When should I apply for 485 Temporary Graduate visa? The date you lodge an application for a temporary graduate subclass 485 visa (click here to learn more about subclass 485 visa) is very important because if you lodge the application too early or too late will mean your application will be refused.
Before you apply for the temporary graduate subclass 485 visa, you must satisfy the Australian study requirement in the period of 6 months immediately before the day the application was made (cl. 485.221 – for graduate work stream) or your qualification(s) satisfied the Australian study requirement in the period of 6 months ending immediately before the day the application was made (cl. 485.231 – for post-study work stream).
So, when should I apply for 485 Temporary Graduate visa? To understand why you should not apply for a temporary graduate subclass 485 visa even 1 day too early or 1 day too late, we will refer to the case of Mahohoma v Minister for Immigration  FCCA 2206.
The Court in Mahohoma answered the question when should I apply for temporary graduate subclass 485 visa?.
Mahohoma applied for a temporary graduate subclass 485 visa on 4 August 2017 and provided a letter from her University which indicated that she had completed the requirements of her course on 10 August 2017. The Department refused her temporary graduate subclass 485 visa as her study completion date was 10 August 2017.
Mahohoma then applied to the AAT, the Tribunal requested her University to confirm her completion date and was advised that she had completed her course requirements on 10 August 2017.
The Tribunal said that “completed” refers to when she achieve the necessary results or credits to enable her to be awarded her degree (Bachelor of Arts) and there was nothing more for her to do of an academic nature (citing Venkatesan v MIAC  FMCA 409). In addition, the relevant date for determining when she has completed the academic requirements is the date when her academic requirements have been met, that is, the date on which the results are finalised by her University. The date when the University informs her of the result is not the relevant date, nor is the date of conferral of the award (Sapkota v MIAC  FCA 981).
Mahohoma provided a letter dated 4 August 2017 from her Unit Coordinator advising her that “your paper is not of very high quality, but it was adequate to be awarded the supplementary grade. I have updated your final grade for SOC209 to 50 P, and if the Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning approves it, results will probably update it shortly…”
The Tribunal concluded that the day the temporary graduate subclass 485 visa application was made and period of time for completing the Australia study requirement would not include the day the application was made. The Tribunal said that, as she has completed her Australia study requirement on 4 August 2017, she could only make a valid application after 4 August 2017 and not on the same day she satisfied the Australia study requirement.
Which day is “before”?
To know when should I apply for temporary graduate subclass 485 visa, you will need to know when the 6 month period end the day before an application is made (if applying under the graduate work steam) or immediately before the day on which the application was made (if applying under the post study work stream).
The Tribunal affirmed the Department’s decision to refuse Mahohoma the temporary graduate subclass 485 visa because she has lodged her application on the same day she completed her Australia study requirement.
Mahohoma appealed the Tribunal’s decision to the FCC for the Court to determine whether the ‘period of 6 months ending immediately before the day the application was made” should be taken to include the day of the application.
Judge Kendall at  accepted that, under section 36(1) of the Interpretation Act supports the interpretation that, the period of 6 months ending immediately before the day the application was made does not include the day of the application.
The Court concluded at  that Mahohoma was required to have completed her course in the 6 months immediately before the day on which she applied for the temporary graduate subclass 485 visa. She has applied for the visa on the day on which she believed she completed course.
In conclusion, when should I apply for temporary graduate subclass 485 visa? The answer is, the earliest you may apply for the visa is 1 day after your have satisfied the Australia study requirement or 1 day after you have completed all your course requirement and there is nothing more for you to do of an academic nature.
Incidentally, beside knowing “when should I apply”, you must (as the primary applicant meet the below common criteria for both streams):
- not previously held a Subclass 476 visa (click here to learn more)
- not previously held a Subclass 485 visa
- meet the English language requirement
- applied for an AFP check
- have adequate health insurance
If you are applying under the graduate work stream (18 months Subclass 485 visa), you must:
- completed a degree or diploma or trade qualification which is closely related to your nominated skilled occupation
- have applied for a skills assessment for your nominated occupation, your skills must be from the qualification obtained in Australia while you held a student visa and as a result of studying a registered course
If you are applying under the post-study work stream (2 to 4 years Subclass 485 visa), you must:
- hold a Bachelor degree (2 years); or
- Masters degree (2 years if by course work; 3 years if by research); or
- Doctoral degree (4 years).
If you completed 2 different courses to satisfy the 2 years study requirements, the courses must be closely related to your nominated occupation (click here to learn more about what is closely related).
Temporary Covid-19 Pandemic waiver for offshore application
If you are outside of Australia and you hold a Student visa, you can apply for the Subclass 485 visa via ImmiAccount.
If you are currently holding a Subclass 485 visa, you may be eligible to apply for a 2nd 485 visa – click here to find out if you are eligible.
Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer (fee applies) to help you answer the question when should I apply for temporary graduate subclass 485 visa.
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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.