If you’re an engineer looking for a change of scenery, you may want to take a moment to pat yourself on the back. That’s right. Even if others are uncertain about what an engineer actually does, the Australian Government understands completely. Engineering skills are in short supply in Australia and it wants you to bridge the gap.
Skilled occupation list
The Australian government publishes a skilled occupation list (SOL), which is basically its wishlist of skills and qualifications that are needed in Australia. It uses the SOL to filter applications for skilled migration visas. Featuring prominently on the SOL are Engineers of various disciplines.
A basic overview of skilled migration
If you’re interested in migrating to Australia to work as an Engineer, you will need to apply for a skilled migration visa. There are various options, including visas that are points-based, employer sponsored, those allowing temporary residency and those allowing permanent residency. Because of the range of options, it is important to be clear about your intentions before applying.
Skilled visa applications must be made via SkillSelect. You must first submit an Expression of Interest, including proof of qualifications and work experience. You may then be invited to lodge a visa application. If you are successful, you will be granted a skilled migration visa.
Proof of qualifications
Before going through the SkillSelect process, you must first prove your qualifications.
In most cases, Engineers Australia is the body that will determine whether qualifications are acceptable for skilled migration. This process is known as migration skills assessment (MSA).
The MSA recognises four occupational engineering categories:
- Professional engineer
- Engineering technologist
- Engineering associate
- Engineering manager
Each category has its own qualification requirements and work specifications. You should check to determine which category is appropriate.
You must submit evidence of your English language skills with results from the IELTS English language test. You must score a minimum of six in each area. You are not required to undertake the test if you:
- Speak English as your first language.
- Have completed an undergraduate or an approved post-graduate qualification at an Australian university.
How skills are assessed
Engineering skills can be assessed through either accredited or non-accredited qualifications.
Accredited qualifications are those that are awarded from recognised institutions – Australian universities that offer accredited engineering courses, or other institutions that are recognised under one of the following:
- The Washington Accord.
- The Sydney Accord.
- The Dublin Accord.
Qualifications that are not recognised under any of these are considered non-accredited. If your qualifications are non-accredited, you must apply with a Competency Demonstration Report (CDR). You must also use the CDR to apply if you’re an engineering manager, regardless of where you earned your qualifications. The CDR is a skills assessment that requires you to demonstrate your technical engineering knowledge and how you have applied it in your work.
The CDR has a number of elements to be satisfied and so must be prepared carefully, with as many documents as possible to demonstrate knowledge and qualifications.
Regardless of which pathway you choose, successful applicants will be sent an assessment outcome letter which can then be used to submit an expression of interest for skilled migration. There is a review and appeal process if you are unsuccessful.
The MSA process can be involved, especially if you must apply with a CDR. It can be a time-consuming exercise. The good news is that a migration agent can help, and with such expertise, the chances of any errors are minimised. If you are looking at engineer immigration to Australia, contact us.