The Abbott government will limit the number of foreign accountants who will be able to get permanent visas from almost 10,000 to about 5,000 starting 1st July 2014. The Australian media has reported that this came after the Australian Workplace and Productivity Agency (AWPA) refused a proposal from the Department of Employment to have accountants removed from the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).
Each year, AWPA recommends which occupations be added or removed on the list.
The good news is that foreign workers whose occupation is on the list can apply for a permanent visa without being nominated by a state or territory government agency.
“Lowering this ceiling will not only ensure that the allocation of the program remains appropriate to Australia’s… needs, but will safeguard other in-demand occupations… from being crowded out from excessive accountant applications,” Michaelia Cash, the Assistant Minister for Immigration said.
All occupational groups eligible for Australian skilled migration are subject to an occupational ceiling which can be no more than 6% of that occupation’s workforce in Australia.
It has long argued that accountants would be moved from the Skilled Occupations List and to the Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (CSOL). Applicants whose occupations are listed under the CSOL must have sponsorship from a state to become qualified. But even though they obtain sponsorship under these occupations, they are not obliged to work on these occupations.
Surprisingly, despite of continues to be a surplus of qualified accountants in Australia there were only 1 of 7 submissions received that called for accountants to be removed from the list. It is expected that the changes to taxation law and regulations will result to a greater need for qualified accountants in Australia over the next few years.
Accountants do not need any work experience to be classified as eligible, just good English language ability and must have studied 9 of the 12 courses that would complete in Australia as part of a Bachelor of Accounting degree.
So far, 5475 accountants were invited to apply this financial year. The financial year in Australia starts every 1st of July and ends every 30th June.
If you are an accountant and have some concerns, you may book an appointment and consult with us or attend our seminar for advice. NTRUST, established in 2003, has helped hundreds of accountants migrate to Australia from Singapore.