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By Ashleigh McMillan


Optometry remains on the government’s Skilled Occupation List (SOL) for 2016-2017, which was released 23 May.

Changes to the SOL come into effect on 1 July 2016. A profession must be flagged in the previous year prior to removal from the list.

Optometry Australia’s acting national policy manager Kirsty Machon said that the organisation would continue to press the case for optometry’s removal from the list, reflecting changes in local graduate numbers bolstering the locally available workforce.

She noted that general practitioners were now on the list of occupations flagged for potential removal, adding that the SOL was not the only mechanism for overseas optometrists wanting to work in Australia.

Independent or Family Sponsored Points Tested visa applicants must designate a profession on the SOL as part of their application. Recent international graduates of an Australian optometry degree can also apply for a temporary graduate visa through optometry’s inclusion on the SOL. Eligible candidates must be assessed by the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand prior to acceptance.

The full Skilled Occupation List can be accessed on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

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Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation Optometry Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.