Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 Class VC visa for international students
International students who have recently completed their studies may be eligible to apply for a Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa.
Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa allows under 50 international students to live and work in Australia for between 18 months and 48 months.
You must complete at least 1 registered course that was completed in a total of at least 16 calendar months and was completed as a result of a total of at least 2 academic years study. Your qualification must be closely related to your nominated occupation (click here to learn more). The medium of instruction must be in English and you must have studied or completed the course in Australia while holding a visa that permitted you to study. You may not meet this Australian study requirement if you have completed most of your course components in a “twinning” program outside Australia.
There are 2 streams in the Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa depending on when your first student visa was granted:
- Graduate Work stream – for those who have completed an eligible qualification and have certain skills that relate to an occupation that is considered to be in demand in the Australian labour market and your skills have been assessed as positive (click here to find out if your occupation is listed). If you applied under this stream, if granted, your visa is valid for 18 months.
- Post-Study Work stream – you can only apply under this stream if your first student visa was granted on or after 5 November 2011 and you have last completed a Higher Education course. If you are granted the Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa under this stream, your visa is valid between 2 and 4 years depending on course.
Criteria for Temporary Graduate visa
If you are applying under the Graduate Work stream (18 months), at the time of making the Subclass 485 visa application you must provide evidence that you have applied for a skills assessment appropriate to your nominated occupation assessed by a relevant assessing authority. This is because you must be ‘ready and willing to undergo the assessment at the earliest opportunity’ . This is a strict compliance clause and it does not matter if before your application is finally determined (by the Department or the AAT or the Court) you are able to secure a positive assessment. In another word, you must have applied for a skills assessment before you lodged the visa application and you must secure a positive assessment in order for the Department to grant you a Subclass 485 (Graduate Work) visa.
If you are applying under the Post-Study Work stream, your first student visa must be granted on or after 5 November 2011 and you have completed a Higher Education course in Australia. Higher Education courses are:
- bachelor degree; or
- bachelor (honour) degree; or
- masters by coursework degree; or
- masters (extended) degree; or
- masters by research degree; or
- doctoral degree.
Generally, your Graduate Subclass 485 is valid for 3 years if you have completed a masters by research degree or 4 years if you have completed a doctoral degree. If you have complete (1) to (4) above, your visa will only be valid for 2 years.
You will not be eligible to apply for Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 (Post-Study Work) visa if you have only studied a standalone diploma or trade qualification.
You (and all secondary applicants) must provide evidence of having adequate health insurance at the time of making the visa application.
If your student visa has ceased, you must hold another substantive (for example, a FA 600 visitor visa – click here to learn more) or BVA or BVB visa.
Deadline to apply
You must apply for the Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa within 6 months of having completed your course, that is, after you have received a letter from your school informing you that you have completed all the required components to graduate. The completion letter must state the date you commenced and the date you completed the course.
As part of the Subclass 485 visa requirements, you must demonstrate you have English proficiency, for example, at least 6 with a minimum score of 5 for each of the 4 components in IELTS test which was taken in the last 3 years. You may be exempted if you hold a valid passport issued by 1 of the following countries:
- the UK; or
- the USA; or
- Canada; or
- the Republic of Ireland
Before you lodge your application for a Temporary Graduate 485 visa, you (and all above 16 secondary applicants) are required to have applied for AFP (Australian Federal Police) National Police clearance certificate (NPC) click here to learn more.
Including family members
You may include members of your family in a combined Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa application. If you have been granted the visa, members of your family could also apply as subsequent entrants (paper application only).
The Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 is a temporary visa and does not provide a pathway to permanent skilled migration.
You can only apply, as the main applicant, for 1 Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa in your life time.
If you are a Hong Kong passport holder, you may be eligible for the visa extension for Hong Kong citizens scheme (click here to learn more).
Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer for a free 15 minutes consultation to help you decide if you can apply for Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa (click here to find out how an immigration lawyer or registered migration agent can help you). You may also refer to our FAQs for answers regarding visa application or visa cancellation by clicking here.
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This article is not intended to be or taken as migration legal advice. The author of this article disclaims any liability for any action or omission on the information provided or not provided in this article. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter.