ANZSCO: These are the 4 facts to know

/ / Working in New Zealand, Your Visa Application


ANZSCO. 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 is a system that’s used within the skilled migration programs to set guidelines for the skills and work experience visa applicants must meet to work in specific occupations 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 skilled migrant category. Further to this, ANZSCO sets out the tasks under each occupation that visa applicants must be able to perform as part of their everyday duties.

What all of the above means is that ANZSCO determines the most important requirements you must meet in order to qualify to apply for a skilled migrant residence and temporary work visa.

The immigration officer assessing your visa application will compare your skills, experience and job duties with those under your occupation on ANZSCO to help her or him come to a decision on your visa application. If you don’t meet all of the requirements, your visa application may be declined.

Let’s look at an example

Let’s assume you’re a chemical engineer for which the ANZSCO code is 233111. According to this code, you must meet these criteria:

  • Skill level 1: Bachelor degree or higher. In some instances, experience and/or on-the-job training may also be required.
  • Job description: Designs and prepares specifications for chemical process systems and the construction and operation of commercial-scale chemical plants, and supervises industrial processing and fabrication of products undergoing physical and chemical changes.
  • Tasks:
    • Preparing designs for chemical process systems and planning control systems for processes such as those used to remove and separate components, effect chemical changes, test and evaluate fuels, transfer heat, and control the storing and handling of solids, liquids and gases
    • 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

The immigration officer assessing your application would thus want to see from your CV and official statement of service that you have the relevant qualification and experience to work as a chemical engineer in New Zealand.

Furthermore, the officer would want to see that you can perform most or all of the tasks associated with chemical engineers.

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.

How many skill levels are there?

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 or tasks that are as complex as the occupations on a higher skill level.

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 resident or temporary work 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 Jane is working as a tutor. Jane 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:

  1. Your occupation title is a modern title which was developed more recently. ANZSCO does often not accommodate modern job titles.
  2. Your occupation is on the list but your job title doesn’t match the occupation title as it appears on ANZSCO. Some occupations are the same when you look at the responsibilities but might not have the same title across the industry. 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 does not appear on the ANZSCO list, you should ensure that you:

  • look at all other available titles, and
  • select the most appropriate job title.

When you do this, you’ll increase the chances of the visa officer being satisfied that you can do ‘most’ of the tasks for the occupation recorded in ANZSCO.

Do you feel you need the assistance of an immigration agent?

You’re always welcome to contact us for assistance. Our immigration advisors are registered and licensed with the IAA in New Zealand. This means you can rest assured that you’ll get advice that you can trust!

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