Australian Engineering Graduates Can Access the Subclass 476 Recognised Graduate Visa


What is not widely understood is that Australian engineering graduates can access the temporary visa, the subclass 476 Recognised Graduate Visa. Engineering is the only discipline applying for this visa. But in 2014 the list of qualifying universities was expanded to include all Washington Accord Universities.  Most, if not all Australian universities are recognised via the Washington Accord.

There is no condition 8503 applied to this visa hence it is a pathway to permanent residence and both the direct entry ENS and skilled visa options are available for this visa while holding this visa in Australia although for permanent residence a skill assessment is required.

This visa is a very useful rescue visa for a student who has fouled up on the subclass 485 visa requirements. The writer has used this visa while waiting for Tribunal review for a subclass 485 visa refusal. It all worked in much shorter time than waiting for a tribunal hearing and decision.

There are no work restrictions, the visa holder can work for any employer for any period or do any study or even not work at all.

Here’s how it works legally. The legislative instrument F2014L00130 [07/02/2014] being IMMI 14/010 specifies each institution :

(a)    whose name is published on the website of an accrediting body that is a signatory to the Washington Accord; AND
(b)    that conducts a course that is accredited by that accrediting body under the Washington Accord;

The Washington Accord is found at The Washington Accord, signed in 1989, is an international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programs. It recognizes the substantial equivalency of programs accredited by those bodies.

Engineers Australia is recognised under that accord as an accredited program. In turn Engineers Australia recognises a host of Australian Universities as meeting the Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer (see :

The visa has no work restrictions meaning that the visa holder is not required to work as an engineer. The applicant can do any work for any employer or no work at all or some work or undertake any study of any kind.

The English requirement is an IELTS 6 or equivalent at time of application. Note that 6 is now an average with a minimum of 5 in each of components of reading, writing, listening & speaking.

It is an easy visa to get, the only complication is that the visa applicant must be offshore at time of application and time of decision. This may involve 2 visits offshore and if the applicant is returning to Australia after the first departure, a document must be attached to the internet application advising the delegate that the applicant is ready, willing and able to go offshore for the purpose of grant. The writer had the experience of using this process, the applicant left Australia in the afternoon of one day, Immigration was notified and the visa grant occurred next morning. Essentially all that is required is a certified copy of the engineering degree. Visa processing time is very short.

The course must have been completed in the 24 months up to the date of visa application.  The health 4005 criteria applies and for this visa it is covered in the PAM in ‘The health matrix for temporary visa applicants’.  Generally if the health declaration raises no problems and the person is not from a TB risk country then no health examination is required.

Penal certificates are not normally required although it would be useful to have one, certainly from Australia.

By policy it is an 18 month visa time running from the first entry to Australia after grant.  Secondary visa applicants are permitted.

Note under the Washington Accord that India & Sri Lanka were added as signatories in 2014.

Here is the full list of accredited programs :

Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Mexico, Philippines, Peru and Costa Rica negotiating to join the Accord but are not yet full signatories.

The Legislative Instrument also specifically recognises the following institutions, outside of the Washington Accord :


ArgentinaCatholic University of Argentina

BrazilFederal University of Minas Gerais

ChileUniversidad Catolica del Norte Catholic University of Chile -Antofagasta


University of Chile

University of Concepcion

FinlandHUT, Helsinki

GermanyRWTH, Aachen


Technical University of Berlin

Technical University of Clausthal

TU Bergakademie Freiberg

University of Hannover

HungaryUniversity of Miskolc

IndiaAnna University—Chennai


Banaras Hindu University—Varanasi

Indian Institute of Science—Bangalore

Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Indian School of Mines—Dhanbad

IranAmir Kabir University of Technology


University of Tehran

PRC ChinaBeijing Normal University


Beijing Petroleum University

Beijing University of Chemical Technology

Beijing University of Technology (formerly Beijing Polytechnic University)

China University of Mining & Technology—Beijing

Guangzhou University

Shanghai University of Engineering Science

Shanghai Jiaotong University

Tongji University

Tsinghua University

University of Science and Technology—Beijing

PhilippinesUniversity of the Philippines

PolandWroclaw University of Technology

SlovakiaTU Kosice

SwedenLulea University of Technology

TanzaniaUniversity of Dar es Salaam

Barbara Davidson