The first update of Australia’s skilled migration lists since the Turnbull government overhauled the system last year was released last week with three additions to the list; psychotherapists, real estate reps and property managers.
This month’s update makes 13 changes to the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MTLSSL) that underpin the temporary and permanent skilled visa programs.
Other changes included Horse Breeders and Management Consultants have been moved from the STSOL to the MTLSSL while Building Associates and Hair and Beauty Salon Managers have been left off the list completely.
In April last year, Malcolm Turnbull and then immigration minister Peter Dutton announced a series of reforms they said would give Australians “absolute first priority for jobs”.
The changes that took effect on 17 January will see the long-awaited addition of Psychotherapists to the STSOL. Property Managers and Real Estate Representatives, specifically for regional, high-end jobs, also made it onto the list.
While the announcement of the changes stated that the three roles were not previously on either list, they were among the 12 occupations removed from the previous system as part of government reforms.
The Australian Department of Health had made a submission ahead of the 2016-17 review of the Skilled Occupation List, as it was then known, calling for the psychotherapist to be removed and no longer open to foreign workers.
“Anyone can call themselves a psychotherapist. It is similar to the term ‘counsellor’. We recommend that psychotherapist is not added to the list due to the inconsistency in the professional qualifications recognition in Australia,” reasoned the Department saying that anyone who gave advice could refer to themselves as Psychotherapists.
As for the other changes; Building Associates and Hair or Beauty Salon Managers were slashed from the SOL while shifting horse breeders and management consultants from the short-term column to the medium-term column. Criteria for six other occupations were also raised.
Anyone interested in migrating to Australia is urged to seek professional assistance from an experienced Australian immigration consultant. Such consultants will be up to date with changes to Australia’s immigration rules and will be able to best advice would-be migrants on their course of action.