Abstract: In the present study, different finite element (FE) models were prepared to investigate weld induced residual stresses in thick multi-pass butt welded joint of SA516 Gr. 70 plates. Both 3D and 2D full geometry models and their axisymmetric half models were taken into consideration. The competence of these FE models on the accuracy of predicting residual stress distribution across the weld cross-section was investigated by comparing it with the experimental results. Blind hole drilling technique and deep hole drilling technique were employed to evaluate the surface and through-thickness residual stress distributions, respectively. In addition, the change in volume and yield strength of weld material due to austenitic phase transformation was also incorporated in the material modeling to observe the effect of solid-state phase transformation (SSPT) on the evaluation of residual stresses. Computed residual stresses obtained from different FE models indicate that the 3D FE models procured the best accuracy compared with the experimental results. On the other hand, 2D models can save a significant amount of computational time with reasonable accuracy. Incorporation of SSPT in the 3D FE full model exhibited a better agreement of predicted results with the experimental measurements. Graphic Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.] © 2021, The Korean Institute of Metals and Materials.