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Two excellent Australian visas for South Africans engineers

by Sam Hopwood | Jul 31, 2017
  • If you are a qualified South African engineer, Australia is looking for people with your skills. Whether you’re a fresh graduate or an experienced engineer, you are probably eligible for one of two types of visas - the Skilled Recognised Graduate visa or the Skilled Independent visa.
    Skyscrapers next to a beach in Australia

    Experienced engineers: Get a Skilled Independent visa

    Engineering qualifications are in high-demand in Australia. There are many different engineering occupations on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). Because these occupations are on this list, as an engineer, you have a great chance of successfully applying for a Skilled Independent visa.

    Those engineers who have been in the industry for a few years and are over the age of 31, but younger than 45, can apply for a Skilled Independent visa. This visa is regarded as one of the best to have in Australia.

    Looking for something else? Check out: Other Australian skilled work visas

    Tired of being an engineer? No problem

    If you are an experienced engineer, who wants a change of career, you can still move to Australia on a Skilled Independent visa using your engineering qualification.

    This is possible because the Skilled Independent visa allows the holder of that visa to work anywhere in Australia in any occupation they want. This is why the visa is so sought-after. It also goes a long way to explain why it has such a steep application fee.

    If you’d like to continue working as an engineer, and you’d prefer to pay a bit less for your visa, there is another path you can take.

    The Skilled Recognised Graduate visa

    Australia will welcome you with open arms if you are an engineering graduate, even if you haven’t worked a day in your life. The Skilled Recognised Graduate visa allows engineering graduates to live, work and travel Down Under for up to 18 months.

    The visa has some straightforward requirements:

    • You must be under 31
    • You must have graduated within 24 months of your visa application
    • You must complete an English language test
    • Your qualification must come from a recognised institution

    Bring your family with you

    With both the Skilled Recognised Graduate visa and the Skilled Independent visa you are allowed to bring your partner and dependent children with you.

    Do you have any questions about these two visas?

    Email our expertsLeave a comment below

    Our immigration experts are always available to answer your questions.

    Special mention: Civil engineers pay attention

    Civil engineers are especially in demand in Australia and can expect to earn very well. Take a look at the average earnings below:


    South Africa


    Site Engineer

    ZAR 342,076

    ZAR 779-986,000

    Project Engineer

    ZAR 411,769

    ZAR 935-1,299,000

    Senior Project Engineer

    ZAR 766,171

    ZAR 1,299 -1,560,000

    Project Manager

    ZAR 369,795

    ZAR 1,560 – 2,286,000

    Engineers with experience or interest in infrastructure projects are also in high demand. This is not to suggest other engineers are not in demand, and if you have any engineering qualification I highly recommend you explore your Australian immigration options with an Australian immigration expert.

    Interview with Quintessential Engineering

    If you’re interested in heading to Australia and you’re an engineer, I recently had a chat with Quintessential Engineering discussing these two visa options. Have a listen and feel free to ask any questions you have in the comments below.

    Contact the team on +61 (1) 800 039 300 or drop us an email at with any questions you might have about these visas.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


    25 Richefond Circle
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

    United Kingdom


    Castlewood House
    77/91 New Oxford Street
    WC1A 1DG +44 (0) 20 7759 7514


    5-7 Selsdon Road
    South Croydon
    CR2 6PU +44 (0) 20 7759 7581



    9 Yarra Street
    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services License issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS License number 335 126).

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