The next step to working out if you can apply for a work visa in Australia is to confirm your occupation is on the skilled occupation lists.

If you’ve ever been to the Department of Home Affairs website (formerly Department of Immigration and Border Protection) to read about the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and about how to work and live in Australia, we’re 100% sure you’d have left feeling confused!

Which occupations are available for which visas? Which skilled occupation list do I need to look at? Why do the lists keep changing?  These are the typical questions our clients ask us!

We hope you this explanation will clarify the skilled occupation lists for you.


What are the skilled occupation lists?


The skilled occupation lists determine which occupations are needed in Australia and lets you know which visas you can apply for depending on your occupation.

The Department now reviews and updates the lists every 6 months – so if your occupation is one of the lists now, it might not be in 6 months time! Or if your occupation isn’t on the lists now, it could be in the future, so it’s good to keep up to date with the changes.

Why are there different lists?


There are different occupations permitted for Employer Sponsored (temporary and permanent) visas, for the Regional Sponsored visa and for the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas (visas where you don’t need an employer to sponsor you).

The GSM visas are:

  • Skilled Independent (subclass 189),
  • Skilled Nominated (state or territory government nominated) (subclass 190) and
  • Skilled Regional (temporary) (subclass 489) state/territory nominated OR family sponsored.

To make matters more confusing, if you intend to apply for a state/territory government nomination (SC190 or SC489), each state has their own list, too. This is because each state/territory may have skills shortages that are different to the rest of the country.

We know the occupation lists 

You may have tried looking up the skilled occupation lists of the Home Affairs website and noted that they are not easy to read or understand and come with a bunch of asterisks *** that mean there are conditions depending on the job and the visa. Contact us for a free assessment and we can let you know which list your occupation is on and what visas you can apply for. 

We do need to know some basic facts about your siutation first. Your current job and previous employment history and your academic qualifications. Complete our SHORT questionnaire so we can let you know if your job is eligible for general skilled migration.