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Immigration alert | Labour Market testing changes and new PMSOL for travel exemptions

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Immigration alert | Labour Market testing changes and new PMSOL for travel exemptions

In a media release from Acting Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge issued today, a new Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) has been announced, designed to assist with priority processing of visa and travel exemption applications for key health workers and specified skilled migrants.

This list includes 17 occupations covering Senior Executives, medical professionals, two ICT occupations and three constructions related occupations, and as noted above will provide access to priority processing to skilled workers seeking visas to work in specified occupations, whose entry would aid and support Australia’s health and economic response to COVID-19.

These visa holders would still be required to apply for any necessary State border passes/travel exemptions that may be required in addition to the Australian Border Force exemption, and the standard 14 day mandatory quarantine period will also still apply (associated costs will also still be passed on to the individuals directly).

The 17 specific occupations are:

  1. Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
  2. Construction Project Manager (133111)
  3. Mechanical Engineer (233512)
  4. General Practitioner (253111)
  5. Resident Medical Officer (253112)
  6. Psychiatrist (253411)
  7. Medical Practitioner nec (253999)
  8. Midwife (254111)
  9. Registered Nurse (Aged Care) (254412)
  10. Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) (254415)
  11. Registered Nurse (Medical) (254418)
  12. Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (254422)
  13. Registered Nurse (Perioperative) (254423)
  14. Registered Nurses nec (254499)
  15. Developer Programmer (261312)
  16. Software Engineer (261313)
  17. Maintenance Planner (312911)

While priority processing will be available, employers will still be required to demonstrate that they have tested the local labour market and completed adequate, prescribed Labour Market Testing (LMT) which has been subject to an amendment, also announced today.

Jobactive Labour Market Testing

In particular, a new Legislative Instrument which prescribes the LMT criteria has been released today to include an additional advertising requirement which will apply to all nomination applications lodged under the Subclass 482 and Subclass 494 visa programs on or from 30 September 2020 (not just those relating to occupations on the PMSOL).

This new instrument confirms that all nominated positions must now also be advertised on the Government’s Jobactive website, an addition to the existing requirement for job advertisements to be posted on at least two forums with a national reach in Australia, for at least 28 days.

The introduction of this third and mandatory medium of advertising is designed to strengthen the LMT criteria and provide further assurance that employers are giving Australian Citizens and permanent residents first opportunity to fill these vacancies within their businesses.

So what does the new requirement now look like?

From the 30th September 2020, any nomination applications submitted for approval must include evidence of the following:

  • the role has been advertised on the JobActive site for at least 28 days
  • the role has also been advertised on at least two other acceptable forums for at least 28 days
  • the advertisements on all three forums were open and accepting applications for the entire 28 day period
  • all three advertisements met all prescribed requirements (job title, employer name, location and full time nature of position, salary (if less than $96,400 per annum), skills and experience requirements and duties associated with the role).

Given it is now only 28 days until this new requirement comes into effect, we would recommend that If you are currently advertising for a role and have been experiencing difficulties filling this from the local market, you should proactively place a third ad on the JobActive site now to avoid any delays with a subsequent nomination process, should the most suitably identified candidate require sponsorship.

As with the current system, you will need to keep records of the number of applications received across all three sites and the number of candidates shortlisted and considered for the role.  A submission will need to be included with these nominations providing details as to why no suitable candidate was found in the local market and we are expecting increased scrutiny around this over the coming months, as Australia looks to recover from the financial and employment impacts of COVID-19, so a review of current record keeping processes may also be worthwhile.

Takeaway

These changes come at a time where unemployment is at an all time high and have been put in place to ensure the ongoing integrity of these visa programs and to ensure that businesses are seeking first and foremost to fill these vacancies with qualified and skilled Australian workers wherever possible.

Connect with us…

If you have any concerns around these changes or need assistance with ensuring your advertising processes are able to meet these requirements please reach out to your usual Mapien Migration team contact, or otherwise contact us here!

Written by
Sarah Pettit
Sarah has been providing Australian and overseas businesses with immigration advice for over 14 years. With extensive experience and specialisation in corporate migration, Sarah has worked with some of Australia's largest corporations across multiple industries including Oil & Gas and Resources, Finance, Information Technology, Health, Banking and Education.