[Update Jan 2022] – Due to the COVID-19 impact, the Department of Immigration has made some important updates to the 485 post study work visa.
So you have successfully completed your studies – CONGRATULATIONS! you are ready to start your next step applying to the 485 Visa, also known as the post-study or graduate visa.
You may have heard about the ‘485 visa’ or ‘graduate visa’, or ‘post-study visa’ on blogs and in conversations with fellow students, so what does it mean for you? Are you eligible to apply for it? And if so – what do you have to do?
So a bit of background – The 485 visa was created as part of the General Skilled Migration (GSM) in 2007, and its purpose was to enable recent graduates whose occupation was on the SOL (skilled occupation list) to have an additional 18 months stay in Australia with full work rights to be able to gain work experience in their field.
But this only applied to those who had studied an occupation on the ‘skilled list’. What about all the other students who studied higher education that wasn’t on the list?
Well, they created the 485 visa – post-study work stream
In 2012 immigration reviewed the pathways and decided to provide an additional 485 visa stream to meet the needs of those students who had completed study in any subject (thus that was not a skilled pathway on the SOL) at Bachelor level or above.
It was called the “post-study work visa” stream (PSWV) and applicants who met the specific subclass criteria and who had their first student visa granted after November 2011 could utilise this option to gain an additional stay in Australia with full work rights to achieve experience in their field.
The post-study stream does not require a skills assessment and the duration of the 485 PSWV visa grant can vary between 2 and 4 years, depending on the level of study completed.
In other words, there are two “types” or streams of 485 Visa: Graduate Stream – which once granted will last for 18 months and the Post Study Work Visa – which at least is for 2 years.
Skilled Graduate Stream
The main difference between the two streams is that the Skilled Graduate stream using the “Skilled” occupations need to show a skills assessment, and upon the visa grant they will receive 18 months of a 485 visa.
Usually, the ‘Graduate Stream’ is the 485 visa you apply for if you have studied a trade, such as Commercial Cookery, Carpentry, Automotive, Welding etc and therefore you can access the 18 month duration of full-time working rights in Australia.
Post Study Work Visa
In contrast, if you have studied a high-level profession such as IT, Accounting, Engineering etc at Bachelor, Master or PhD level you can access the longer 2 yr+ duration of a 485 – as long as you can meet the relevant criteria. For example, this stream is only available if you applied for, and were granted, your first student visa to Australia on or after 5 November 2011.
Another advantage of this visa is that depending on the level of study (Bachelor, Master, Master by Research or PhD) can be granted for 2, 3 or 4 years.
It is also important to note that a person whose study is on the Skilled list can utilise either 485 pathways, and as ‘post-study stream’ offers a longer visa, they may decide to choose that stream – if they meet the criteria relating to the level of study and date of the first student visa.
Great news isn’t it!!
What do I need to apply for the 485 post study work visa?
So what else is required apart from completing the relevant course?
Well, you will need to prove you have the required level of English by achieving an authorised English test – You can find out more here > English, plus you will need to pass the character and health checks.
You also need to meet the Australian study requirement which means studying a course for 92 weeks (roughly 2 years) or more. As well as this, you also need to do Police Checks, Medical exams and have health insurance.
Also as mentioned, depending on what level you studied, a skills assessment may also be required.
Still, have doubts?
Maybe this video can help you out:
EMSA can help you with all of the above, and more!
Simply fill out this form and we can explain all the options specific to you, your migration path, and your overall goals in Australia.
We will give you a clear and concise pathway to follow your dreams in Australia! So whether you want to stay for a little, a lot, or forever, EMSA can strategise with you to meet your dreams in Australia!