Temporary Graduate 485 Visa and Proposed changes to 485 Visa
Australia, known for its commitment to nurturing global talent, offers the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) as a pathway for international students to transition from academic life into meaningful employment and permanent residency. In 2024 significant reforms are set to refine the subclass 485 visa, aligning it with the nation’s strategic workforce needs and enhancing its appeal for talented graduates worldwide.
The subclass 485 visa is set to undergo transformative changes, becoming more targeted and efficient.
These changes aim to ensure that graduates who choose to stay are those whose skills and contributions are most needed. Key updates include-
- The time international graduates can stay will be shorter. if you graduate with a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree, you can stay for 2 years. If you do a Master’s by research or a PhD, you can stay for 3 years.
- The focus is on skills that are really needed. If international graduates don’t have these in-demand skills, they won’t be allowed to stay in Australia.
- There are new rules about age and English. Now, you need to be under 35 years old (it used to be 50), and your English needs to be a bit better (IELTS score from 6 to 6.5).
- If you study in certain areas outside the big cities i.e. in regional areas, you might get a chance for a second visa. This second visa can last 1 to 2 years, depending on where you are.
The current 485 visa requirement and eligibility
The subclass 485 visa is structured into distinct streams, each designed to cater to the unique aspirations of international graduates:
Post Study Work Stream (PSWS)
The Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) offers international graduates of Australian institutions a 2 to 6-year work visa.
Eligibility requires completion of a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate degree in a minimum of 2 academic years.
The visa, with no specific occupation list or skills assessment needed, provides full work and study rights and freedom to travel in and out of Australia. Processing time is currently 2-3 months.
Key features include-
- Validity depends on qualification level (PhD: 4 years, Master’s by Research: 3 years, other Master’s/Bachelor’s: 2 years).
- First student visa must be applied for post-5 November 2011.
- Australian studies must be CRICOS-registered, lasting 2 academic years or 92 weeks.
- English proficiency proof is required. To demonstrate English proficiency, one must either hold a passport from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, or New Zealand, or meet the minimum scores in one of the following tests: IELTS (average 6, minimum 5 per band), OET (B pass in each band), PTE Academic (average 50, minimum 36 per band), TOEFL iBT (total 64, with specific minimums in each section), or Cambridge (CAE) (average 169, minimum 154 per band).
- Health insurance and medical checks are mandatory.
- Australian Federal Police checks are required for the applicant and family members over 16.
- Application must be within 6 months of course completion, holding or having held a student visa.
- Bridging A visa provides full work rights during processing.
As of 25 November 2023, online study reverts to pre-COVID norms, but online study during the COVID period (1 February 2020 to 25 November 2023) still counts. The subclass 485 visa can now be granted regardless of the applicant’s location at the time of grant.
Post study work rights for select degrees in areas of verified skill shortages will be increased from-
- Two years to four years for select Bachelor’s degrees.
- Three years to five years for select Masters degrees.
- Four years to six years for select PhDs.
The full list of eligible courses is available here.
Graduate Work Stream
The Graduate Work 485 Visa is an 18-month pathway for international students who have completed at least two academic years of study in Australia and nominated an occupation from MLTSSL list.
This visa provides a valuable opportunity for graduates to extend their stay, gain work experience, and potentially transition to permanent residency through General Skilled Migration or employer sponsorship.
Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders may stay up to 5 years.
- Australian Study Requirements- Completion of a degree, diploma, or trade qualification from a CRICOS-registered course. The course must be completed in English and in Australia over a minimum of 16 calendar months and 92 weeks of study. Courses can be combined to meet the two-year requirement under certain conditions.
- Skills Assessment- It is necessary to nominate an occupation and your skill must be assessed by a relevant assessing authority as having skills suitable for your nominated occupation. When submitting your visa application, it is mandatory to include proof that you have initiated the process for a skills assessment. Failure to provide this evidence will result in your application not being processed.
- English Language Requirements- When applying for a 485 visa, you must prove your proficiency in English. This can be done by holding a passport from the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, or New Zealand. Alternatively, you can meet the language requirement through various tests: achieve an overall average of 6 and a minimum of 5 in each band in the IELTS (Academic or General Training), a B Pass in each band of the Occupational English Test (OET), an overall average of 50 with at least 36 in each band in the Pearson (PTE Academic), a total score of 64 with minimum scores of 4 in Listening and Reading and at least 14 in Writing and Speaking in the TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test), or an overall average of 169 with at least 154 in each band in the Cambridge (CAE) test.
- Health Insurance and Checks-Adequate health insurance cover is mandatory. A health check and Australian Federal Police Check are required for the applicant and family members over 16.
- Application Timing and Bridging Visa- The application must be lodged within six months of course completion, and the applicant must hold or have held a student visa in the last six months. A Bridging A visa is generally granted upon application, providing full work rights while the 485 visa is processed.
Updates as of 25 November 2023-Online study requirements reverted to pre-COVID standards, with certain concessions for the COVID period. The subclass 485 visa can be granted regardless of the applicant’s location at the time of the grant.
485 Visa Extension- Second Post-Study Work Stream
This visa stream is for holder of Temporary Graduate visa in the Post-Study Work stream or a Temporary Graduate visa in the Replacement stream.
Your Australian education provider must be registered on CRICOS, and the campus attended should be situated in a designated regional area (Category 2) or regional centre (Category 3).
The qualification obtained should be the basis for your first Temporary Graduate visa in the post-study work stream. Depending on your residence in these categories, additional visa lengths are allocated.
485 Visa Replacement Stream
This special visa extension is designed for individuals who held or currently hold a Temporary Graduate visa and were impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Eligible applicants must have held a Graduate Work stream, or first Post Study Work Stream Temporary Graduate visa granted before December 15, 2021, and valid on or after February 1, 2020. Applicants must have lost time on their visa due to the travel restrictions.
Additional eligibility includes not having the Temporary Graduate visa or any subsequent visa cancelled, unless revoked at the applicant’s request or overturned by the Tribunal.
Including Family Members on 485 Visa
The subclass 485 visa allows you to include your family in your journey, recognizing the importance of having a support system as part of your success story in Australia.
485 Visa fee
485 Visa fee for graduate work, post-study work and replacement stream is starting from $1,895 and for second post study work stream is $745.
Embarking on the journey from a Temporary Graduate Visa in Australia involves meticulous planning and adherence to visa requirements.
Given the complexity and frequent updates in immigration policies, consulting with a best migration agent in Perth.
What is 485 Visa English requirements?
When applying for a 485 visa, you must prove your proficiency in English. This can be done by holding a passport from the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, or New Zealand.
Alternatively, you can meet the language requirement through various tests: achieve an overall average of 6 and a minimum of 5 in each band in the IELTS (Academic or General Training), a B Pass in each band of the Occupational English Test (OET), an overall average of 50 with at least 36 in each band in the Pearson (PTE Academic), a total score of 64 with minimum scores of 4 in Listening and Reading and at least 14 in Writing and Speaking in the TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test), or an overall average of 169 with at least 154 in each band in the Cambridge (CAE) test.
What is 485 Visa processing time?
Graduate Work stream- 50% application processed in 5 months and 90% processed in 8 months.
Post- Study Work Stream- 50% application processed in 38 days and 90% processed in 83 days.
What are the new rules for TR in Australia?
The new rule proposed for TR are mentioned above under the heading 485 Visa proposed new rules – The 2024 Vision for Subclass 485 Visa.
What are 485 Visa to PR pathways?
485 Visa to PR pathways are discussed in detail in our blog post. Please click here to read the post.