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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Engineers Migrating to Australia

Time and again, engineers asks us same type of questions about immigration procedure to Australia, how to write CDR, what are Career Episodes etc. We would advise you to quickly go through this section and see if it answers your queries and doubts before you send your queries to us.

Going through a site’s FAQs is also a good way to understand all the various aspects of how Engineers Australia works and migration to Australia, including those you haven’t thought about yet.

Q 1. Could you guide me about where I can get detailed information about the Engineers Australia assessment process and application procedure for migration to Australia as well as a CDR sample for a Professional Engineer which I might use for reference purposes?

Q 2. Are there any websites or other online or offline resources where engineers abroad can improve their informal as well as professional English language skills?

Q 3. I did an Associate Diploma course in Engineering (which was for three years), and did job for 8 years after its completion. While working part-time, I also completed my undergraduate degree course. Which category should I choose for Australian immigration – that of Professional Engineer, or of Engineering Associate?

Q 4. What is the ideal length of a CDR (in number of words or pages per episode)?

Q 5. While reading the EA guidelines on Continuing Professional Development (CPD), I came across a word called ‘testamur’. What does that mean?

Q 6. My IELTS (Academic) scores for different sections are as follows:

It means that I have an average of 6. Am I eligible to apply for qualification assessment for Australian immigration or not?

Q 7. I want to migrate to Australia as a skilled worker. Which IELTS test should I take – Academic one or General Training one? Should I submit my IELTS score while applying for skill assessment or should I report my score separately after submitting the application?

Q 8. My wife has applied for Australian visa and I am secondary applicant to it. Do I need to apply for skill assessment too or would I need any licence to work in Australia?

Q 9. I passed BE (Mechanical) in 2002. Since then, I have been working as a lecturer in an Engineering College. I will soon be completing my Masters in Engineering too. Am I eligible for General Skill Migration to Australia?

Q 10. I applied to EA assessment as a Professional Engineer but I was assessed as an Engineering Technologist. Is it possible to arrive in Australia and get re-assessed to a higher category later? I plan to enroll in a Master degree programme in the relevant field. Would that make a difference?

Q 11. I did my Engineering from South Africa. Will my qualification be recognised in U.S.A. and Australia?

Q 12. I did my Engineering from India and am still a fresher with no work experience. Will my engineering degree be accredited in Australia?

Q 13. I did my undergraduate engineering course from India and a dual degree in the relevant field from an Australian university. Will I be assessed according to my Australian qualification or not?

Q 14. Is 2-year Master degree in SAP along with Information Technology on the MODL list? How can I get assessed for it?

Q 15. I am a Computer Science & Engineering with two years of work experience. Currently, I am working as a Software Engineer. How can I apply for a PR visa in Australia?

Q 1. Could you guide me about where I can get detailed information about the Engineers Australia assessment process and application procedure for migration to Australia as well as a CDR sample for a Professional Engineer which I might use for reference purposes?

A 1. The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship publishes booklets online. You will be able to find all the relevant information in Booklet 6 which is related to ‘General Skilled Migration’. The official website of the department also has an Australian Skills Recognition Information (ASRI) page which states the eligibility requirements for each occupation category you might apply in.

Moreover, you can also visit the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website to find the detailed description of the typical tasks you will have to perform in your chosen occupation.

The Engineers Australia keeps publishing the Migration Skills Assessment (MSA) Handbook from time-to-time that includes all the updated information about the specific details of EA assessment requirements, everything about Competency Demonstration Reports (CDRs), and prescribes the format and word limit of the Career Episode Reports (CERs) you have to include in your CDR. If you are hoping to migrate to Australia as an engineer, you must read the latest MSA booklet from cover-to-cover before you start your CDR writing.

Click here to look at a CDR sample and here to read about all the CDR services we offer.

Q 2. Are there any websites or other online or offline resources where engineers abroad can improve their informal as well as professional English language skills?

A 2. Engineering organisations all over the world run activities that you may attend. Engineers Australia itself has divisions, colleges, special interest group events that are open to general public. You can see them advertised on the EA website. Besides, specialist engineering organisations such as IChemE also organise activities, workshops and seminars that you can attend. EA websites mention details of these organisations.

You can also download the videos and podcasts from the Australia Broadcasting Commission (ABC) as well as the Engineers Australia (which mainly covers technical events).

You can contact our experts to ask for advice on advanced internet searching techniques to find out engineering organisations and general and technical videos and podcasts that can help you to land and engineering job I Australia.

Q 3. I did an Associate Diploma course in Engineering (which was for three years), and did job for 8 years after its completion. While working part-time, I also completed my undergraduate degree course. Which category should I choose for Australian immigration – that of Professional Engineer, or of Engineering Associate?

A 3. If your undergraduate degree is equivalent to the 4-year Australian engineering degree, we advise you to apply as a ‘Professional Engineer’. You can prepare your Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) with 3 career episodes accordingly. In case, Engineers Australia does not find your qualifications equivalent to that of a Professional Engineer, they will suggest whether you should apply as an Engineering Technologist or an Engineering Associate.

Section A.2 of the Migration Skills Assessment booklet (which can be downloaded from the official EA website) explains different levels quite well. You should also visit the Australian Skills Recognition Information (ASRI) page of the official website of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship to know the eligibility requirements for each occupation category.

Once you have selected the ANZSCO code for the profession you aspire for, you can also visit the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website and read all the details about the tasks you’ll be expected to perform.

Q 4. What is the ideal length of a CDR (in number of words or pages per episode)?

A 4. The Migration Skills Assessment (MSA) Handbook clearly states that each Career Episode should be 1,000 to 2,500 words long. It also specified that a Career Episode should be broken down as:

  • Introduction, which should be about 50 to 100 words long
  • Background, which may range from 200 to 500 words
  • Personal Engineering Activity, which should be in the range of 500 to 1000 words
  • Summary, which should ideally be 50 to 100 words long

Q 5. While reading the EA guidelines on Continuing Professional Development (CPD), I came across a word called ‘testamur’. What does that mean?

A 5. The CPD is nothing but a list of courses, self-learning activities, trainings, and other professional engineering events you participated in after you completed your undergraduate course in Engineering. For each activity, you mention in the CPD, you have to tell the dates when you did it and the number of hours you spent on it.

A testamur is a certificate or official letter you receive at the end of training or course. For example, your degree is a testamur indicating the completion of your undergraduate engineering course.

Q 6. My IELTS (Academic) scores for different sections are as follows:

  • Listening: 6

  • Reading: 6

  • Writing: 5.5

  • Speaking: 6.5

It means that I have an average of 6. Am I eligible to apply for qualification assessment for Australian immigration or not?

A 6. Your average score won’t be sufficient for the eligibility of qualification assessment by Australian authorities. You need to score 6 or more in ALL the categories to be eligible to apply for it. Within two years, you’ll need to take IELTS once again and score 6 or more in the writing segment.

Q 7. I want to migrate to Australia as a skilled worker. Which IELTS test should I take – Academic one or General Training one? Should I submit my IELTS score while applying for skill assessment or should I report my score separately after submitting the application?

A 7. It is a necessity to include an original English language test (IELTS) result with your skill assessment application. You should get your IELTS result forwarded directly to Engineers Australia from your Test Centre.

Usually, a General Training IELTS test is sufficient unless you choose to be a Teacher, in which case you will have to present an Academic IELTS test result.

IELTS handbook specifies that the Academic Module assesses whether a candidate is ready to study or train at an undergraduate or postgraduate level in the medium of English or not. It goes on to state that the General Training Module assesses whether a candidate has basic survival skills in a broad social and educational context or not. The handbook suggests that those who want to go to Australia and New Zealand for secondary education or undertake work experience and miscellaneous training programmes (which are not part of degree courses) or want to migrate to these countries can take General Training test.

However, not all test centres offer the facility to allow you to take the IELTS General Training test.

Q 8. My wife has applied for Australian visa and I am secondary applicant to it. Do I need to apply for skill assessment too or would I need any licence to work in Australia?

A 8. As a secondary applicant, you will not need a licence to practice in Australia. However, in Queensland and in certain industries (such as the building industry), you might be required to be registered if you are involved with designing work.

However, it is true that many Australian employers are worried about the quality of overseas qualifications. So, if you get your qualifications assessed by Engineers Australia and receive accreditation from them, your chances of landing a good job increases considerably.

Q 9. I passed BE (Mechanical) in 2002. Since then, I have been working as a lecturer in an Engineering College. I will soon be completing my Masters in Engineering too. Am I eligible for General Skill Migration to Australia?

A 9. Since you do not have an active engineering experience, it will be difficult for you to prove that you are an Engineer to the EA assessors. They will see you as a ‘lecturer’ and university lecturers are not on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) or any other lists. Even, if you do manage to get a visa somehow, it would be very difficult for you to land an appropriate job in the current scenario.

Remember, you will be an overseas engineering graduate competing against Australians with naturally better English and similar qualifications that fit Australian standards better.

Q 10. I applied to EA assessment as a Professional Engineer but I was assessed as an Engineering Technologist. Is it possible to arrive in Australia and get re-assessed to a higher category later? I plan to enroll in a Master degree programme in the relevant field. Would that make a difference?

A 10. Yes, it is possible to get upgraded from ‘Engineering Technologist’ to ‘Professional Engineer’ after arriving in Australia. As you gain better work experience, you will be able to write better Career Episodes and you may get assessed as a ‘Professional Engineer’ then.

You don’t have to enroll in the postgraduate course just to get the desired assessment, until you think it will help in your professional development. It is not necessary from the ‘assessment’ point of view.

Q 11. I did my Engineering from South Africa. Will my qualification be recognised in U.S.A. and Australia?

A 11. Fortunately for you, South Africa is a signatory to the Washington Accord, which is accepted by the Australia, the USA and several other countries. We advise you to go to the Washington Accord website and check whether your specific institute and course is recognised by the WA or not.

In case, your course is not recognised by WA as a ‘Professional Engineer’ level, check whether it is recognised by the Sydney Accord for the Associate Profesional level or not.

The USA is just a provisional signatory to the Sydney Accord or not.

Q 12. I did my Engineering from India and am still a fresher with no work experience. Will my engineering degree be accredited in Australia?

A 12. Since Indian qualifications do not qualify as a Washington Accord one, you will have to apply to the EA assessment through the Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) pathway. Though you can write your Career Episodes on the basis of the projects, summer internships, and work experience units of your university courses and be accredited, practically speaking, it seems like a difficult thing to accomplish.

Q 13. I did my undergraduate engineering course from India and a dual degree in the relevant field from an Australian university. Will I be assessed according to my Australian qualification or not?

A 13. For migration purpose, only your undergraduate course is assessed by the EA. Your postgraduate diploma, Masters or PhD degrees obtained in Australia will not be considered. Hence, you need to apply to EA through the CDR pathway.

Q 14. Is 2-year Master degree in SAP along with Information Technology on the MODL list? How can I get assessed for it?

A 14. According to the Australian Skills Recognition Information (ASRI) page of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship website, your qualification comes under ANZSCO classification 2231-79 Computer Professional (NEC).

NEC here means ‘Not Elsewhere Classified’.

Migration Occupations Demand List (MODL) does mention SAP programmers. You can go to the website of the Australia Computer Society to check out the ACS Guidelines and the assessment criteria they mention.

ACS only considers your professional ICT experience to determine MODL occupations you are eligible for. Hence, only your studies will not be sufficient for them to consider you as a SAP Programmer. You need to have at least four years of relevant work experience to show too.

Q 15. I am a Computer Science & Engineering with two years of work experience. Currently, I am working as a Software Engineer. How can I apply for a PR visa in Australia?

A 15. Computer professionals need to fulfill different visa requirements than Engineers. So, you will first need to decide whether you want to apply as an Engineer or as a Computer Professional. As an engineer, work experience is not necessary but as a Computer Professional, you need an ICT degree with at least 4 years of relevant work experience.

Since you have only two years of work experience, we advise you to visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website and check out your options.

A Software Engineer is not listed on Australia’s Skilled Occupation List (SOL). Check through the SOL list to see which of the other categories you might fit in, and see the requirements for the skill level for that occupational category.

The Australian Computer Society (ACS), which assesses computing professionals, publishes a migration assessment handbook at the back of which you can find a diagram which illustrates the overlap of engineering and computing professions quite well. Have a look at it to be able to clarify under which category you should apply.

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