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Australia:485 Skilled Graduate visa

What is the Temporary Graduate 485 visa?

A Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485), also known as a graduate visa, the TGV, or ‘TR’, provides the opportunity for international students to remain in Australia with full work rights for between 18 months and four years.

There are two types of 485 visa:

  • Post-Study Work stream (subclass 485)
  • Graduate Work stream (subclass 485)

The criteria for each of these visas is different and you must ensure you apply for the correct one.

Requirements for the Post-Study Work stream (subclass 485) visa

There are certain Australian Study Requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for this visa.

  • You must have completed an eligible degree in Australia at bachelor level or above.
  • Your course or courses must be at least 92 weeks in length and be no less than 16 months duration.
  • You must have applied for (and had granted) your first student visa after 5 November 2011 to be eligible for this visa.

Requirements for the Graduate Work stream (subclass 485) visa

There are also Australian Study Requirements to be met when applying for this visa.

  • You must have been awarded at least one degree, diploma or trade qualification (with the qualification meeting certain requirements)
  • Your course or courses must be at least 92 weeks in length and be no less than 16 months duration.
  • You must have a Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) occupation, a skills assessment, and meet all other requirements.
  • If you applied for (and had granted) your first student visa before 5 November 2011, you must apply for this visa.

Living and studying in a regional area and the subclass 485 visa

From 20 January 2021, students who studied at degree level or above and lodged a Post-Study Work steam (subclass 485) visa on the basis of studying in a regional area, may be eligible to apply for an additional one to two years to be added to their subclass 485 visas.

Why are Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visas so important?

The TGV visa gives international students an opportunity to gain valuable skills in the workplace, and in some cases, work towards employer sponsorship or skilled migration goals.

Employers can employ subclass 485 visa holders without the need for employer sponsorship arrangements.

When should I lodge my subclass 485 visa?

The 485 visa application should be lodged well before your student visa expiry date.

You must lodge your 485 visa application:

  • Within 6 months of finishing your course*
  • Within 6 months of your student visa expiring*
  • Within Australia*

*COVID-19 concessions are available for some students.

COVID-19 concessions and changes to eligibility

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, some changes were made to the requirements for a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa. These concessions include:

  • You can apply for the subclass 485 visa within 12 months of your course completion date if you were outside of Australia between 1 February 2020 and 19 September 2020 (note: this does not apply to all students, just those offshore for all or part of this time).
  • Online study undertaken outside Australia as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions will count towards the Australian Study Requirement. In addition, these students can apply for their subclass 485 visa from outside of Australia for a limited time (from 1 Feburary 2020 to a date not yet announced).
  • As these are concessions, they will eventually end, and new eligibility rules will be implemented.

Is the 485 visa application easy? Can I apply myself or do I need an agent?

Like any visa, you can apply by yourself, however, you must ensure that you have all the documents you need prior to lodging or you may be refused.

The subclass 485 visa has a number of documents that must be provided at the time you apply. These are known as ‘time of application criteria’. 

Time of application criteria include:

  • Proof of application for police clearance
  • A valid English test result
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of application for skills assessment (Graduate Work stream only)

If you do not have these crucial documents, in most cases your visa will be refused which can be a costly and time-consuming process.

Please contact a Registered Migration Agent at VISA LOUNGE to have all your visa-related questions answered.