476 Visa

Subclass 476 visa offers up to 18 months of unfettered work and study rights in Australia to a recognized graduate who is below 31 years of age and has completed an engineering degree at a specified foreign university within 2 years prior to lodging the application. It can only be issued once in a lifetime. Having held a subclass 476 visa will also preclude one from applying for a 485 Graduate visa in future and vice versa.

The purpose of the 476 visa is to offer engineering graduates from recognized institutions the opportunity to live and work in Australia. This visa allows migrants to live, work and study in Australia for the duration of their visa. For many 476 visa holders, this subclass provides an invaluable opportunity for one to prepare and meet the requirements for permanent residency in Australia. As a once-in-a-lifetime visa, it is pivotal to receive advice on eventual permanent options to ensure you do not waste your opportunity.

Duration

The skilled recognized graduate Subclass 476 visa is generally issued for a period of 18 months, being comparable to the 485 visa under the graduate work stream in terms of duration. This 18 months duration is less than what can be achieved through a 485 visa under the post study work stream. If you are an engineering graduate looking to eventually study in Australia, it may be important to consider whether to undertake studies first, apply under visa subclass 485 instead of the 476 visa subclass.

Bringing your Family

Note that it is possible to add members of your family unit to your application. Persons who hold this visa as a secondary applicant are not precluded from holding a 476 or 485 visa as a primary applicant in future. Note that any attempts to add a member of your family unit must be accompanied by evidence of their relation to you. If adding a partner, significant evidence ought be provided to substantiate the genuineness of your relationship.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the 476 visa, the applicant must:
  • Not have held a Subclass 476 or 485 visa as a primary applicant;
  • Be under 31 years of age;
  • Must have completed a specified award in engineering at a specified institution within 24 months of the subclass 476 application being lodged; and
  • Have demonstrated the requisite English proficiency.

Specified Award

The applicants must have completed an engineering course for which he or she was awarded a degree or higher qualification in the last 2 years. This could be a:
  • Bachelor’s degree;
  • Master’s degree;
  • Doctoral degree;
  • Postgraduate diploma;
The qualification the 476 visa applicant must have completed must be in an engineering discipline, that includes:
  • Civil engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Chemical engineering
  • Environmental engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Electronics engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Production engineering
  • Plant engineering
  • Mining engineering
  • Material engineering

Specified Institution

Under the requirements set by Australia, 476 visa applicants must have obtained their engineering qualification from one of 36 Washington Accord universities to qualify as a skilled recognized graduate.

For the skilled recognized graduate visa, subclass 476, the list of proscribed Washington Accord universities is exhaustive. For more information on eligible institutions, please visit our blog – Eligible Universities – Subclass 476 – Overseas Graduate

The list of eligible universities include:

Argentina – Catholic University of Argentina

Brazil – Federal University of Minas Gerais

Chile – Universidad Catolica del Norte

Chile – Catholic University of Chile

Chile – University of Chile

Chile – University of Concepcion

Finland – HUT, Helsinki

Germany – RWTH, Aachen

Germany – Technical University of Berlin

Germany – Technical University of Clausthal

Germany – TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Germany – University of Hannover

Hungary – University of Miskolc

India – Anna University, Chennai

India – Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

India – Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

India – Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

India – Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad

Iran – Amir Kabir University of Technology

Iran – University of Tehran

People’s Republic of China – Beijing Normal University

People’s Republic of China – Beijing Petroleum University

People’s Republic of China – Beijing University of Chemical Technology

People’s Republic of China – Beijing University of Technology

People’s Republic of China – China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing

People’s Republic of China – Guangzhou University

People’s Republic of China – Shanghai University of Engineering Science

People’s Republic of China – Shanghai Jiaotong University

People’s Republic of China – Tongji University

People’s Republic of China – Tsinghua University

People’s Republic of China – University of Science and Technology, Beijing

Philippines – University of the Philippines

Poland – Wroclaw University of Technology

Slovakia – TU Kosice

Sweden – Lulea University of Technology

Tanzania – University of Dar es Salaam

The Washington Accord proscribes universities generally, meaning provided your university appears on the list, all engineering degrees offered by said institution will meet the requirements. Whether you study civil engineering, electrical engineering or another proscribed discipline, the degree will satisfy the requirements provided one’s university falls under the Washington Accord.

English Requirements

The applicants must evidence a minimum of English proficiency, unless a citizen of the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Ireland or New Zealand (please note that this subclass is generally unnecessary for New Zealand citizens). The requisite English proficiency is the same as applicants for the Subclass 485 visas. For details, visit our blog – Subclass 485 English Requirements

In summary, for any visa, 476 included, the proscribed English standard is set in reference to one of five (5) proscribed English language proficiency tests. The acceptable testing protocols include the following:

  • International English Language Test System (IELTS)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT)
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
  • Occupational English Test

Any test undertaken must have been completed within the last 3 years in order to be valid for the purpose of the visa application. It is important that before lodging your visa application, you ensure your evidence of English proficiency meets the threshold set under the visa requirements and will remain valid for the likely duration of your visa application processing period. Failure to provide adequate English proficiency evidence at the time of application will result in receipt of a “Request for More Information” providing you a mere 28 days to remedy any deficiencies in the evidence provided.

Those satisfying the English requirements on the basis of their country of citizenship need only supply evidence of their passport. No English test is thus necessary for applicants of this kind.

Relevant Public Interest Criteria:

In addition to the aforementioned requirements, a number of public interest criteria must be satisfied by the applicant in order to facilitate the grant. Many of these requirements are applicable to many kinds of visa, 476 included. failure to meet these requirements may result in anything from visa refusal to a ban on subsequent visa applications for as long as 10 years. If you have any uncertainty surrounding your satisfaction of the below, it is pivotal you obtain advice prior to proceeding with your application.

4001 – Must satisfy the character requirements by passing the character test.

4002 – Must not be assessed as a security risk by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

4003 – Presence in Australia must not be contrary to Australian foreign policy interest.

4004 – No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth.

4005 – Passes medical examinations where required.

4010 – Applicant can establish themselves in Australia without undue difficulties or costs to the Australian community.

4020 – No false or misleading information or bogus documents.

4019 (if applicable) – Adult applicant has signed a values statement.

Due to the reasonable clarity surrounding the requirements of the 476 visa, some unscrupulous applicants may be tempted to falsify their education to secure work rights in Australia. The Department of Home Affairs goes to great lengths to verify the tertiary qualifications of each applicant and will discover visa fraud where attempted. It is never advisable to attempt to defraud the Department with such a visa application. Providing bogus documents is a violation of Public Interest Criterion 4020 and will result in a ban on future visa applications for multiple years.

If you are ineligible for this visa, it is best to consult with a migration agent to discuss alternatives. These is little we can do for prospective clients who have been caught applying for a visa, 476 or otherwise, using bogus documents or fraudulent information.

Relevant Special Return Criteria:

5001, 5002 and 5010

Visa Conditions

If the applicant is outside of Australia:
Date of first entry must be specified in the visa grant. One who fails to enter Australia by the proscribed date is liable to have their skilled recognized graduate visa subclass 476 cancelled.
  • Secondary applicants may be subject to Condition 8502, under which the visa holder must not enter Australia before the entry to Australia of a person specified in the visa. This specified person will generally be the primary applicant of the skilled recognized graduate subclass 476 visa.
  • All applicants may have Condition 8515 imposed, in which the visa holder must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia.
  • Note that no prohibition exists on a 476 visa holder applying for an additional visa whilst in Australia. This means that it is possible for a 476 holder to prepare, lodge and be granted a permanent visa whilst in Australia.

    Application Charges

    The application fee associated with the skilled recognized graduate visa, subclass 476, are outlined below:
    • Base application charge: $405
    • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $200
    • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18: $100

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