The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke MP announced the inclusion of Pharmacists to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) on 27 July 2021. These changes affect employer sponsored visas such as the TSS 482 work visa and the ENS 186 work visas.
The new occupations are (including ANZSCO codes):
- Hospital Pharmacist (251511)
- Retail Pharmacist (251513)
- Industrial Pharmacist (251512)
Minister Hawke said, “with thousands of community pharmacies across Australia being invited to join the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, it’s all hands to the pump as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues.” This is an initiative to support pharmacies across Australia, including through skilled migration, as supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses increases over the coming weeks.
On 2 September 2020 former acting Minister for Immigration Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Alan Tudge released the initial PMSOL with 17 occupations to assist Australia’s health and economic recovery from COVID-19. The initial list was dominated by health and managerial occupations such as General Practitioner, Registered Nurse, Midwife, and Construction Project Manager. The PMSOL was updated to include Social Worker on 27 November 2020 and Veterinarian on 11 May 2021. On 22 June 2021 the government introduced 22 new occupations, bringing the PMSOL total to 41, including Accountant (General), Electrical Engineer, Civil Engineer, Surveyor, and Chef. The PMSOL currently has 44 occupations in total.
Through the PMSOL, the government intends to fill critical skills needed to support Australia’s health and economic recovery. Accordingly, employer sponsored nomination and visa applications with an occupation on the PMSOL will be given priority processing (including 482 visas, 186 visas and 494 visas). In addition, offshore visa holders, who have been sponsored by an eligible Australian business in any of the PMSOL occupations will be able to request an exemption from current Australia’s travel restrictions to enter Australia. Once the exemption is granted, these persons are subject to mandatory quarantine for 14 days on arrival at their own expense.