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Hi there

I need help wrapping my head around converting to a 189 from a 476 (skilled graduate visa). I am currently in Australia and have been here for just over a month. I am looking at beginning the application for PR now so that I can continue to live and work here after my 18 month period is up. The 189 route looks like the best way to go but I'm concerned about processing time. Since I barely reach 65 points as I have little to no experience (basically a grad) I'm trying to push for maximizing points in hopes to get nominated to apply sooner before my current visa expires.

My question is how relevant do they require work experience to be and at what depth does it actually make an impact on your points? Because I originally studied chemical engineering but worked for a year in renewable energy (as an engineer) and now beginning employment with another renewable energy company (now in Aus) in data science. The general consensus is that I should do the skills assessment through Engineers Australia. But it doesn't seem they define renewable energy engineering (it doesn't really have an official discipline definition in engineering) which is ironic due to how much the government emphasizes renewables.

The other route is to go through ACS but then I face the issue of not having the academic background. And it seems that anything under 3 years experience is not worth the home affairs time.

The question is then how likely is it that you can you get an 189 purely on qualifications and no experience?

Thanks for the help!

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You are confusing an Industry with a Profession.

Renewable Energy is an industry sector, not a profession.  The RE sector employs a wide range of Engineering and professional skills.  I have a mate who is a botanist working in the RE sector managing environmental impact studies.  There are Electrical, Chemical, Structural, Hydraulic, Electronic, Civil and Atmospheric Engineers working in the RE sector.  There is (as far as I know) no such thing as a RE Engineer.  There are Enviromental Scientists with specialisations in RE.   

So, you are qualified as a Chem Eng, but currently working in Data Science.  So your profession is a Chemical Engineer, with Data Science experience.  What you are doing is probably applicable to other industries like transport and food production.  Alignment between your qualifications and your work experience is very significant to your Profession.

However, this does not help you with th efact that the Skill Assessment paths all work from very defined profession lists.   Your assessment of the EA and the ACS paths is correct. It's always hard for younger Engineers that are not working in their qualified field.  

You have two choices

  1. Change/compliment your qualifications to align with your current work experience
  2. Change your job/ ongoing work experience to align with your qualifications.

I think Choice 1) above is what you want to do, so my advice is this;

  1. You have to make yourself marketable, useful and relevant to your chosen industry and employers. Historically less than 20% of qualified Engineers actually work in the field they were qualified, as any degree in Engineering sets you up with solid widely applicable skills, useable to any industry.
  2. Decide upon what profession you see your future lies (I agree that RE is a growth industry in Australia, classical Çhem Engineering is a shrinking industry in Australia)
  3. Consider  taking a bridging course or post grad course that bridges your current Degree into your chosen profession, this will help align your qualifications and your work experience. You will get a 500 Visa for this.  A Post Grad or Dip in Data Science, Applied Statistics etc would be a natural extension for any Engineer and would make your current work experience very relevant.
  4. Get as much relevant work experience in you desired field as possible.




Makes me sick, in the fact that I must include a disclaimer. All opinions, advice and comments expressed by me are of my own personal opinion, and not that of a Immigration Agent, Lawyer, or related professional. They are given in the spirit intended, as an independant contributor, to a public forum. No implied, or expressed guarantee or undertaking as to accuracy or relevance is given.


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Thanks for the feedback! So you're saying regardless of the type of qualification, without experience it will be unlikely to get through the 189 visa application? As much as I'd love to do a postgrad here, I don't have the funds or the visa validity time (my current visa experiences Oct 2020) in order to finish it and then reapply. And even if I were to try and appeal to ACS rather than EA, they typically require 5/6 years experience in order to supplement the qualification, which I don't have

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