Post Study Work Visa in Australia
Having worked hard to complete your degree as an international student in Australia, you may have decided that you want to kickstart your new career with your fresh qualification as soon as possible. If you would like to do this in Australia, you can take advantage of the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) Post-Study Work stream. It makes sense to stay in Australia to find your first graduate role, given that you can expect to receive a competitive wage. You will also be able to choose from a range of employers in Australia which are cutting edge in their field, whether this is in finance, engineering, business, IT, manufacturing, or a range of other sectors for which the country has a robust reputation. The Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) Post-Study Work stream also provides particular advantages over and above those enjoyed by work visa holders. In this article, we will explain the rules and conditions which apply to the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) Post-Study Work stream, the eligibility criteria, how to apply, the application fees, and processing time.
Who Is The Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) Post-Study Work Stream For?
As the name suggests, the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) Post-Study Work stream is designed for international students who have recently graduated with a degree-level qualification from an Australian educational establishment. What makes this visa attractive is that it enables holders to stay in Australia to live, study, and work; but there is no immediate pressure to have a job in order to gain the visa. The visa is typically granted for between two and four years (depending on your qualification), and hence you have the time to find a suitable role.
What Are The Conditions Typically Attached To A Post-Study Work Visa In Australia?
With a post-study work visa, you will be able to stay in Australia for between two to four years after you have finished your studies, and travel, work or study in Australia during your stay. The length of stay granted on your visa is based on the type of course you completed, as follows:
- bachelor degree (including honours): two years
- masters by coursework: two years
- masters by research: three years
- doctoral degree: four years
- Hong Kong passport holders who successfully complete a bachelor, masters or doctoral degree: five years
This visa is not extendable, but if you bear in mind that the main purpose of this visa is to find employment, you will be able to switch to another skilled work visa once you have a job before it expires.
Can I Bring My Family Members To Australia On A Post-Study Work Visa?
Absolutely; the post-study visa allows applicants to include dependant family members on their application (as such, those family members do not need to apply separately and individually). Eligible family members include:
- your spouse or de facto partner
- your child, or their partner's child, who is not engaged, married or in a de facto relationship and is:
- aged 18 years, or
- aged 18 to 23 years and dependent on the main applicant or the main applicant's partner, or
- aged 23 years or older and dependent on the main applicant or the main applicant's partner due to a partial or total physical or mental disability
- the dependent child of the child above
Am I Eligible For A Post-Study Work Visa In Australia?
The main criteria for this visa are that you have graduated in the last six months with a degree from an Australian education provider. The course you have completed must be CRICOS registered. CRICOS is the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students, which is a department of the Australian Government's Department of Education, Skills, and Employment. Assuming your course is on the approved list, then you will also need to meet the following criteria:
- be under 50 years of age
- hold an eligible visa (i.e. such as a study visa or a bridging visa)
- have held a student visa in the last six months
- provide evidence of adequate health insurance for all applicants when you apply
- provide evidence you have applied for an Australian Federal Police (AFP) check when you apply
- provide evidence of the required level of English with the application
When you apply, you will need to be on a valid visa (i.e. not be an overstayer). This means that one of the following must apply:
- you have a current student visa
- you held a student visa in the last six months prior to applying, and you now have a Bridging Visa A or Bridging Visa B
- you held a student visa within the past six months before your application, and you now hold a substantive visa
- COVID-19 exception: you are no longer the holder of a student visa, but if you have been impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions and unable to travel to Australia to apply for a Temporary Graduate visa, provided you have held a student visa within the last 12 months, you are eligible to apply
In addition to the above requirements, you will also need to meet the health and character requirements (this applies to you as the main applicant, and your family members who are included on your application).
What Are The Application Fees And Processing Times?
At the time of writing (November 2020), the application fee for a post-graduate work visa in Australia is AUD1,650, and 75% of applications are processed within 90 days.
The Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) Post-Study Work stream provides a considerable amount of freedom and flexibility to international students who have recently graduated from an Australian university. After the pressure of having to study intensely for your final exams, knowing that you can stay but not have to find work immediately can be extremely reassuring. We wish you all the best with the remainder of your studies in Australia and finding a fantastic role once you graduate.