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A Professional Year is a professional development program combining both formal learning and workplace experience for international students who have graduated from a university in Australia. Professional Year Programs run for 12 months and are currently available in the fields of accounting, computer science and engineering. These fields are included, as they have been identified as areas of high graduate demand.
Professional Year Programs are designed for students who wish to apply for permanent residency in Australia. They allow development of industry-specific skills through work experience, on the job training and additional study, preparing them for professional careers in the Australian workforce. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) only recognises government approved Professional Year Programs.
Professional year programs are currently available in:
CPA Australia Skilled Migration Internship Program: Accounting (SMIPA)
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Skilled Migration Internship Program: Accounting
Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) Skilled Migration Internship Program: Accounting
The Australian Computer Society Professional Year Program
Engineers Australia Professional Year Program
Why complete a Professional Year Program?
The value of the Professional year program is not simply limited to gaining some extra work experience, although gaining valuable work experience in an Australian company would be enough to justify the program. You also get the opportunity to make contacts in your industry through your work placement and any further study or professional groups you become involved with. Additionally, you can improve your understanding of Australian culture and practices within the workplace. You can learn about the nuances of professional communication in the Australian context.
Finally, you will be eligible to receive five extra points on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) ‘points test’ when applying for a Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa.
Who is eligible for a Professional Year Program?
To be eligible for the Professional Year Program, you need to meet 2 criteria:
- You must hold a Skilled — Graduate visa (subclass 485); and
- You will need to have completed a degree in one of the eligible fields, or a very closely related area, in Australia.
Engineering graduates with degrees from eligible institutions outside Australia are also eligible to complete a Professional Year Program in engineering.
A recognised graduate visa (Subclass 476) will be required.
Please contact us for further information and advice about completing a professional year and obtaining the appropriate visa.