The Temporary Graduate subclass 485 visa is a work visa for international students who have completed 2 years of study in Australia. It can last from between 18 months and 4 years depending on your situation.

It is a good way to extend your stay in Australia to improve your chances of becoming eligible for a permanent or provisional skilled visa.

Eligibility Streams

There are two eligibility streams for the Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 Visa:

  • Post Study Work Stream: commonly referred to as the Post Study Work Visa (PSWV). This eligibility stream was introduced in March 2013 for students applying for their first student visa after 5 November 2011
  • The Graduate Work Stream: criteria are similar to the 485 Graduate Skilled visa as it was prior to March 2013

Common Criteria

There are a number of criteria which are common to both the PSWV (Post Study Work) stream and the Graduate Work Stream:

Age

The main applicant must be under 50 at the date of lodgement.

English language ability

You can show this if you have either of the following:

  • You hold a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland and you are a citizen of that country.
  • You have achieved an overall score of at least 6 with a minimum a score of 5 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test that has been undertaken in the three years immediately prior to lodging the visa application.
  • You have achieved a score of at least ‘B’ in each of the four test components of an Occupational English Test (OET) that has been undertaken in the three years immediately prior to lodging the visa application.
  • You have achieved a total score of at least 64 with the following minimum test scores in each of the four test components: 4 for listening, 4 for reading, 14 for writing and 14 for speaking, in a Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) test that has been undertaken in the three years immediately prior to lodging the visa application.
  • You have achieved an overall test score of at least 50 with a minimum score of 36 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic that has been undertaken in the three years immediately prior to lodging the visa application.
  • You have achieved an overall test score of at least 169 with a minimum score of at least 154 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test that has been undertaken on or after 1 January 2015 and prior to lodging the visa application.

You must have sat the English language test in the three years before you apply, and the results should be lodged with your application.

Australian Study Requirement

The main requirements in meeting the 2 year “Australian Study Requirement” are as follows:

  • Type of Qualification: You must complete a degree, diploma or trade qualification. Masters, graduate diplomas and PhDs are considered degrees and so may be counted towards the 2-year study requirement.
  • CRICOS registration: The courses completed must be on the approved list of courses for international students (CRICOS). There can be issues if your course or educational institution is deregistered prior to completion of your studies.
  • Two Academic Years: this is defined as being at least 92 weeks according to the CRICOS registration of the courses.
  • 16 Month Duration: the course must take at least 16 months of study in Australia from the beginning of the course till completion.
  • English Medium: All instruction must be in English. There can be issues with this requirement in the case of translation/interpreting qualifications.
  • Compliance with Visa Conditions: Study must be in compliance with visa conditions to count towards the 2-year study requirement. This will not in general be an issue if you are studying in Australia on a student visa, but could be an issue if you are studying on a visa with restricted study rights.

Apply in Australia Not Overseas

The primary applicant must be in Australia when they make their application for a 485 visa, and must have held an eligible student visa within the 6 month period prior to lodgement.

Including Family Members

You can include the following types of family members in your application:

  • Spouses, defacto partners and same-sex partners
  • Dependent children

If you already hold a 485 visa, you can apply for family members to join you in Australia on 485 visas.

Duration and Conditions

Duration of the 485 visa will depend on your circumstances.

Gradate Work stream visas are valid for 18 months from the date of grant of the application.

Duration of the PSWV depends on which qualification has been completed in Australia as follows:

  • 2 years: completion of Bachelor Degree, Bachelor with Honours, Masters by Coursework or Masters (Extended)
  • 3 years: Masters by Research
  • 4 years: Doctorate

Whilst on a 485 visa, you have unrestricted work rights in Australia.

You must maintain private health insurance whilst on a skilled graduate visa.

Time Limit

Students looking at a Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 visa must apply within 6 months of completion of qualification. However, you should consider the following:

  • The completion date is the date you are notified of your final results, not your graduation date (which may be many months after you complete studies).
  • In most cases, your student visa will expire within a few weeks or months of completion of your studies. You will need to apply for a further visa before your student visa expires and this in practice is a tighter deadline.
  • You can claim points for Australian study even if it has been more than 6 months from the date you completed your studies.

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