The Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training reviews the skilled migration program’s Skilled Occupation List each year based on certain criteria e.g., demand and supply or the amount of training needed etc., and flags certain occupations for future removal. Today was the last day for submitting feedback to the Minister for Immigration for consideration in March. The final list will take affect from 1st July next year.

The current list includes 183 occupations and is used to determine the eligibility for Australia’s permanent skilled migration scheme. There is another list which is longer, called the Consolidated Skilled Occupation list, which is for temporary work visas under 457 visa scheme.

Right now, the following occupations have been shortlisted for potential removal from Skilled occupation list.

  • Production Manager (Mining)
  • Accountant (General)
  • Management Accountant
  • Taxation Accountant
  • Actuary
  • Land Economist
  • Valuer
  • Ship’s Engineer
  • Ship’s Master
  • Ship’s Officer
  • Surveyor
  • Cartographer
  • Other Spatial Scientist
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Geotechnical Engineer
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Structural Engineer
  • Transport Engineer
  • Electronics Engineer
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Production or Plant Engineer
  • Aeronautical Engineer
  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Engineering Technologist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Naval Architect
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist
  • Veterinarian
  • Medical Diagnostic Radiographer
  • Medical Radiation Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Podiatrist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • General Practitioner
  • Anaesthetist
  • Cardiologist
  • Endocrinologist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Intensive Care Specialist
  • Paediatrician
  • Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
  • Medical Practitioners (nec)
  • Barrister
  • Solicitor
  • Psychotherapist
  • Psychologists (nec)
  • Chef*
  • Boat Builder and Repairer
  • Shipwright

Call for visas to serve up chefs


STRICT English language requirements for foreign workers are being reviewed as the Immigration Department negotiates a new labour agreement for the hospitality industry

The department is evaluating an industry request to fast-track thousands more foreign chefs and cooks on temporary work visas.

Separately, the department is considering lowering the existing requirement for 457 visa workers to have “functional ­English’’, as part of a government-ordered inquiry into the temporary work scheme.

Restaurant and Catering Australia chief executive John Hart yesterday revealed the hospitality industry wants the agreement to extend 457 visas to cover waiters and bar staff, as well as skilled chefs and managers.

The industry also wants to waive English language requirements and axe the $53,900 minimum salary.

Mr Hart said foreign workers should be paid the same award rates as Australian staff. And he said kitchen staff did not need to speak English.

“The reality is that most of the people coming into the business are cooks and chefs and many of the kitchens, especially in the ethnic cuisine, don’t use English at all,’’ he said. “The language of the kitchen is the language of the cuisine. It is not appropriate to set the bar so high where there’s no requirement for English in the workplace, particularly with cooks and chefs.’’

Mr Hart said the industry needed to recruit 3500 more chefs and cooks because of a shortage of local labour.

Restaurateur Philip Thompson, who owns the Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, said he had sponsored two chefs and two managers on 457 visas, and relied heavily on backpackers and foreign students to staff his popular Circular Quay eatery.

Mr Thompson said he paid award wages, but still could not find suitable Australian workers.

Only three of his 40 staff, including the head chef, were Australian. He has hired seven Italian waiters — “they’re fantastic and really understand service’’ — but backpacker visa rules prevented him employing them for more than six months.

“It’s not seen as a profession in Australia — it tends to be a part-time job for people to put themselves through uni — but a lot of the overseas people see it as a profession,’’ Mr Thompson said.

His general manager is Indonesian Dimple Nanikram, who first came to Australia from Bali to study business management.

She said Australian jobseekers did not want to work weekends, even though they were paid time and a half on ­Saturdays and double time on Sundays.

The restaurant’s floor manager is 27-year-old Turkish woman Hasrel Talus, who worked for years in international hotels and restaurants in Istanbul before moving to Australia to study English.

“We have 200 resumes at the moment and there is not one Australian one there — they are all from overseas,’’ she said yesterday.

“I love working here; you can’t complain working every day in front of the Harbour Bridge.’’

Social media campaign to educate students on course hopping

A Department of Immigration and Border Protection social media campaign begins this week to educate overseas students studying in Australia about visa conditions and the possible impacts of changing course.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash is concerned that a perception exists within the international student community that it is acceptable student behaviour to change or downgrade courses from a streamlined visa processing [SVP] eligible to a non-SVP eligible provider soon after their arrival in Australia.

‘Students who engage in this type of behaviour are likely to be in breach of their visa conditions and may, as a result, be subject to visa cancellation,’ Minister Cash said.

‘Although only a small percentage of students have breached their visa conditions, the government wants to send a strong message to both students and education providers.’

Minister Cash said the department was making constructive use of its social media platforms and website to raise awareness among the international student community about the possible impact of their decision to change courses after arriving in Australia.

‘This education campaign will include regular updates on the migration blog, FAQs and will present a range of relevant scenarios so students can evaluate the correct action to take for their circumstances,’ Minister Cash said.

‘In addition to the education campaign, the department is also directly engaging with students who have arrived under SVP and then changed to a non-SVP eligible course.

‘These students can expect an advice letter and will be given an opportunity to explain their circumstances,’ Minister Cash said.

Participating education providers are also required to put in place strategies to minimise incentives for students to arrive under the SVP arrangements with the aim of quickly transferring out of or downgrading their course.

Streamlined visa processing arrangements for eligible students have been operating since 24 March 2012.

Extension streamlined visa processing to non-university

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection announced the proposed extension of streamlined visa processing to certain low immigration risk non-university higher education providers on 29 October 2013.

Streamlined visa processing arrangements, similar to those currently in place for universities, are proposed to be extended to prospective students of selected low immigration risk education providers who offer bachelor, master’s or doctoral degree level courses. We intend for these proposed arrangements to commence in March 2014.

Eligible providers would receive an invitation to participate from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in the first week of November 2013.

Streamlined visa processing for certain university applicants has been operating since 24 March 2012. There will be no change to these arrangements or how they operate as a result of this announcement.
See: Streamlined Student Visa Processing

Christopher Pyne exaggerates Labor’s international student ‘failure’

The new federal Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, has accused Labor governments of shrinking the international student market. In a with The Australian Financial Review, Mr Pyne said that since Labor started changing the rules for international students in 2008, “they’ve managed to shrink the industry by about a quarter, which is a pretty dramatic failure given that the economy’s been growing in that period”.
He said when Labor took office in December 2007, education was Australia’s second highest source of foreign income, or fourth highest if mining was broken down into iron ore, coal and gold.
ABC Fact Check asked Mr Pyne for the basis for his comment.

Christopher Pyne eyes jobs for overseas graduates

EDUCATION Minister Christopher Pyne has promised to open the jobs market to more overseas students who have graduated from Australian universities, as a means of rehabilitating the stagnant $14 billion international education industry.

In his first speech on the industry since he was sworn in as minister, Mr Pyne said yesterday the Abbott government would move quickly to extend the streamlined visa process beyond universities to training colleges, and maximise career opportunities in Australia for the best foreign graduates of our universities.

Monash University researcher Bob Birrell said he was troubled by any policy changes that used migration or easier labour market access as a lure to sell education, especially if it encouraged a repeat of last decade’s boom in low-quality diplomas pitched at foreign students seeking permanent residency.

- See more at:

Post-Study Work Arrangements

New post-study work visa arrangements are proposed for introduction in early 2013. Under Australia’s legislative system, regulations must be approved by the Governor-General. The information provided below explains how the Department of Immigration and Citizenship intends the post-study work arrangements to operate. This should be read as a proposed set of arrangements for the Governor-General’s consideration in due course.
More detailed advice about eligibility requirements will be made available as legislation to support the visa is put in place.

40 hours per fornight for student work entitlements

From 26 March 2012, the Migration Regulations 1994 (‘the Regulations’) are amended to:
•provide that student work entitlements are measured as 40 hours a fortnight instead of 20 hours a week
•provide unlimited work rights for Subclass 574 (Postgraduate Research Sector) visa holders if they have commenced their masters degree by research or doctoral degree.

University’s educational business partners who are participating in the SVP

“From 24 March 2012, in recognition of the universities’ good track record, student visa applicants enrolled in Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degrees at participating universities, regardless of their country of origin, will be treated as though they are lower risk, similar to the current Assessment Level 1

Implementation of the Government Response to the Knight Review of the Student Visa Program

The majority of the stage two Knight Review changes are proposed to be implemented on 24 and 26 March 2012 with some other changes proposed to commence later in 2012 and in early 2013.

One of the recommendations agreed to by government is the introduction of new post-study work arrangements, which are planned to come into effect in 2013