CIOs affected by visa regime tweaks

A range of ICT-related occupations will be eligible for longer visas

Chief information officers on temporary visas are among those set to benefit from tweaks to Australia’s skilled migration regime. Under changes announced by the government on Friday, CIOs will now be eligible for four-year visas.

The government has shifted IT chiefs into Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) from Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). Individuals on the strategic skills list can obtain four-year visas, while those on the second can only apply for two-year visas.

The government in April revealed its plans to upend the 457 visa regime — a move that drew mixed responses from the IT industry and local ICT pros.

Under the skills list unveiled earlier in the year, CIOs would have been eligible only for two-year visas.

Other occupations that have also been moved from the STSOL to the MLTSSL include ICT security specialist, multimedia specialist and software and applications programmers.

ICT-linked occupations that remain on the MLTSSL include analyst programmer; computer network and systems engineer; developer programmer; ICT business analyst; software engineer; systems analyst; telecommunications engineer; telecommunications field engineer; telecommunications network engineer; and telecommunications technical officer or technologist.

Telecommunications network planner has been removed from the list (and not been added to the short-term visa list).

In addition to those roles, short-term visas are available for cabler (data and telecommunications); database administrator; hardware technician; ICT account manager; ICT business development manager; ICT customer support officer; ICT managers; ICT project manager; ICT quality assurance engineer; ICT sales representative; ICT support engineer; ICT systems test engineer; ICT trainer; network administrator; network analyst; software tester; systems administrator; telecommunications linesworker; web administrator; and web designer.

ICT support and test engineers, ICT systems test engineer, and web developer have been added to the two-year visa list.

The government has said it will update the lists on a six-monthly basis.

“The government recognises the importance of enabling Australian businesses to tap into global talent to remain internationally competitive and support a strong national science and innovation agenda,” immigration minister Peter Dutton said. 

“The occupation lists are designed to be dynamic. Revisions to the occupation lists are just one element of the government's reforms strengthening the integrity of Australia’s employer sponsored skilled migration programs and raising the productivity of skilled migrants.”

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