University of the Philippines (UP) is one the recognised institutions for the Skilled—Recognised Graduate visa (subclass 476). This means that recent UP Engineering graduates are eligible for this visa that allows the visa holder to work, study, or travel in Australia for eighteen months.
There are currently only three countries represented under this list: Brazil, India, and the Philippines. I am very honoured to see our country represented in this list through the University of the Philippines.
This article intends to give an overview of the 476 visa and provide a comparison of this visa with the other common temporary visas such as Visitor visa (subclass 600), Student visa (subclass 500), and Temporary Skills Shortage visa (subclass 482).
To be eligible for this visa, you should be below 31 years old, you should have completed in the last two years (before your visa application) a bachelor, masters, or doctoral, or post graduate diploma in a recognised institution in any of the following course of study:
- Civil Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Electrical and Electronics engineering
- Mechanical, Production and Plant Engineering
- Mining and Material Engineering.
English language capability along with health and character requirements should also be satisfied.
In the next section below, I will be comparing at a very high level the Recognised Graduate visa (476) against the following visas to provide an understanding of how the 476 visa can be used in a real life scenario:
Visitor visa (subclass 600)
A Visitor visa is cheaper than a Recent Graduate visa. However, a 476 visa can let you stay longer in Australia (for 18 months) and it also gives you full work rights. You are not allowed to work in Australia if you are holding a Visitor visa.
For example, you are a Mechanical Engineering graduate from UP, you are 23 years old, and right after your graduation, you plan to have a holiday in Australia. You can choose to apply for a visitor visa or if you can satisfy all the criteria for a 476 visa, you can opt to apply for the 476 visa instead, have your holiday and you can also work legally in case a job opportunity presents itself.
Student visa (subclass 500)
Student visa has mandatory Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement and it comes with many visa conditions such as staying enrolled in your course and limited work rights. The 476 visa allows you to work full time or study part time or have a holiday in between. If you plan to study while on a 476 visa, you can enrol in any course you like as you are not required to satisfy the GTE requirement and your course of study does not have to be CRICOS registered.
In addition, the 476 visa is cheaper than a student visa.
Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)
To be eligible for a 482 visa, you should have a job offer and you have an employer who is willing to sponsor you on this visa. While you are holding a 482 visa, you cannot easily change to another employer. Well, you can change employers, but you should get another 482 nomination approved before you can work for your new employer. You are also not allowed to work for another company other than the company who sponsored you.
With the 476 visa, you won’t need any visa sponsorship to start working because you have full work rights. You can move from one employer to another without any risks of your visa getting cancelled and you can work for more than one employer if you like.
In summary, getting an engineering degree from UP makes one eligible for a Recognized Graduate Visa (476). Compared with other common temporary visas, this one offers the holder more benefits and options. Most if all it is less costly.