New work visa restrictions for Australia
Irish people planning on working in Australia will be faced with new visa restrictions from today.
A number of occupations have been removed from the official skills shortage list including bricklayers, floor tilers and chemists, who will now only be able to apply for a skilled permanent work visa with sponsorship from an employer or state government.
Meanwhile, under a new programme called "Skills Select", anyone applying for a skilled permanent work visa will need to meet a minimum mark of 60 points in a skills test after which applicants will be invited to apply for a visa.
Previously, anyone applying for one of these visas had to achieve a pass mark and could apply themselves.
Under the new programme, the higher the points achieved, the better chance there is of being invited to apply for a visa.
Anyone who has already lodged an application for a permanent work visa will not be affected by the changes.
There will also be new opportunities available as production managers, optometrists, computer networks and system engineers have all been added the skills list but must apply through "Skills Select" process.