476 visa waiting period to 41 months. A Skilled Recognized Graduate Visa is for international engineering graduates who want to study or work in Australia. Visa 476 allows overseas students to live in Australia for 18 months.Engineers are staying out of Australia as a result of the visa backlog despite skills shortages in the country. Australia has increased its
The latest Freedom of Information request indicated that Home Affairs had received over 6,000 applications for 476 visas. Interestingly, those applications haven’t been processed yet. Due to Australia’s massive visa backlog, Engineering graduates are stranded abroad for up to 4 years.
The long waiting period is causing skills shortages in Australia. Also, it’s leading applicants to stress, disappointment, and discouragement. Engineers Australia, the main industry body, is concerned this could have devastating outcomes. It involves holding up major infrastructure projects required for the economic recovery of Australia.
476 Visa Backlog – International Graduates Stuck Abroad!
International engineering graduates who want to work and study in Australia can apply for a 476 Visa. You can remain in Australia for more than 18 months if you hold a Skilled Recognized Graduate Visa. Since 2018, the waiting period for the 476 visas has risen to 41 months.
Due to these circumstances, overseas graduates have been waiting for almost 4 years for their visas. Unfortunately, they were unable to speak with anyone directly within Home Affairs about the status of their visa applications.
Gurpreet Kaur, an engineering student from India, has expressed his disappointment saying:
I personally applied for this visa back in September 2018 and am still waiting for my visa grant. Despite meeting all the criteria, paying the application fee, medical assessment fees, there are still a lot of applicants like me from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh and many more countries … about 6,000 applicants are waiting for their grant.
He further added,
Waiting for three to four years, it’s a really frustrating situation and I think it’s a moral duty of any government, because this is unfair to us. We have planned all our career plans, we are suffering, not only professionally but it is a mental depression also.
Similar case with a Pakistani student named, Muhammad Altaf. He said:
The last 10 days, they’ve only granted one visa. So if this process continues at this pace, then I think we will get our grants in three or four more years.
Manpreet Vohra, India’s high commissioner to Australia, stated that delays in visa processing were a concern.
I believe it’s a problem, but only because of staff shortages and backlog built up because of the pandemic. It’s not a delay or a go-slow on account of policy.
Anthony Albanese on Australian Visa Backlog
During a visit to Indonesia this week, Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese raised the issue of visa processing delays.
This is an issue that, upon coming to government without going into other issues, we have found it isn’t just in this area, we have a problem processing visas. There is just an extraordinary backlog.
Institution of Engineers Australia about Overseas Engineers!
According to the Institution of Engineers Australia, migration was only one part of the solution to the critical labor shortages in the industry. Jane MacMaster, the chief engineer of Engineers Australia, said that skilled migration closes the gaps between what the local market and universities can supply. . However, only 40% of higher international engineers can start a career in engineering after arriving in Australia.
Jane MacMaster stated:
Continuing large-scale intakes of qualified engineers will not significantly develop Australia’s engineering capability alone. Better support and utilisation of the skills currently in Australia (both through migrants and those looking to re-enter the engineering workforce) must also be a priority.
Engineers Australia expressed its concern over the fact that fewer secondary students are pursuing Stem (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. It might set the nation up to fail. It has urged the governments and education sector to take steps to attract students to Stem.
The Chief Engineer of Engineers Australia, Jane MacMaster, stated:
If we don’t do something to address this significant skills challenge, the impacts could be catastrophic for many sectors. We will see delays to infrastructure projects and implications for Australia’s strategic priorities, such as a lack of talent to help grow sovereign supply chain capabilities.
For migrant engineers with 476 visas, the industry body plans to speed up its process of migration skills assessment.
Jane MacMaster added:
For two decades Engineers Australia has performed migration skills assessments to ensure we bring the best talent and migrating workforce to Australia and is continually working to plug the engineering skills gap with policy makers, educators and industry.
Right now, we are working with government to accelerate the assessment process for migrant engineers already here.
We also recommend making visas and their requirements more easily understood by engineers and prospective employers.
Watch this Video!
Other Visa Options for Engineers in Australia
According to Home Affairs, overseas engineering graduates can also apply for a range of other Australian visas. Up to 1 million visas had been granted by Home Affairs since November.
These visas include:
There were currently 1.61M people with those visa types who remained outside Australia. Even though they were fully vaccinated and allowed to arrive in Australia. The Department of Home Affairs has announced that 3000 Skilled Recognized Graduate visas were also extended for another 2 years in April.
According to the spokesperson, many applications were being delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Other applications had been affected by the quality and completeness of those applications, applicants’ responsiveness to requests for information, and the complexity involved in assessing genuineness, character, health and security requirements.
Australian Visa Backlog – Final Words!
Many overseas engineering graduates are struck outside Australia due to visa backlog. As the waiting period has been ballooned to 41 months. It has created severe tension and frustration among applicants. Over 6,000 applications for 476 visas are still not processed yet. For engineers with 476 visas, the industry body plans to accelerate its migration skill assessment process.
If you’re an engineer who’s stuck outside Australia and need help with your visa application, book a consultation with us for complete guidance!
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I’m Nasir Nawaz. I’m a registered migration consultant in Australia. I am based in Sydney. I’ve studied Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales. I’m providing immigration services for several years.
Consult with me for legal advice on Australian visas to permanently live, study, and work in Australia.