Engineering and Skilled Migration - Recent Developments and Little-known Facts

Engineers have always had advantages in applying for skilled migration to Australia. For instance, most engineering occupations are on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) and the skills assessment does not require any work experience.

This article explains some of the recent changes and little known facts benefitting engineers who wish to migrate to Australia. The article covers:

  • Improvements to Engineers Australia Skills Assessment - including changes to the English language requirement, priority processing and using accredited masters and advanced diplomas for skills assessment.
  • Skilled Recognised Graduate Subclass 476 Visas - a work visa exclusively for recent engineering graduates
  • State Nomination - all states and territories have engineers in their "in demand" lists which gives a huge advantage in applying for skilled migration

Improvements to Engineers Australia Skills Assessment

There are a number of changes to the skills assessment process for engineers through Engineers Australia.

English Language Ability

Engineers must demonstrate their English language ability to pass skills assessment. Previously, only the IELTS test of English language ability was accepted. Engineers Australia will now accept the TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test) as well. Results from more than one test can also be accepted by Engineers Australia.

You would be exempt from the English testing requirement if you have completed an undergraduate engineering qualification in Australia, a PhD or 2-year masters in Australia. Certain passport holders are also exempt.

Priority Processing Service

A priority processing service has been introduced which allows for a 5-day turnaround in processing for skills assessments, rather than the usual 13 weeks.

Accredited Australian Master Qualifications

Generally, you must have an accredited bachelor degree to avoid the Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) process. CDRs can take a significant amount of time to put together.

Engineers Australia also accredits some Australian Masters qualifications. Even if you have an overseas bachelor degree, you may be able to use your Australian masters for the skills assessment without needing to complete a CDR.

There are even some advanced diplomas assessed by Engineers Australia - in some cases completing one of these can result in a positive skills assessment in an SOL occupation.

Skilled Recognised Graduate Subclass 476 Visas

If you have completed an engineering qualification within the last 2 years, you may be eligible for an 18-month work visa called a Skilled Recognised Graduate Subclass 476 visa.

The qualification must be at the bachelor level or higher - so this would include masters qualifications. You must complete the qualification at an institution which offers courses accredited under the Washington Accord, or certain other universities which have been specified by Immigration.

The visa is somewhat similar to the Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 visa. The main difference is that you can qualify for the recognised graduate visa even if you have never studied in Australia, you could qualify for a recognised graduate visa.

State Nomination

Engineering is one of the most advantageous professions for state nomination. Every single state and territory has engineering occupations on their "in demand" lists. State nomination can increase your points score as well as give you higher priority when it comes to SkillSelect, giving you a big advantage.


Engineering remains one of the most favoured occupations when it comes to migration to Australia. Recent changes make the make the application process even more streamlined for engineers.

If you would like to know more about how you can qualify for migration to Australia, please book an appointment with one of our advisors.

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