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Nurses and Teachers Could Have Skilled Visas Granted in Just Days, Says Government

The Australian Government is adjusting how it prioritises skilled visa applications, with healthcare and education workers now at the top of the list. According to SBS News, the Department of Home Affairs has now stopped using its Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) to rank skilled visa applications. This is largely because the list – which included a wide range of occupations, from accountants to chefs to engineers – no longer reflected the critical workforce shortages in Australia. 

The change comes just a couple of months after the National Skills Commission reported that Australia’s skill shortage nearly doubled between 2021 and 2022. Australia has also been struggling with a teacher shortage crisis this year, which is expected to see a shortfall of roughly 4,000 positions by 2025. 

Here’s what you need to know about the changes to Australia’s skilled migration program and how they could affect you.

Read more: What is General Skilled Migration and State Nomination?

Which occupations are being prioritised?

Some examples of high-priority jobs that are now being assessed as quickly as possible include:

  • School teachers
  • Child care workers and child care centre managers
  • Aged and disabled carers
  • Counsellors and psychologists
  • Medical scientists
  • Medical technicians
  • Nursing support workers
  • Social workers

How quickly are skilled visas being processed for health and education workers?

In their remarks to SBS News, a spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs revealed that skilled visas for workers in the healthcare and education sectors were now “being assessed in three days”. 

Former Department of Immigration Secretary Abul Rizvi expressed his support for the prioritisation of teachers and healthcare workers. However, he also expressed doubt that, even with the change, the government would get a sufficient number of applications to cover the existing shortages.

“They will probably be granting visas to teachers and nurses as quickly as they apply,” Mr Rizvi reportedly said.

Which skilled visas are subject to the new priority standards?

The change in priority applies across all skilled visa subclasses, including employer-sponsored, regional, and temporary skilled visas. The full list can be found below:

  • Subclass 124 (Distinguished Talent)
  • Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme)
  • Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme)
  • Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment) (Provisional)
  • Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent)
  • Subclass 190 (Skilled – Nominated)
  • Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional))
  • Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled))
  • Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage)
  • Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional))
  • Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional))
  • Subclass 494 (Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional))
  • Subclass 858 (Global Talent)
  • Subclass 887 (Skilled – Regional)
  • Subclass 888 (Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent).

Learn more about Skilled Migration in Australia

Check out our articles below for more information on the Skilled Migration Program for 2022-23 in your state or territory:

To learn more, you can also visit the Department of Home Affairs website or get in touch with the department directly. 

*Important note: While healthcare and education workers are now being prioritised for Skilled Migration, this does not mean you are guaranteed to obtain a visa if you work in these sectors.