ANZSCO: These are the 4 facts to know

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anzscoANZSCO. You may think this is just another immigration acronym, but you’d be wrong. ANZSCO plays a major role in your immigration if you’re applying under the skilled migrant category.

In fact, you’re more than likely not going to be able to apply for a work visa if you can’t meet ANZSCO’s requirements.

For this reason, it’s important to understand all that ANZSCO entails. While there is a lot of information to know, you really only need to know the four facts below to put yourself in a much better position than most people.

1. ANZSCO is the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations

ANZSCO stands for Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. It’s a system within the skilled migration program that sets the standards for the skills and work experience that visa applicants must meet to work in specific occupation in Australia or New Zealand.

ANZSCO is a joint venture between the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Statistics New Zealand and The Department of Education and Training.

2. ANZSCO sets skills and work experience standards for the skilled migrant category

As explained above, ANZSCO sets skills and work experience standards for occupations that fall under the general skilled migration category. Further to this, ANZSCO sets out the tasks that visa applicants must be able to perform as part of their everyday duties.

In other words, ANZSCO determines the most important requirements you must meet in order to qualify to apply for a skilled migrant visa.

Let’s look at an example…

Let’s imagine you’re a chemical engineer. As a chemical engineer, ANZSCO expects you to be able to perform the tasks listed below. You’d thus have to ensure that your work experience is a substantial match to this list:

  • Preparing designs for chemical process systems and planning control systems for processes
  • Monitoring the operation and maintenance of equipment to achieve maximum efficiency under safe operating conditions
  • Ensuring correct materials and equipment are used and that they conform to specifications
  • Diagnosing malfunctions in chemical plants and instituting remedial action
  • Studying product utilisation and pollution control problems
  • Reviewing plans for new products and submitting material selection recommendations in accordance with design specifications and factors such as strength, weight and cost
  • Planning and implementing laboratory operations to develop new materials and fabrication procedures for new materials to fulfil production cost and performance standards
  • Conferring with producers of materials during the investigation and evaluation of materials suitable for specific product applications
  • Reviewing product failure data and implementing laboratory tests to establish or reject possible causes, and advising on ways to overcome any problems

It’s important to note, however, that the tasks you carry out in your job might still overlap with that of other related or sometimes even unrelated occupations. You might even find that some tasks listed on ANZSCO are not relevant to your occupation. This is because some occupations share the same four digit ANZSCO code.

For instance, Chemical Engineer shares job tasks with the occupation of Materials Engineer. Both of these occupations are also under the same code – 2331.

Here’s how all of this affect your application:

When applying for a General Skilled Migration visa, you have to nominate an occupation from the ANZSCO list that’s also present on one of Australia’s skill shortage lists.

You must carefully select the occupation!  Your work experience and qualifications will be assessed against the task list and the lead statement of your chosen ANZSCO occupation.

An immigration officer usually performs this assessment. With certain occupations, an industry-specific assessing authority does the assessment instead.

  • Immigration officer

The immigration officer assessing your visa application will also compare your skills, experience and job duties with those under your occupation on ANZSCO to help him or her to come to a decision on your visa application. In addition, the visa case officer will use your positive skills assessment outcome as a guideline to establish if you meet all the criteria.

The officer would want to see from your visa application documents that you have the relevant qualifications and/or experience to work in Australia in your nominated occupations. To satisfy the requirements of the Department of Home Affairs, you work experience would have to be a substantial match to the tasks outlined by ANZSCO. If you don’t meet all the criteria, your applicant might be declined.

  • Assessing authority assessment

It is the responsibility of an assessing authority to issue an opinion on whether or not they think you’re eligible to work as skilled migrant in Australia and thus qualify to apply for a visa.

To reach their decision, the assessing authority will compare your skill set and often also your work experience to the Australian standard for your nominated occupation.

You’ll only get an outcome if the assessing authority is satisfied that you tick all the boxes. This includes additional criteria set out by the assessing authority.

Some examples of assessing authorities are:

3. There are 5 skill levels within ANZSCO

In ANZSCO, skill level is used as an additional differentiator for occupations. Each occupation’s skill level is derived from the range and complexity of tasks associated with the occupation.

There are five skill levels of which Skill Level 1 is the highest. This means occupations on Skill Level 1 has the greatest range and complexity of tasks. Examples of occupations on Skill Level 1 are audiologists, social workers and surveyors.

Locksmiths, welders and motor mechanics, for instance, are on Skill Level 3. This means these occupations don’t have as many tasks that are as complex as the occupations on Skill Level 1.

Occupations on Skill Level 5 have the smallest range of tasks with the least complexity.

4. You cannot ‘mix and match’ occupations

When applying for a skilled migrant visa, your occupation and experience must be highly relevant as per the ANZSCO lead statement of the occupation you want to nominate.

Your occupation and experience must also match most of the duties listed. This does however not mean that you or your employer can simply ‘copy and paste’ the ANZSCO description to your application.

Here’s an example of what we mean:

Let’s assume Sarah is working as a tutor. Sarah might think that she can apply for a visa as a teacher. The job descriptions are similar, after all.

However, many of the tasks associated with teachers on ANZSCO is not performed by tutors. For instance, participating in staff meetings and performing extra-curricular activities such as assisting with sports at the school.

In the same way, a secondary school teacher cannot apply for a visa as a special education teacher. These are in the same profession but are not the same occupation with the same experience.

What if my occupation is not on the ANZSCO list?

There could be two reasons why you can’t find your occupation on ANZSCO:

  • Your occupation is not in any skill shortage areas in Australia or your occupation does not meet the ANZSCO standards to qualify for a visa.
  • Your occupation is on the list but your job title doesn’t match the occupation title as it appears on ANZSCO. For example, some people call themselves ‘speech-language pathologists’ while others give themselves the title of ‘speech and language therapist’. It’s the same job – speech therapy – but just with another title.

If your occupation not appearing on the ANZSCO list is due to either example under number 1, you’ll have to explore other visa options if you’d still like to immigrate to Australia.

However, if it’s because of reason number 2, then immigration to Australia on a work visa is still an option.

Do you feel you need help from an immigration agent?

You’re always welcome to contact us for assistance. Our immigration agents are registered and licensed with MARA (Migration Agents Registration Authority). This means you can rest assured that you’ll get advice that you can trust!

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