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Australian Skilled Migration Changes, SOL, Sponsorship and Study

People who do not meet the proposed new requirements for independent skilled migration may wish to consider their eligibility for alternative migration pathways, such as through employer or state/territory sponsorship. More information is available in a fact sheet on the department’s website at: www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/whats-new.htm

If you find that you are not able to apply for general skilled migration (GSM) once the new SOL is implemented, you may be able to apply for other visas provided you meet all the relevant legislative criteria. For example:


You may wish to consider applying for a temporary or permanent visa under the employer nomination scheme (ENS) on completion of your studies
. The list of occupations that is available to employer sponsored applicants is broader than the SOL. You will, however, be required to have an employer willing to sponsor you.

You may be eligible to apply for skilled migration under the regional sponsored migration scheme (RSMS). This scheme allows employers in regional or low population growth areas of Australia to sponsor employees who are foreign nationals for a permanent visa to work in regional Australia.

You may wish to consider your eligibility for state/territory nomination. It is intended that individual state/territory migration plans will be agreed to by the Minister for implementation in the second half of 2010. These plans may include occupations outside those specified on a new SOL. Implementation of state/territory migration plans will be subject to the approval of the Governor-General in Council of proposed amendments to the Migration Regulations 1994.

You may wish to apply for a further student visa to pursue further qualifications in Australia. Please note that if your intention is to seek permanent residence in Australia in the future, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship does not recommend this option, as the SOL may change in line with the requirements of the Australian labour market. More information on student visas is

I am an international student who was planning to apply for a GSM visa in Australia at the completion of my course of study. My intended occupation is on the new list of occupations. Would I be affected by these proposed changes?

You would be eligible to lodge an application for a provisional or permanent GSM visa that can be granted in Australia if your nominated occupation is on the SOL that is in effect at the time you apply, provided that you also meet the other criteria applicable at the time you apply.

While the new list can be expected to remain relatively stable, it is intended that it will be reviewed annually to ensure it continues to be targeted at those skills Australia needs in the medium to longer term.

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