The temporary graduate visa 485 allows visa allows international students to live, study and work in Australia after they have completed their studies. This article explains how to apply for a temporary graduate visa (subclass 485) in Australia, the different streams, and more
If you are currently studying as an international student in Australia, you may have made the decision to stay once your course ends to find work. This makes solid sense given the range of well-paid jobs on offer in Australia and the excellent opportunities for career progression, especially in the core sectors of manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and financial services. The subclass 485 temporary graduate visa allows international students to live, study and work in Australia after they have completed their studies. The 485 visa scheme is made up of two streams; the graduate work stream and the post-study work stream. In this article, we will explain how to apply for a temporary graduate visa (subclass 485) in Australia, the different streams, and whether you can extend your stay before your visa expires.
It is essential that you do not apply for your 485 graduate visa too early or too late. Firstly, there is a requirement that applicants must have held a study visa in the six months before they apply. Secondly, applicants must provide evidence that they have passed their course of study. Hence, you will need to apply after you have received your results but within six months of your visa expiring. It is important to note that if your study visa has already expired, you must hold a valid visa type (either a Bridging visa A, Bridging visa B, or another substantive visa) when you apply for your graduate visa, otherwise your application will most likely be rejected.
The graduate work stream is one of two options under subclass 485. Applicants have to:
The length of stay under the graduate workstream is up to 18 months (Hong Kong nationals may stay for five years). Processing times are currently nine months for 75% of cases and up to 13 months for 90% of applications. The application fee for the graduate workstream is AUD$1,650.
The post-study work stream differs from the graduate work stream in that applicants must have a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D. Those who are successful in applying for a post-study visa can, however, stay for much longer than under the graduate route;
Applicants using the post-study route must meet the following eligibility requirements:
Processing times are currently eight months for 75% of cases and up to nine months for 90% of applications. The application fee for the post-study workstream is AUD$1,650.
Yes, 485 visa holders can live, travel, study, and work full time for the duration of their stay in Australia.
The official guidance published by the Australian Department for Home Affairs states in relation to the 485 visa, “We can’t grant you this visa if we have previously granted you a subclass 485 or a subclass 476 visa as a primary visa holder”. They will only process applications where the individual has a current student visa or they have held a student visa in the last six months (and they are on another substantive or bridging visa).
The 485 visa cannot be extended in most cases, however, there is an exception for Hong Kong nationals; “Current temporary graduate visa holders from Hong Kong will be eligible for an extension of 5 years (from 9 July 2020) in addition to the time they’ve already been in Australia”. If you are coming to the end of your 485 visa, you may need to consider switching to a different visa type, such as a work visa, family visa, or study visa. If you are unsure which option is best for you, speak to an immigration Solicitor who will be able to advise you.
The application process for a 485 visa is completed online on the Australian Department of Home Affairs ImmiAccount system. You will need to:
You will need to upload several documents with your application, including proof of identity, proof that you have completed your studies, evidence that you have health insurance, police reports proving your good character, and any documents for your spouse/partner and children if they are included in your application.
The 485 graduate and post-study visa scheme in Australia provides an excellent way for international students to get real-world work experience once they have completed their studies. There are little in the way of restrictions on the type of work that can be undertaken, and if you find suitable employment, you may then be able to apply for a full work visa and work towards permanent residency, and ultimately citizenship in Australia.
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