Australian Permanent Residency from Student Visa
What are the available pathways?
Many graduates often wish to remain in Australia following the conclusion of their studies to apply for Australian permanent residency from student visa.
This is often for a variety of reasons. These reasons range from wishing to remain due to finding the lifestyle in Australia to be something they wish to continue with, or potentially even because they have been offered a particular employment opportunity that they wish to undertake on a more permanent basis.
There are many reasons as to why a student visa holder would like to undertake the journey to Australian permanent residency from student visa, and several unique pathways that an applicant can undertake to achieve it.
Australian Permanent Residency from Student Visa – Pathways
Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa Pathway
One of the most obvious options that are available for pursuing a permanent residency pathway that is open to a Student Visa holder, is to apply for a subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa. This is a temporary visa however it brings the graduate student one step closer to the possibility of applying for Australian permanent residency from student visa.
This visa is available to applicants that are under 50 years of age, and who are the holders of a subclass 500 student Visa. In the event that the applicant has recently ceased with holding a student visa, this does not exclude you from applying for this subclass of visa.
Applicants are still eligible to apply for the 485 skilled graduate visa if they were the holder of a subclass 500 student visa within the past six months before they applied for the subclass 485 visa.
Applicants must either be the holder of a substantive visa, or a Bridging Visa A or B within these circumstances. However, if the applicant is outside of Australia at the time of application and has recently held a student visa within the past six months they are still eligible to apply provided that they were not supported by the Foreign Affairs and Trade in acquiring.
You also cannot have held a Subclass 476 Skilled Recognized Graduate Visa or previously applied for a subclass 485 skilled graduate visa.
Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa – Graduate Work and Post-Study Work Streams
There exists two primary streams that an applicant is able to apply for. The first is the Graduate Work Stream. This requires that the applicant must have completed a course of study that meets with the Australian Study Requirement, and additionally have been done within a period of two years minimum.
It must also be a course that has been approved via CRICOS which is a requirement for all of the applicants wishing to apply under this subclass.
There also is the condition that the applicant must have an occupation selected that is offered under the medium-to-long-term skills list and is an approved occupation. The graduate student must obtain a 485 skills assessment in the nominated ocupation. However, as of the present, this condition has been waived until the 30th of June 2023 which means that it is not required for any of the current applications. Under this stream, an applicant is able to stay for up to a period of 18 months.
The second stream that a graduate is capable of applying for whilst under student visa is the post-study work stream. This stream requires the an applicant have been the holder of a student visa in the past six months, and have also completed a CRICOS-registered course which they have achieved an appropriate degree in.
The applicant is also required to ensure that they meet the character requirement, which includes an Australian Federal Police Check having been successfully conducted to ensure that the applicant meets the character standards necessary for holding the visa.
While on both of these streams, an applicant is able to work and study whilst in Australia, gain work experience, meet residency requirements or any other requirements that they need to achieve Australian permanent residency from student visa.
However, it is also important to emphasize that the applicant cannot have had a visa cancelled in order to be eligible. Similarly, they also cannot have had a previous application refused. Additional applicants are also allowed to be brought as long as they are members of the family unit and they will have the same options as the main visa holder to apply for Australian permanent residency from student visa or other visas.
Subclass 476 Skilled-Recognized Graduate Visa Pathway
Another pathway that an applicant is potentially able to utilize to get closer to Australian permanent residency from a student visa, is the subclass 476 Skilled-Recognized Graduate Visa. This is a visa that is open for applicants that are under the age of 31, but it is only available for a very niche subset of graduates.
The requirement for an applicant to be eligible for this subclass of visa is that they must have been awarded engineering qualifications within the past two years before applying for the visa. This engineering degree can range from a bachelor degree all the way up to a post-graduate degree.
As engineering is a versatile degree, some examples of possible engineering fields are found on the website including: civil engineering, structural engineering, chemical engineering, environmental engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, and mechanical engineering to name only a few possible types of engineering.
The applicants degree must also be awarded from an approved institution that are either the holders of accredited qualifications under the Washington Accord, or which are listed in the list of approved education institutions.
An applicant is also required to either be the valid holder of one of the following passports: the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland. Alternatively, if this passport is not held the applicant will need to apply and pass a language skill test in order to showcase that they have the appropriate level of language requirement for being a visa holder.
This test must have been completed at some point in the previous three years, thereby showcasing that they are of a level of English language capability necessary to hold the visa. The applicant must also not have been the holder of a subclass 485 temporary graduate visa before applying for this subclass.
Similarly, they also cannot have been the holder of a subclass 476 Skilled – Recognised Graduate visa unless they were a member of a family unit of a holder.
Finally, the applicant must also not have had a previous visa cancelled. They must also ensure that they have not had a previous visa application be refused to be granted by the department to be eligible for this subclass.
This visa will allow the holder to be eligible to stay within Australia for a period of up to eighteen months, and also allows for additional applicants to be brought, provided they are members of the family unit and eligible to be additional applicants. The option to apply for Australian permanent residency from student visa is open to all of them.
Other skilled visa options for student visa holders
Other options that are available for a graduate who wants to achieve Australian permanent residency from student visa are the Australian partner visa, a skilled independent subclass 189 visa, a skilled nominated 190 visa or a subclass TSS 482 temporary skills shortage visa or subclass 494 employer sponsored regional visa. These options are available to a graduate that is on a student visa, provided that the conditions for the subclass are able to be met by the applicant.