12 August, 2021

Travel exemptions and Australian work visas

Travel exemptions and Australian work visas: Australia’s borders are currently closed due to the pandemic. Anyone travelling to Australia needs to be either an exempt person (e.g. an Australian citizen, permanent resident or a family member) or someone who has obtained a travel exemption to travel to Australia which is granted by the Australian Border Force.

Travel exemptions

Businesses that are looking to employ someone from overseas often embark on this journey of sponsoring a person from overseas because they cannot find someone in Australia to fill the position.  Often the employers realise they will still not be able to have that person travel to Australia due to the border restrictions.

The Australian Border Force have acknowledged that persons in certain occupations are in very short supply in Australia and have created a list called the “Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)”. The Australian Border Force may grant travel exemptions to persons whose occupations are on this list. This list is updated on a fairly regular basis.

The types of visas that this exemption may apply to could be the Temporary Skill Shortage (482 TSS) visa, or the 400 Temporary Work Short Stay Specialist Visa (among others).

Currently, a visa application is submitted and is not processed due to border restrictions. A travel exemption application is then submitted (in that sequence).  If an exemption is granted then the visa processing continues until it is finalised. If the visa is successfully finalised and issued and the person already has the travel exemption then they can travel to Australia – flights permitting. Quarantining will still need to be done as per any states requirements.

Occupations not on the list are unlikely to get an exemption and if a visa application is made, it will most likely not be processed until some stage in the future.

Please contact us for more information.

The full list of occupations on the (PMSOL) are listed below and more information can be found on the Department of home affairs website.

  • Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
  • Construction Project Manager (133111)
  • Accountant (General) (221111)
  • Management Accountant (221112)
  • Taxation Accountant (221113)
  • External Auditor (221213)
  • Internal Auditor (221214)
  • Surveyor (232212)
  • Cartographer (232213)
  • Other Spatial Scientist (232214)
  • Civil Engineer (233211)
  • Geotechnical Engineer (233212)
  • Structural Engineer (233214)
  • Transport Engineer (233215)
  • Electrical Engineer (233311)
  • Mechanical Engineer (233512)
  • Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum) (233611)
  • Petroleum Engineer (233612)
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist (234611)
  • Veterinarian (234711)
  • Hospital Pharmacist (251511)*
  • Industrial Pharmacist (251512)*
  • Retail Pharmacist (251513)*
  • Orthotist or Prosthetist (251912)
  • General Practitioner (253111)
  • Resident Medical Officer (253112)
  • Psychiatrist (253411)
  • Medical Practitioners nec (253999)
  • Midwife (254111)
  • Registered Nurse (Aged Care) (254412)
  • Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) (254415)
  • Registered Nurse (Medical) (254418)
  • Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (254422)
  • Registered Nurse (Perioperative) (254423)
  • Registered Nurses nec (254499)
  • Multimedia Specialist (261211)
  • Analyst Programmer (261311)
  • Developer Programmer (261312)
  • Software Engineer (261313)
  • Software and Applications Programmers nec (261399)
  • ICT Security Specialist (262112)
  • Social Worker (272511)
  • Maintenance Planner (312911)
  • Chef (351311)


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