Engineers Immigrate to Australia and Canada - BrighterVisas

December 3, 2014

Australia has long been a sought after destination for many would-be immigrants who are considering leaving their home country for a new start. Each country has its own regulations which relate to entry and these often come down to the particular skill set that a host nation is looking for. At the moment, Australia is seeking to attract a number of skilled professions and trades, including nurses, plumbers, mechanics and certain accounting and clerical staff, too. However, if you happen to be a fully-qualified engineer by profession, then there are a myriad of work opportunities that are available in the country, many of which could easily enhance your career prospects and future employability.

The thing about engineers right now is that there simply is not enough of them around the world to meet the demand.  Like the stonemason of old who would be nomadic roaming across Europe with a free pass to work in any country Engineers are quickly developing the same status in modern times.  The tools of the trade may have changed but the basics are the same.  Countries need these skills and they are not developing enough home grown talent as populations age and birth rates decline.

Any skilled worker, including highly sought-after engineers, who are considering migrating to Australia or Canada will have to do so under the current regulations. This means applying for a skilled immigration visa which is by far the most popular programme and one of the simplest ways of successfully achieving immigration for professionals. There are a number of basic requirements for applying to the Immigration Authorities as an engineer.  These are first via the Expression Of Entry route or Express Entry anyone with training in this field ought to check that they meet these requirements before they make an application, otherwise they may find that it fails. Remember that it is worth highlighting relevant skills and experience when they relate to these basic requirements. Furthermore, if you don’t meet one of them, then knowing in advance gives you the chance to upskill in a particular area before making the application. Ultimately, this leads to less wasted time and disappointment.

The Australian Points-Based System

In common with many other countries around the globe which accept immigration from skilled workers, Australia and Canada uses a points test process. This is not specifically designed for engineers but is based on the proficiency of the migrant in various fields, such as education level and professional experience. When a would-be migrant applies for a skilled migration visa they must supply relevant documents like educational certificates and financial statements.



Depending on the level of skill and experience the applicant’s documents indicate, the more points in the test they are able to gain. For most engineering professions, the minimum points that must be gathered for a successful visa application is 60. Other professions may have different minimum scores, if they are listed on Australia’s skilled occupation list, or SOL. Economists, for example, need to score no less than 50 points. Architectural associates must obtain a minimum of 40 points. The level of score needed reflects how in-demand certain professionals and skilled worker are.  In Canada a similar list and points apply under the N.O.C codes.

For engineers, the scores are often relatively low, according to the latest points lists, but it does vary on your particular professional niche. An electrical engineering associate who, under the guidance is someone who prepares schematics and plans of electrical installations or circuits, as well as estimating costs in support of other electrical engineers, requires a score of 40. Likewise, an electrical engineer technician, who might also be considered in a supporting role, needs to achieve a relatively low score of 40. However, a full electrical engineer, who is defined as somebody who designs, develops and supervises the installation and maintenance of electrical equipment, needs a score of 60. This is in common with other, similar level engineering professions, such as civil engineers, industrial engineers and mechanical engineers.

Therefore, when considering their application for a visa to live and work in Australia or Canada, engineers ought to consider the SOL and NOC points scores and categories beforehand. This way, they are able to apply in the way which is most likely to have a positive outcome. The process of applying for entry to Australia under this programme depends entirely on the category of visa is being applied under, so it is crucial to decide which one is best before handing papers and certificates over for inspection. Nevertheless, any engineer who is considering applying should remember that gaining the necessary level of points, whether it is 40 or 60, is only part of the process.  In Canada once an engineer enters the Expression of Interest pool they are quickly allocated points or find an employer to sponsor their case.

The International English Language Test Score

The higher is an engineer’s points score, the better are their chances are of obtaining a certificate to immigrate, but, before an application is granted they have to pass an English language, or IELTS, test. This test is designed judge the electrical engineer’s ability to communicate whilst at work in an English-speaking environment. Simply being in a sought-after profession, like engineering, is not enough in many cases. Therefore, improving language skills is something that many would-be migrants to Australia, Canada, UK or any English speaking country need to brush up on whilst their points score is being assessed. 

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