When it comes to Australian immigration, skilled workers and technicians are at an advantage. An example of this can be seen in the Skilled Occupations List (SOL). Individuals with specialization in any of the fields, mentioned in SOL, will not require any work experience when applying for skilled migration to Australia.

This year, the government has introduced a number of laws and regulations to benefit engineers who wish to migrate to the country. These rules affect immigration process for engineers at three different fronts, which are explained as under:

Changes to Skills Assessment
Under the new regulations, there have been changes to the English language requirement, accredited masters and advanced diplomas requirements for skills assessment and the priority processing service.

English Language Testing
All engineers, applying for immigration to Australia, will be required to demonstrate fluency and command over English language in order to pass the skills assessment. Until previously, IELTS English language test was acceptable. Now, engineers Australia can also opt for TOEFL IBT (Internet Based Test) for the purpose of skills assessment.

In another change, a student visa holder who has pursued an undergraduate engineering qualification from a recognized educational institution (or a 2-years masters or PhD program) in Australia will be exempt from the English language ability testing requirement. The exemption has also been extended to certain passport holders as well.

Masters Qualifications/Accreditations
Generally speaking, you need to have an accredited bachelor degree so as to be able to bypass the Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) process. Engineers Australia has now accredited certain Masters qualifications in Australia for CDR exemption.

This means that if you have an undergrad degree from an overseas educational institution, you can use your Australian master’s qualification to apply for skills assessment, without the need to fulfil CDR requirements. Some advanced diplomas, as assessed by Engineers Australia, are also recognized for CDR exemption purposes.

Priority-based Services
The usual turnaround period for skills assessment is 13 weeks. However, a new priority-based processing service will be implemented which offers a 5-day turnaround period, benefitting certain types of engineers and employers.

Changes in 476 Visas
For individuals who have completed an engineering qualification within the last 2 years, an 18-month work visa (called Skilled Recognised Graduate Subclass 476 Visa) will now be offered. The visa is offered for all qualifications at bachelor level or higher. Masters qualification is also included.

In order to apply for a 476 visa, you need to complete your qualification at an educational institution which is accredited and registered under the Washington Accord, or any other university specified for this immigration law. This visa is, somewhat, similar to the Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 Visa. Unlike the 485 visa, however, you need not be a graduate of an Australian university to apply for the 476 visa.

State Nominations
Engineering is one of the most demanding and well-paying professions in Australia. Having an engineering degree (in any discipline) can improve your chances of migrating to the country. Every state in the country has its own engineering occupations considered to be in “high demand”.

A state nomination can vastly improve your points score, as well as render your case as high priority (for turnaround purpose). This holds beneficial, especially when it comes to SkillSelect. Get in-touch with an immigration lawyer today to learn more on skilled immigration to Australia!

Courtesy of Migration Alliance