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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

ASCO Codes and their meaning

This post is for all those who are interested in applying for migration to Australia. The post explains how the Australian standard Classification of Occupations work and how a prospective migrant can use the ASCO codes to determine his/her suitability for a particular trade.

Ok first of all what exactly is ASCO and ASCO codes?

To be able to apply for immigration to Australia, you need to have some sort of skills which are required in Australia. The list of all such skills which are in demand in Australia are listed on a Skilled Occupation List, SOL which can be accessed by visiting the URL

If you open the SOL, you will see that there are dozens of professions listed in the SOL. All the professions listed on the SOL are in demand in Australia. Against each profession there is an ASCO code assigned.

The ASCO code of the profession defines the profession and it is the definition of the ASCO which matters while determining the skills of a person. For example I was once contacted by a person who was a high school teacher of Biology. He wanted to apply for immigration by nominating the profession of Biologist. Now according to him he was a biologist but according to the ASCO classification he is a high school teacher and not a biologist.

Similarly in another incident, a pharmacist applied for immigration by nominating the profession of Pharmaceutical sales representative. The person was not aware that according to the ASCO classification, he is a pharmacist and not a Pharmaceutical sales representative.

Hence, it is of utmost importance that before you apply for immigration and nominate a profession, you should be 100% sure that you are nominating the correct profession. Other wise your application will be simply rejected on the basis that you do not have expertise in the nominated profession.

Now the question is how can a person check whether his expertise are in accordance with the classifications of the ASCO codes. While trying to figure out the answer, I finally found an online copy of the complete ASCO codes and the definition of each and every code.

The copy can be accessed at the following weblink

ASCO Codes

So if you are not sure whether your skills and work experience fall into a particular category then simply visit the URL above and check the classification.

Kind Regards

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hiring Migration agents

I have received a few queries regarding benefits of applying through a migration lawyer. Why should a person apply for immigration through a migration agent/lawyer when much of what an agent does can also be done by the applicant too? After all the agent does is to fill in the forms, send the application to DIAC and be the primary correspondent for all communications.

This is some thing the applicant can also do. So why hire a migration agent and pay large amounts of fees?

Well the above reasoning is very well justified. However, the real role of a qualified agent comes into play when the DIAC raises an objection which the applicant didn't fore see while lodging the application.

For example I have just received an email where an applicant applied for visa subclass 175 and on the date of application he didn't have a valid IELTS results. Although the applicant had appeared in the IELTS exam a few days before he lodged the application, he didnt have the results as yet.

In the opinion of the applicant, there was nothing wrong with lodging the application and he would provide the IELTS results to DIAC when the results are delcared.

What the applicant didnt know is that from Sept 2007, any person who lodges a GSM application must have a valid IELTS result on the date of application.
So according to the law, the application should be rejected on grounds of not fulfilling the criteria at the time of lodging the application and the applicant would incur a loss of $2000 AUD not to forget the waste of time.
So how can a qualified lawyer solve this issue? First of all, if the person had first consulted an agent, the agent would have informed him of the proper way of lodging the application. Secondly an agent knows the intricacies of the migration law and fully understands how the legal framework of the migration law. As a last resort a migration agent can apply for special consideration by invoking ministerial intervention.
This is just one of the many mistakes applicants make while lodging applications.

A good migration agent just doesnt fill in forms and serves as a PO Box service. A good migration agent can save you lots of time and hassle if not money.

So if you are well versed in the migration law, then there is no need to hire a migration agent. However, if you are not sure what you are doing, then its better to hire a migration agent.

Hope this helps