the below, the occupations Hospital Pharmacists, Retail Pharmacists and Industrial Pharmacists were recently added to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) to assist with distributing COVID-19 vaccines. This brings the number of occupations on the PMSOL to 44.

Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke recently announced 22 occupations have been added to Australia’s Priority Skilled Migration List (PMSOL).

ResourcesHospitality, IT, Medical and Professional Services industries have benefited from the changes.

Skilled migrants in the below occupations can be sponsored by an employer to work in Australia with access to a fast-tracked Visa and Inbound Travel Exemption.

What is the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)?

The PMSOL was first announced in September 2020 to enable skilled migration to fill several critical occupations in support of Australia’s COVID-19 recovery.

It allows businesses to sponsor visa applicants under a PMSOL occupation with priority Government Visa and Nomination processing for a:

TSS 482 Visa

Skilled Regional 494 Visa

Permanent Residence 186 or 187 Visa

Importantly, sponsored visa applicants under a PMSOL occupation may also obtain an Inbound Travel Exemption to enter Australia – a barrier for many businesses facing skill shortages.

In our experience, visas are generally being granted to skilled migrants that can obtain a Travel Exemption to enter Australia – such as via an occupation on the PMSOL or for Critical Work/Industries.

Applicants currently in Australia also receive priority processing with a PMSOL occupation.

The PMSOL is temporary and priority occupations may change in response to the COVID-19 impact on the labour market as per the National Skills Commission and industry feedback.

Visa holders who have been sponsored by an employer under a PMSOL occupation should be aware the Government requires them to pay for their own quarantine. 

Industry Feedback | Border Closures Emphasise Skill Shortages

Several industry groups have welcomed the changes and some believe the PMSOL could be expanded further:

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) believes skill gaps exist for chefs, engineers, medical technicians, regional cafe and restaurant managers, IT specialists and mechanics – including heavy diesel mechanics. Some of these have been listed on the PMSOL.

The addition of mining, petroleum and geotechnical engineers to the PMSOL has been welcomed by the Australian Resources and Energy Group (AMMA).

The Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) are lobbying for aged care to be listed – not just registered nurses.

Chief executive of the WA branch of the Australian Hotels Association (AHA), Bradley Woods told the ABC the hospitality industry needs an extra 8,000 workers including cooks, chefs, food and beverage attendants, staff, housekeeping and management. Chefs have been added to the PMSOL.

Which other occupations are on the PMSOL? | Priority Skilled Visas Australia

A total of 41 occupations are now listed on the PMSOL for access to priority processing and Inbound Travel Exemptions. Other PMSOL occupations include:

Chief Executive or Managing Director

Construction Project Manager

Mechanical Engineer

Veterinarian (added last month)

General Practitioner

Resident Medical Officer


Medical Practitioner nec


Registered Nurse (Aged Care)

Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency)

Registered Nurse (Medical)

Registered Nurse (Mental Health)

Registered Nurse (Perioperative)

Registered Nurses nec

Developer Programmer

Software Engineer

Social Worker

Maintenance Planner

What about migrants that don’t have an occupation on the PMSOL? 

Businesses with labour needs not listed on the PMSOL or for critical work may wish to consider options to engage visa holders that do not need a Travel Exemption – such as visa holders already in Australia.

Skilled visas are still being processed for applicants with occupations on other skilled migration occupation lists – particularly if the applicant is already in Australia, but PMSOL occupations take priority.

Working Holiday Maker Visa Changes to Ease Skills Shortages

Mr Hawke also announced changes to the Working Holiday Maker program to address workforce shortages in remote parts of Australia.

From March 2022, Working Holiday Maker Visa holders in the tourism and hospitality sector in these areas will be able to count this work towards their application to extend their stay in Australia.

Currently, Working Holiday Visa holders are required to complete 88 days of specified work to be eligible for an extension.

Immigracious | Priority Skilled Visas Australia

The expansion of the PMSOL is a positive step for many businesses facing skill shortages, especially given that the international border is only expected to re-open from mid 2022.

We believe it is also important for Skilled Visa holders to be given a path to Permanent Residence to give certainty that shortages will not worsen.

Should you require advice on your visa or travel exemption options, we encourage you to get in touch with Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents to arrange a consultation.

Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents
The Department of Home Affairs
The Australian
SBS News
ABC News
Australian Mining
The Market Herald
Immigration Minister – Media Release
Immigration Minister – Media Release

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

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