Reclassification of Skills Levels of Some ANZSCO Occupations & Impact on Visa Related Decisions

On the 5th of November this year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release a new version of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (‘ANZSCO’) – Version 1.3.

ANZSCO is used by the Australian and New Zealand immigration authorities as a tool across a range visa related decisions. Its use and currency in the migration context has been hotly debated in both countries. The Bureau indicated that this release will be limited to an update of the indicative skill levels for some occupations, no other changes are to be made to ANZSCO at this stage.

What is going to change in terms of visa related decisions?

In anticipation of this release, Immigration New Zealand announced that it will mostly continue using the previous version of ANZSCO (Version 1.2) in the assessment of most visa applications until mid-2020.

However, occupations that have changed from Skill Level 4 or 5 to Skill Level 1 to 3 in the new version of ANZSCO, will be treated as exceptions in Essential Skills Work Instructions and the Skilled Migrant Category Residence Instructions, provided that the visa applicant can demonstrate that they earn at least the New Zealand median income (currently NZ$25 per hour but it’s possible this will increase as part of an annual review to be announced during November each year). In these circumstances Immigration New Zealand will treat the ‘upgraded’ occupation as if it is ANZSCO Skill Level 1 to 3.

Will you benefit from this change?

From 30th of October 2019, if visa applicants can establish that their job offer or current employment is a substantial match to one of the occupations listed in ‘Appendix 7 – Occupations treated as exceptions’ and that they earn at least the New Zealand median income then, they may become eligible for a mid-skilled Essential Skills Work Visa and may be eligible for points for skilled employment under the Skilled Migrant Category.

In a nut-shell this change could result in a pathway to residence where previously this wasn’t a possibility. It could also mean as a mid-skilled Essential Skills Work Visa holder the privilege of supporting a partner’s and dependent children’s visa application would be available and there would be no need to worry about the three year limit on remaining in New Zealand as a low-skilled work visa holder.

For many visa applicants, this will be a much welcomed change and an opportunity that could significantly change their lives. Others, however will find it very difficult to obtain the required hourly rate and as such won’t benefit from this development.

What if your Essential Skills application has already been submitted?

If your Essential Skills Work Visa application is currently under processing and you are able to demonstrate to Immigration New Zealand that your role pays at least the current median income, even if the application was submitted before this change, your occupation can be treated as an exception if it is included in Appendix 7 of the Operational Manual.

What next?

We, like everybody else, await with baited breath further detail, including an implementation date, from the government on the removal of skills bands in Essential Skills Work Instructions flagged for ‘mid-2020’ as well as more detailed information on the new employer- led, three stage application process flagged for ‘early 2021’.

In the meantime, we recommend that you don’t delay in submitting your Expression of Interest for the Skilled Migrant Category, if as a result of the above changes you now meet the current points test, as it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the government may decide to increase the points threshold by mid-2020.

Talk to us

If you have any questions about these changes and what they mean for you and your family please contact our Immigration Team for professional legal advice that will give you peace of mind.

The full list of occupations treated as exceptions as per Appendix 7:

ANZSCO code and occupation

421111 Child Care Worker

421112 Family Day Care Worker

421114 Out of School Hours Care Worker

422116 Teachers’ Aide

423411 Child or Youth Residential Care Assistant

423413 Refuge Worker

451111 Beauty Therapist

451412 Tour Guide

451612 Travel Consultant

451811 Civil Celebrant

452211 Bungy Jump Master

452212 Fishing Guide

452213 Hunting Guide

452214 Mountain or Glacier Guide

452215 Outdoor Adventure Instructor

452216 Trekking Guide

452217 Whitewater Rafting Guide

452299 Outdoor Adventure Guides nec

551211 Bookkeeper

552111 Bank Worker

552211 Credit or Loans Officer

711211 Industrial Spraypainter

711311 Paper Products Machine Operator

711313 Sawmilling Operator

711611 Sewing Machinist

711711 Footwear Production Machine Operator

711712 Hide and Skin Processing Machine Operator

711713 Knitting Machine Operator

711714 Textile Dyeing and Finishing Machine Operator

711715 Weaving Machine Operator

711716 Yarn Carding and Spinning Machine Operator

711799 Textile and Footwear Production Machine Operators nec

712111 Crane, Hoist or Lift Operator

712916 Paper and Pulp Mill Operator

712921 Waste Water or Water Plant Operator

721112 Logging Plant Operator

721913 Paving Plant Operator

731311 Train Driver

821711 Construction Rigger

423313 Personal Care Assistant

452311 Diving Instructor (Open Water)

591212 Import-Export Clerk

599611 Insurance Investigator

599612 Insurance Loss Adjuster

Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice. It is important that you seek legal advice that is specific to your circumstances.

Topics: All Select

Elly Fleming

Position: Associate
DDI: +64 3 545 6714