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Skills Shortage in Australia: Consolidated Skilled Occupation List

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Consolidated Skilled Occupation List

Australia strives to attract skilled workers to ensure that the skills shortages in its market are met. Within its wide migration policies, different occupation lists are currently in place and are tailored to the Australian market needs. These lists apply to various visas including the temporary work program and also permanent general skilled migration.

In this article, we will discuss the CSOL list which is the main list that reflect skills needed in Australia.

Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL) & the Skilled Occupation List (SOL)

If you looked into a work or skilled visas, chances are you heard the term CSOL before. The CSOL or the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List is an extensive list of occupations that gets updated by the Department of Immigration/the Australian government every year.

The CSOL comprises of two schedules- Schedule 1 which is called the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and Schedule 2 occupations also called CSOL. However, when the CSOL is referred to, it includes all occupations on both schedule 1 and 2 lists as opposed to when the SOL is referred to, it only includes the Schedule 1 occupations list.

The CSOL (combined lists) currently include about 651 occupations. Nearly 30% of these occupations are on the SOL list. As an overview, the SOL include occupations such as accountants, most engineers (not mining or petroleum engineers), medical practitioners, nurses, psychologists, some teachers and trades such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters and chefs. There is however occupational ceiling for these occupations which can affect the timeframe for your visa.

Recent changes

There were nine occupations that were removed from the SOL this year: Mining Engineer Petroleum Engineer, Metallurgist, Environmental Health Officer, Occupational Health and Safety Officer, Dental Hygienist, Dental Prosthetist, Dental Technician and Dental Therapist. Two new occupations were added: Orthotist or Prosthetist and Audiologist.

Features of the CSOL list

  1. What is the ANZSCO?- Column B

For each occupation on the CSOL, there is an ANZSCO code. ANZSCO stands for the ‘Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations’ which is developed by the Australian bureau of statistics. This is a dictionary for the various occupations on the list. To qualify to apply for these occupations for your visa, you will need to have the necessary qualification or a relevant experience that might substitute the minimum qualification requirement. Additionally, the ANZSCO shows the tasks performed in a certain occupation. It is important that most of your tasks for your nominated occupation correspond with these tasks. Different titles to the same occupation is included in the relevant ANZSCO.

  1. What is an assessing authority?

When a skills assessment is required as part of the visa application process for a certain occupation, the assessing authority is the appropriate authority that will determine whether or not you have the required skills, experience and education to perform this occupation in Australia.

Major skills assessment authorities include, VETASSESS, Engineers Australia, Medical Board of Australia, TRA, AIM among others. Each assessment authority has its own criteria to be eligible for skills assessment. Check the requirement before you proceed.

Main visas used for CSOL

These lists are used to apply for different visa streams. We will discuss the two main streams in this article.

1. Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa- Subclass 457

To be eligible to apply for a Subclass 457, a person has to be nominated in an occupation on the CSOL. It does not matter whether your occupation is on the SOL or the CSOL. Therefore, if your occupation is not on the skilled list, you cannot apply for a Subclass 457. Nonetheless, it is not the occupation title in itself that determines your eligibility, but rather the duties that have to match with the description of one of the occupations on the list.

2. General Skilled Migration- Subclass 189,190, 489.

For skilled migration, it is essential to choose the correct list when applying for the relevant visa. For instance to apply for the Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189), your occupation must be on the SOL, i.e. Schedule 1 list which has less occupations available.

For other skilled migration visas such as the Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) or the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 489), the nominated occupation can be listed either on the SOL or the CSOL (Schedule 1 and 2). In addition, your occupation has to be supported by the state or territory (or sometimes for a family member living in a designated area) that will be sponsoring you.

State occupation lists

To apply for state sponsorship for skilled migration, in addition to having your occupation on the CSOL, each state and territory in Australia has its own occupation list and you will not be sponsored if your occupation is not listed. These lists again change based on the demand and supply in each are of Australia. See links below for the states’ current occupational lists:

Please note that these lists change frequently so always make sure to check the latest list before you start your skilled migration process.

Useful tips and information

  • Australian visas are complex. We recommend you seek legal advice before lodging an application.
  • Skills shortage in Australia varies with time. Always check the current lists before proceeding to apply for a certain visa.
  • The SOL is also relevant for other visas such as the Temporary Skilled graduate visa (Subclass 485), graduate stream.

About the authors

This article was written by Marial Lewis.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: ImmiAdvisor recommends you obtain your own independent immigration, legal, accounting, financial or taxation advice as appropriate. It is solely your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness and usefulness of all information provided through this blog/website. In no event will ImmiAdvisor Pty Ltd be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken by you or anyone else in reliance upon any information contained on or omitted from this blog/website.


Marial Lewis

Marial is an accredited specialist lawyer in Immigration Law and a multi-award…

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