Potential changes to the consolidated sponsored occupations list (CSOL)

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has indicated that the Government will reduce the list of occupations for which skilled migration visas are available. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has indicated that the Government will reduce the list of occupations for which skilled migration visas are available.

In late November, Mr Dutton stated: “I think the list at the moment is expansive and I think we’ll condense it and that work has already been underway for some time and we’ll have a look at that very soon.”

The occupations frequently used for 457 programs are Cooks, Café or Restaurant Managers, Marketing Specialists, Chefs and Developer Programmers. According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, there were 6770 cooks on 457 visas as of June 2015.

These comments suggest that the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) can be reduced in the very near future. Unlike the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) which is revised annually and comes into effect on 1 July each year, changes to CSOL can come into effect any time during the year.

Additionally, for 457 visas, it is a requirement that the occupation be on the approved list as a ‘time of decision’ requirement. This means that even if your 457 application was lodged prior to the change of the CSOL, you could have difficulty meeting the requirement if the occupations list changes before a decision is made on your 457 application.

Thus, if you are currently considering applying for a 457 visa, you should apply as soon as possible to avoid being affected by the changes.

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