The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) is a list of skilled occupations that deliver high value skills needed by the Australian economy. The SOL only applies to independent, that is non-employer sponsored or State/Territory government nominated skilled migration. It aims to meet medium to long-term skills needs of high value occupations, rather than immediate short term shortages. This means your occupation must be on the SOL if you are applying for:

• points based skilled migration independently (not nominated by a State or Territory government); • Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate visa in the graduate work stream); or • Family sponsored stream of the Subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa.

WHO UPDATES IT, AND HOW? The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) is currently considering labour market, education and training, migration and general economic and demographic data and stakeholder submissions to develop its advice to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection on the 2014 Skilled Occupation List (SOL).

AWPA provides the department with SOL advice annually to guide Australia’s independent skilled migration program. The current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) for 2013  has been released by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection following advice from AWPA.

The Skilled Occupation List identifies occupations where independent skilled migrants will assist in meeting the medium and long term skill needs of the Australian economy. Independent migrants with skills in these occupations will assist in meeting skill needs that cannot be met through employer and state sponsored migration programs, or efforts aimed at employing, training, skilling and up-skilling Australians. There are currently 188 occupations on this list. The SOL is published at the six digit ANZSCO level.

AWPA analyses a range of evidence when updating its advice on the SOL. The agency considers labour market, education and training, migration and general economic and demographic data, and advice from the Department of Employment on current and past trends in skill shortage research for selected occupations.

AWPA also undertakes an annual consultation process where it gathers evidence and information provided in submissions by industry, unions, trade and professional organisations. Once an updated SOL is released, to provide transparency on its development of SOL advice, AWPA makes all submissions that stakeholders have given their permission to share publicly available on its website. Occupational summary sheets for each occupation on the SOL are also published.

It should be noted the SOL applies to independent skilled migration only. A separate occupation list, the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL), applies to the Employer Nomination Scheme, State Sponsored Migration, Temporary Business Long Stay (457), and Occupational Trainee visa categories. AWPA is not involved in the development of this list.

ARE THERE OPTIONS AVAILABLE IF MY NOMINATED OCCUPATION ISN’T ON THE SOL? If you don’t have an occupation on the SOL, you may be eligible for State and Territory nomination or employer sponsorship. Employers, as well as States and Territory governments, have access to a wider range of occupations on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL).

To find out how you can benefit from this and for more detailed information and help, contact the skilled immigration lawyers at Putt Legal.


Putt Legal are your specialists in Immigration Law. We can assist you in making your migration to Australia seamless.

The Australian visa process can be complex and confusing; our lawyers work with you to guide you through every step of the way.

We are highly qualified and experienced in immigration law matters and are committed to providing expert advice in every individual case.

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