Temporary Graduate Visa

The journey of an international student is a transformative experience, blending academic pursuits with cultural immersion. As an international student, it is possible that you might somehow be looking to stay in Australia after you complete your studies. If this is the case, you may qualify for a Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485).

The 485 visa is an excellent method to obtain substantial employment experience in Australia, as it allows you to work either full-time or part-time after completing your studies in Australia. It can also serve as a stepping stone to other visas, such as the skilled visa subclasses 189 or 190. Depending on the qualification studied, this visa can be granted for up to four years (5 years for Hong Kong passport holders).

The Graduate Skilled Visa is made of four visa streams, namely;

  1. The Graduate Work Stream,
  2. Post Study Work Stream,
  3. Second Post Study Work Stream,
  4. The new COVID-19 Replacement Stream.

Your level of eligibility is determined by the degree of qualification you earned in Australia as well as the date you filed for and were granted your first student visa to Australia.

Without further ado let’s get right into these streams;

Graduate Work Stream

The Graduate Work Stream caters to graduates of trade, vocational, or technical qualifications. This stream is particularly advantageous for individuals who have acquired skills and expertise that align with the skilled occupation list. They are eligible for a visa that is valid for up to 24 months.

You may submit an application for this visa through the Graduate Work Stream Program If you satisfy the following requirements;

  • Are a minimum of 18 years old and under 50 years old.
  • Choose an occupation from the list of eligible skilled occupations for the 485 visas.
  • Have been evaluated by a relevant evaluating authority as suitable for your chosen occupation Have an adequate English language ability.
  • Have earned either a Degree, Diploma, or Trade Qualification that is closely related to your chosen skilled occupation.
  • and have satisfied the Australian Study Requirement (min. 92 weeks). There are some changes to the Australian Study Requirements: Current student visa holders who study online outside of Australia as a result of COVID-19 will be allowed to use that study to satisfy the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa.
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Post-Study Work Stream

The Post-Study Work Stream of the Temporary Graduate Visa is designed for graduates with higher education degrees. This stream empowers graduates to explore diverse career avenues, gain practical work experience, and contribute to the Australian economy. It offers graduates an extended stay in Australia for up to four years, depending on the highest educational qualification obtained (automatic 5 years for Hong Kong passport-bearers).

You can apply for this visa under the Post Study Work Visa Stream if you:

  • Are a minimum of 18 years old and under the age of 50.
  • Between now and after November 5, 2011, you sought and were granted your first student visa to Australia.
  • Have in the previous six months, completed an approved qualification from an Australian educational institution;
  • Have completed the Australian study requirement (minimum of 92 weeks CRICOS certified courses) in the previous six months.

The duration of the visa is determined by the fulfillment of the following tasks:

  • Bachelor’s degree (with honors)
  • 2 years master’s degree by coursework
  • 2 years master’s degree in research
  • 3 years doctorate degree: 4 years
  • Holders of a Hong Kong passport who have completed a bachelor’s master’s, or doctorate degree: 5 years

Qualifications Required

Only studies that result in the conferral of an eligible degree level qualification will be considered when applying for a subclass 485 visa under the Post Study Work stream. A degree level qualification that is eligible is one of the following:

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor’s degree (honors)
  • Master of Arts in Coursework
  • Master of Science (Extended)
  • Masters of Science in Research
  • a doctorate degree

Second Post-Study Work Visa Stream

Recipients of a first Temporary Graduate visa in the post-study work stream who obtained a degree from an Australian institution situated in a regional area may be allowed an additional stay period of 1 or 2 years based on the:

  • Regional district of your college from which you completed your studies for the first post study visa.
  • and regional area in which you resided as the recipient of your first post study temporary graduate stream visa.

This visa is valid for one year if you lived and studied in a Category 2* regional district. And it is also valid for two years if you have resided or completed your education in a Category 3* regional area.

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Note that Regions such as Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Geelong, and Hobart are classified as ‘Cities and Major Regional Centers’ – Category 2* while Category 3 Regions are regions other than the ones mentioned above.

COVID-19 Replacement Stream

Current or previous Temporary Graduate visa holders who sacrificed time in Australia due to COVID-19 travel limitations will be able to apply for and acquire a new 485 Temporary Graduate Visa beginning 1 July 2022 and ending 1 January 2027.

Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to be considered:

  • possess or received a Graduate Work Stream or first Post Study Work Stream Temporary Graduate visa. This visa must have been granted before 15 December 2021 and be valid on or after 1 February 2020.
  • You missed time on your visa due to Australia’s COVID-19 travel limitations. This means that;
    • If you were in Australia when your original Temporary Graduate visa was granted, you have been outside of Australia while holding this visa between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021
    • And if you were outside Australia when your original Temporary Graduate visa was granted, you entered Australia on that visa and departed Australia on that visa before 15 December 2021.

You will have the same grant period as your previous visa, with the following exceptions:

  • If you were previously given a two-year Post Study Work visa as a result of your Master of Coursework certificate, you will now be granted three years.
  • If you were previously awarded an 18-month Graduate Work Stream visa, you will now be issued a 2-year visa. But bear in mind that this is a temporary fix.

Is OSHC (overseas student health cover) necessary to support my application for a temporary graduate visa (subclass 485)?

If you have a valid Student visa, you will already be insured under an Overseas Student Health Cover policy at the time of application. It is suggested that you begin your Overseas Visitors Health Coverage (OVHC) on the day your student visa expires and show proof of your OVHC when applying for a 485 visa.

How to submit an Application for a Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485)

Applications can be made via the Internet at the Department of Home Affairs. Carefully get all the necessary documents together to finish the application and payment to ensure your visa application is valid.

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Fees and processing timelines

The fee for applying for a temporary graduate visa (subclass 485) varies depending on the kind. The processing time will be determined by your workflow. Click here to view the processing time for all student visas.

Benefits of the Temporary Graduate Visa

The Temporary Graduate Visa offers a multitude of advantages, positioning it as a springboard for graduates’ post-study endeavors:

  • Graduate Work Stream participants may stay for up to 24 months (5 years if they hold a Hong Kong passport).
  • Stay in the Post-Study Work Stream for up to four years (five years if you have a Hong Kong passport).
  • Traveling, working, and studying.
  • Bring your close family (spouse and children).
  • After three years, persons who study at a regional campus and choose to live and work in regional Australia will be eligible for permanent residency.

The Temporary Graduate Visa serves as a catalyst for graduates to bridge the gap between academia and employment. By enabling graduates to gain work experience in Australia, the visa not only enhances their skills but also allows them to build valuable industry connections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I apply for the Temporary Graduate Visa if I have studied online due to COVID-19?

A: Yes, the Australian government has introduced flexibility to consider online study due to the pandemic.

Q: Is there an age limit for applying for the Temporary Graduate Visa?

A: No, there is no specific age limit for this visa category.

Q: Can I include family members in my application?

A: Yes, family members can be included, allowing them to join you in Australia.

Q: Can I switch to a different visa category after the Temporary Graduate Visa expires?

A: Depending on individual circumstances and intentions, it may be possible to switch to another visa category to continue your stay in Australia.

Q: Can I apply for permanent residency after the Temporary Graduate Visa expires?

A: Depending on your individual situation and eligibility, the Temporary Graduate Visa can serve as a stepping stone towards permanent residency.

Q: Do I need a job offer to apply for the Temporary Graduate Visa?

A: No, a job offer is not a mandatory requirement for the Temporary Graduate Visa application.

By Michael

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