485 visa new rules 2024

485 Visa new rules 2024

485 visa new rules 2024

In December 2023, the Australian Government unveiled a significant overhaul to its migration strategy, with a pronounced focus on enhancing the quality and integrity of international education and temporary skilled migration.

Among these changes, the reform of the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) stands out as a pivotal adjustment poised to reshape the landscape for international students in Australia.

This article delves into the essence of these updated 485 visa rules set to take effect in 2024, offering a detailed exploration of their implications for prospective applicants.

Elevating English Proficiency Standards

A cornerstone of the 2024 reforms is the elevation of English language requirements for 485 visa applicants.

The Australian Government has raised the bar, increasing the minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score from 6.0 to 6.5 for Temporary Graduate visa aspirants.

This move underscores the emphasis on linguistic proficiency, ensuring that graduates possess the necessary language skills to thrive in professional environments.

Additionally, for students undertaking English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS), the requisite IELTS score has been set to a minimum of 5.0 or its equivalent.

Reflecting a commitment to rigorous language competency, the validity period of English language proficiency tests has been notably reduced from three years to a single year.

Introducing the Genuine Student Test

Replacing the previous Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement, the new Genuine Student Test (GST) aims to more thoroughly assess the intentions of visa applicants.

This measure is designed to fortify the integrity of the international student cohort, ensuring that those who come to Australia are genuinely seeking to advance their education and contribute to the community.

Revising Age and Stay Duration Limits

The updated rules introduce a significant reduction in the maximum age limit for 485 visa applicants, lowering it from 50 to 35 years.

This shift targets younger professionals and recent graduates, aligning with Australia’s strategy to attract emerging talent.

Moreover, the duration of stay permitted under the 485 visa will be adjusted based on qualifications, with a general trend towards shorter stays.

This change reflects a strategic approach to temporary migration, encouraging students to gain valuable Australian work experience before returning to their home countries or transitioning to other visa categories.

Restricting Post-Study Work Rights Extensions

In a move to streamline post-study pathways, the new policy eliminates the possibility of extending post-study work rights, except for graduates who have completed their studies in designated regional areas.

This exception underscores the government’s initiative to promote regional development and distribute the benefits of international education more evenly across the country.

Streamlining Visa Categories

The reform simplifies the subclass 485 visa structure by renaming its streams to Post-Higher Education Work and Post-Vocational Education Work, providing clearer distinctions between the pathways.

Furthermore, the Replacement Stream and the subclass 476 visa will be discontinued, reducing complexity and focusing on streamlined categories that better reflect the goals of Australia’s migration strategy.

Implications for International Students

The 2024 changes to the 485 visa rules represent a significant pivot in Australia’s approach to international education and skilled migration.

By elevating standards and tightening requirements, the government aims to attract a higher calibre of students and professionals who can contribute meaningfully to the Australian economy and society.

For prospective international students, these updates necessitate careful planning and preparation.

Achieving higher English proficiency levels, understanding the new GST, and navigating the revised visa streams will be crucial steps in successfully applying for a 485 visa.

Furthermore, these changes highlight the importance of considering regional study options, which may offer additional benefits in terms of post-study work rights.


As Australia recalibrates its migration strategy to enhance the quality of its educational and skilled migration programs, international students must stay informed and adapt to these evolving requirements.

The updated 485 visa rules for 2024 challenge applicants to meet higher standards but also promise to maintain Australia’s reputation as a premier destination for quality education and professional development.

For those aiming to embark on this journey, understanding and preparing for these changes will be key to unlocking opportunities in Australia’s dynamic and competitive environment.

If you’re considering applying for a 485 visa and seek more information or assistance with the application process, reaching out to our knowledgeable migration agent in Perth.

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