March has been a significant month in 2019 for Australia as for as changes in immigration policies are concerned. Australian Home Affairs has announced a number of important changes in different visa policies for 2019 and onwards. The main changes include the introduction of two new visa agreements for foreign workers applying for work visas, inclusion of 36 occupations in combined list of shortage occupations and facility of visa processing in 5 working days for some shortage skills visa categories. Here will we discuss one by one all changes so that you can have in-depth information for each announced change.


Australia has really become serious to overcome the issues of shortage of skilled workers in its labor market. This is why it has included 36 new occupations to the Medium and Long-Term Skill List. The changes to the occupation lists have been made following consultation with the Department of Jobs and Small Business based on the labour market advice provided by the department. According to Home Affairs department, the inclusion of these new eligible occupations will make sure that entry of skilled foreign workers to Australia remains carefully calibrated to Australia’s needs. Furthermore, relaxation has been announced for visa policies for farmers and sports bodies. Shortage occupations list has also been updated for regional sponsor visas by including 18 new eligible occupations. Sponsors from different Australian regions can bring foreign workers from around the world to work and live in regional Australia according to regional shortage occupation list and Government of Australia have now always provided pathways for permanent residency for such programs with relation in English proficiency levels and education requirements.

Here is a list of:

36 Occupations added to MLTSSL

  • Microbiologist
  • Zoologist
  • Life Scientists nec
  • Conservator
  • Metallurgist
  • Meteorologist
  • Natural and Physical Science Professionals nec
  • University Lecturer
  • Multimedia Specialist
  • Software and Applications Programmers nec
  • Horse Trainer
  • Chemist
  • Food Technologist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Research Scientist
  • Environmental Scientists nec
  • Geophysicist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Life Scientist (General
  • Biochemist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Botanist
  • Marine Biologist
  • Arts Administrator or Manager
  • Dancer or Choreographer
  • Music Director
  • Artistic Director
  • Tennis Coach
  • Footballer
  • Environmental Manager
  • Musician (Instrumental)
  • Statistician
  • Economist
  • Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Engineering Professionals nec

List of 18 Newly Added Regional  Eligible Occupations

  • Crop Farmers nec
  • Beef Cattle Farmer
  • Dairy Cattle Farmer
  • Mixed Livestock Farmer
  • Deer Farmer
  • Goat Farmer
  • Sheep Farmer
  • Livestock Farmers nec
  • Mixed Crop and Livestock Farmer
  • Dentist
  • Anesthetist
  • Aquaculture Farmer
  • Cotton Grower
  • Fruit or Nut Grower
  • Grain, Oilseed or Pasture Grower (Aus)/field crop grower (NZ)
  • Mixed Crop Farmer
  • Sugar Cane Grower
  • Australian government is going to make sure to increase the number of businesses eligible for the visa processing timing of 5 working days. There are already 900 businesses and government organizations which are enjoying this facility and according to the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman says this number is expected to grow to 2,500 by the end of the year. This facility will also be open expanded for those businesses which have made major investments in Australia (minimum of 50 Million Dollars investment over the time of last 5 years). The applicants can apply for this scheme by choosing the Accredited Sponsor Scheme. On an average, the normal applicants applying for temporary shortage skill visa, have to wait for 42 days. It is however mandatory for Visa nominees to meet security and character and health requirements, besides under the TSS, receiving a minimum annual salary of $53,900 once they start working for their sponsoring employer.
  • Australian government has made 2 new visa agreements that will allow aged care providers to sponsor eligible carers from across the world and religious institutions will be now able to sponsor religious assistants by having addition of new religious assistant in occupation list.
  • David Coleman unveiled the labor agreements for the aged care sector and religious institutions on 07.03.2019. The previous occupation list does not include the entry of carers but now it has been added as an occupation. Under the new arrangement, aged care providers will be able to sponsor overseas workers for a Temporary Skills Shortage visa or an Employer Nomination Scheme Visa, provided that the employers can demonstrate that they can’t find workers with the required skills in Australia.
  • Second agreement is about the religious workers. Before it was must for religious workers to be only nominated for a senior most post in a designated institution only. The new arrangement will afford the flexibility to the visa nominee to work in any senior position. Mr Coleman said there are 23,000 ministers of religion in Australia and he expects strong growth in the numbers of both the ministers of religion and religious assistants in the next five years. The new agreement is in effect from 11 March 2019 and will continue the path to permanent residency.

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