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Introduction of ANZSCO – Transitional Arrangements

Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)

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The need for transitional arrangements

Prior to the introduction of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), the department utilised the former Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO).

The former ASCO standard was also used by Skills Assessing Authorities (SAA) in the following ways:

  • to assess the skills of a person who wanted to apply for a Skilled – Independent visa under the General Skilled Migration program. This allowed applicants to determine whether their skills and qualifications met Australian standards for an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL)
  • to assess the skills of a person who wanted to apply for a visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), which enables employers to sponsor highly skilled workers to fill skilled vacancies in their business.
  • to assess the skills of a person who wanted to apply for a visa in any of the other various sponsored permanent and temporary skilled visa categories. This allowed applicants to determine whether they had the required skills and qualifications to perform the duties of a vacant skilled position in Australia, which they had been nominated to fill by an employer.

With the introduction of ANZSCO, SAAs will assess a visa applicant's nominated skilled occupation according to the ANZSCO standard.

However, some employers may have already nominated a person to fill a vacant position according to the ASCO standard, or a prospective visa applicant has already had their skills assessed according to ASCO but need to lodge a visa application nominating the same occupation according to ANZSCO.  Transitional arrangements have been put in place to ensure that these groups of people are not disadvantaged by the introduction of ANZSCO.

Visa programs requiring assessment of a skilled occupation

In the following visa programs, assessment of a visa applicant's occupation may be needed to assess the legal criteria to be granted a visa:

  • General Skilled Migration
  • Employer Nomination Scheme
  • Labour Agreement
  • Subclass 457 Business (Long Stay) visa
  • Occupational Trainee.

Further information on eligibility criteria for the above visa types can be found on the department’s website.
See: Workers

Applications with a mix of ASCO and ANZSCO information

To ensure that prospective visa applicants and employers who want to sponsor or nominate someone under the skilled visa program are not disadvantaged, legislation and policy guidelines have been developed to allow ASCO-based documents and information to be accepted after the introduction of ANZSCO in certain circumstances.


  • A nomination or visa application lodged after 1 July 2010 will have an ANZSCO nominated occupation, but the applicant might submit an ASCO skills assessment they had previously obtained from an SAA, provided that the skills assessment is still valid.
  • A visa applicant who lodged their application before 1 July 2010 with an ASCO nominated occupation, may need to submit an ANZSCO skills assessment if it is subsequently obtained after 1 July 2010.

Methodology used for departmental ASCO to ANZSCO correlations

In order to allow for transitional arrangements, as well as for historical departmental reporting, there was a need to correlate ASCO and ANZSCO occupations used for skilled visa programs.

The differences between ASCO and ANZSCO meant that, for many occupations, there was not a direct correlation from one acceptable ASCO occupation for skilled visa program purposes to one equivalent ANZSCO occupation.

For this reason, the department undertook a major exercise to examine each ASCO occupation to decide which ANZSCO occupation(s) it correlates to.

Firstly, a statistical analysis of 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) census and survey data was undertaken to determine what people who were in specific occupations that had been classified in ASCO, considered themselves to be under the ANZSCO standard.

Based on this statistical analysis, the department then examined all occupations used in the various skilled visa programs to decide:

  • which ASCO codes are acceptable correlations to ANZSCO codes for transitional arrangements
  • which ANZSCO codes best represent those occupations to be included on relevant skilled visa program legislative Instruments.

Acceptable ASCO to ANZSCO correlations for the various skilled visa programs

As explained above, to support the acceptability of a combination of ASCO or ANZSCO information (a skills assessment in one standard and a nominated occupation in the other standard) when applying for a visa, the department has examined each relevant acceptable ASCO occupation code and correlated it to its matching ANZSCO occupation code(s). This has been done for each of the following lists:

  • the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) as at 1 July 2010
  • the Employer Nomination Scheme Occupation List (ENSOL) as at 1 July 2010.

In some cases, more than one ANZSCO occupation code is considered to be an acceptable correlation to one ASCO code. In other cases, one ANZSCO occupation code is considered to be an acceptable correlation to more than one ASCO code.

Departmental-endorsed correlations from ASCO occupations to ANZSCO occupations for both the SOL and ENSOL are available.
See: Skilled Occupation Lists (Formerly Known as Form 1121i)

In addition, a generic list of all departmental-endorsed correlations from ASCO to ANZSCO (not limited to just those occupations used in skilled visa programs) is available.
See: DIAC-endorsed ASCO-ANZSCO correlations – All occupations – 1 July 2010 (187KB PDF file)

Note: All ASCO-ANZSCO correlations provided are for information purposes only, and reflect acceptable SOL and ENSOL ASCO-ANZSCO correlations. They do not include any possible future changes to skilled occupation lists for visa purposes.

In addition, ASCO-ANZSCO correlation documents do not replace any relevant departmental legislation, legislative Instruments or policy instructions, but have been provided as a simple guide for employers and prospective visa applicants to refer to in the first instance.

To confirm whether an endorsed ASCO to ANZSCO correlation exists for your occupation, you should first determine whether your occupation appears on the current Legislative instrument (if applicable) for the type of skilled visa program you are interested in, then check to see if an acceptable ASCO to ANZSCO correlation exists for the occupation code on the Instrument.
See: ComLaw > Federal Register of Legislative Instruments

In addition, you should check the eligibility criteria for the type of visa you wish to nominate/apply for to determine any ASCO-ANZSCO transitional arrangements specific to that visa program.
See: Workers

Only ASCO-ANZSCO correlations endorsed by the department are acceptable for skilled visa program purposes

Only those ASCO-ANZSCO correlations endorsed by the department as acceptable for skilled visa program purposes can be used in ASCO-ANZSCO transitional arrangements.

Occupation information (such as a valid skills assessment) can only be used under transitional arrangements if all the following circumstances apply.

  • a departmental-endorsed ASCO-ANZSCO correlation for that particular occupation exists
  • that occupation continues to be an acceptable occupation for skilled visa program purposes
  • the skills assessment is still valid (validity periods are determined by skills assessing authorities and may differ between occupations/authorities).

If any of the above circumstances do not apply, then the occupation information may not be considered under skilled visa program transitional arrangements.

If you are unsure whether your skills assessment is still valid, you will need to contact the relevant authority that issued the skills assessment.

If you are uncertain whether your skills assessment is acceptable for a visa application, or have further questions regarding the above, please contact the department to discuss your situation.
See: Visa Enquiries

Impact of ANZSCO on Temporary Business (Long Stay) (subclass 457) visas

The Migration Regulations and associated legislative Instruments will be amended to ensure that subclass 457 nominations approved in the ASCO standard prior to 1 July 2010, can be used for any subclass 457 applications in respect of these nominations that are lodged after ANZSCO commencement. Nominations received from 1 July 2010 must use the ANZSCO standard.

The current subclass 457 legislative instruments can be found on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

Departmental reporting in ANZSCO

Being a policy, program and service delivery agency, the department undertakes a broad range of reporting on the various programs it administers.  For example, publishing comprehensive information in its annual report.

Occupation information is just one element in a broad range of information that the department is required to report on.  In instances where one ASCO code correlates to more than one ANZSCO code, the department was required to determine a one-to-one mapping for reporting purposes:

  • so that pipeline (on-hand unfinalised) applications assessed using ASCO can be aligned to an ANZSCO code for ongoing reporting purposes; and
  • to allow comparative historical program reporting to occur between ASCO and ANZSCO occupations until such time as ASCO information is no longer relevant.

The document below shows the endorsed correlation of each ASCO code to one ANZSCO equivalent to meet these program reporting requirements.
See: DIAC-endorsed reporting one-to-one correlations from ASCO to ANZSCO – 1 July 2010 (118KB PDF file)

More information on reporting can be found on the department’s website.
See: Performance and Progress