SOL 1 Jul 2016

he Minister of Immigration and Border Protection has announced the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) which will come into effect 1 July 2016.

The good news is that Accountants, IT and most of the Engineering occupations remain on the new SOL list.

There have been no changes to the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL) which applies to employer and state sponsored visas.

Occupations Removed from the SOL

There are 9 occupations removed from the Skilled Occupation List, they are as follows:
Mining Engineers ANZSCO 233611
Petroleum Engineers ANZSCO 233612
Metallurgist ANZSCO 234912
Environmental Health Officer ANZSCO 251311
Occupational Health and Safety Adviser ANZSCO 251312
Dental Hygienist ANZSCO 411211
Dental Prosthetist ANZSCO 411212
Dental Technician ANZSCO 411213
Dental Therapist ANZSCO 411214
Occupations Added to the SOL

The following occupation have been added to the Skilled Occupation list:
Orthotists and Prosthetists ANZSCO 251912
Audiologists ANZSCO 252711

Occupation ceiling values for the 2016-17 programme year

The Occupational Ceilings for the 2016-17 financial year have been announced. The Occupational Ceilings are the maximum number of invitations that can be issued for  skill visas

The occupational ceilings give a good idea of whether the waiting time or minimum pass mark will increase for the new program year. A summary of the changes by Occupational Category is below:

Accountants and Auditors

There is good news for accountants and auditors with a significant increase in the occupational ceiling.

The ceiling for Accountants has increased by 89% to 4,777 places – this was the biggest increase in percentage terms for 2016-17. The ceiling for auditors has increased by 41% to 1,413 places.

IT Professionals

Most of the IT occupations were also filled in the 2015-16 program year, and also faced higher minimum scores for an invitation for most of the year.

The news is somewhat mixed for IT professionals in the 2016-17 program year:

  • Computer Network Professionals: ceiling reduced by 28% to 1,426 places. The minimum invitation score for this occupation was 60 for most of the 2015-16 year. We expect this minimum score to increase to above 60 for 2016-17.
  • Software and Applications Programmers: ceiling increased by 6% to 5,662 places. The minimum score for this occupation was 65 points for much of the year – we expect this to stay about the same or possibly reduce for 2016-17.
  • ICT Business and Systems Analysts: ceiling reduced by 4% to 1,482 places. For this occupation, we saw minimum scores of 65-70 points required for an invitation – we expect this to continue for 2016-17.


Engineers will face occupational ceiling reductions for most occupations, but this is unlikely to have any significant impact on engineers applying for skilled migration:

  • Engineering Managers: increase of 39% to 1,407 places. As the occupation was only 3% filled in 2015-16, this is unlikely to have any impact
  • Civil Engineering Professionals: 27% decrease to 2,174 places. This occupation was only 45% filled in 2015-16, so this is unlikely to have any impact
  • Electrical Engineers: 2% increase to 1,254 places. This occupation was only 45% filled in 2015-16, so minimal impact
  • Electronics Engineers: no change – remains at 1,000 places
  • Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers: 14% reduction to 1,539 places. This occupation was filled in 2015-16, so we may see an increase in minimum points score for an invitation
  • Mining Engineers: Eliminated from SOL for 2016-17
  • Telecommunications Engineering Professionals: No change – 1,000 places
  • Other Engineering Professionals: No change – 1,000 places

Medical Practitioners

Most specialisations will remain largely unchanged for the 2016-17 program year. However, the category of Other Medical Practitioners will increase by 32% to 1,315 places. This was by far the most popular category within this occupational group so will ensure that sufficient places will be available for the 2016-17 year.