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So in a couple of months I will have an engineering degree and would like to make use of the Subclass 476 engineering visa (allowing me to work for up to 18 momths in the engineering field, which can only be applied for under the age of 31, and up to 2 years after graduation). This is mainly so I can be with my girlfriend in Australia, since she's used up her Canadian visa options, and now has a stable job in Australia. I would also gain some work experience to use towards a Subclass 189 (permanent resident visa) later on (also scored 9 band on the IELTS to use as points towards it as well).

So here's the dilemma: In a couple months my girlfriend will be having her graduation ceremony from her University in Australia, which she delayed for a whole year just so I could be there for it. So I was planning on just doing a 3 - 6 month travel visa to be there for it, and while I wait for the 476 visa to go through (which can take anywhere from 3-12 months to process). The only problem is you're allowed to be in Australia when you lodge the 476 application, but not when it is granted (and there's no way to guess the day it'll be granted).

After graduating I'll have 65 points out of the 60 required for permanent residency via an EOI for the subclass 189. But there's no gauantee that will be enough compared to other applicants in the pool that may have more points than me. 1 year of engineering work in Australia would give me an extra 5 points bringing my score to 70. There's also a work sponsorship visa that could give me up to 4 years of experience in Australia in my profession (bringing my points to 75) but it's hard to get as an employer has to prove that they can't hire someone from Australia instead.

Maybe I'll have enough points for the subclass 189, and I can do a working holiday, just to get to Australia in the meantime, then do the EOI and hope to get picked out of the pool (but that might waste the opportunity to get the working experience from the 476 which I won't be able to apply for two years after graduating). Easiest solution would be to apply for the 476 visa and wait for it to go through, but will miss my girlfriends graduation. Could also get a travel visa just to be there for the ceremony, then fly back to Canada while the 476 processes, then fly back to Australia when it's granted, but that would cost thousands in flight tickets.

So what should I do?
 
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