Post-study work visa in Australia

Some of the main draws of pursuing education in Australia are the post-study work opportunities that are available after an international student completes their program. Through the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485), foreign students whose current student visa is about to expire may continue to stay in the country to start their professional careers. In this guide, we’ll walk you through important information about the post-study work visa in Australia.


The Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)

The Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485 visa) allows international students to stay in Australia for two to four years after they have finished their studies. It also allows them to travel and study in the country during this period. Some graduates who have finished select degrees (according to the list of occupations and qualifications eligible for post-study work rights extension) may extend their stay for an additional two years.

Students applying for the subclass 485 visa can do so through the following streams:

Post-Study Work stream

The Post-Study Work stream is the most common path towards post-study work rights in Australia. It’s available for international students who have recently graduated from an Australian institution and want to remain in the country temporarily to pursue work. It allows stays between two to four years, depending on the applicant’s qualifications. Some students holding select degrees may be eligible for an extended two-year stay.

Graduate Work stream

The Graduate Work stream is intended for graduates who can perform duties relevant to the needs of the Australian job industry. It is designed for international students who have recently graduated with qualifications relevant to an occupation on Australia’s skilled occupation list. This stream enables applicants to stay in Australia for up to 18 months, providing them the opportunity to live, study and work temporarily in the country.

Second Post-Study Work stream

The Second Post-Study Work stream is available to holders of a first Post-Study Work stream visa or a Replacement stream visa (more on that later) who graduated with a degree from an Australian institution in a regional area. Individuals with this visa can stay for a duration ranging from one to four years, depending on the location of the institution where they graduated and the specific regional area associated with their first Temporary Graduate visa. Similar to the Post-Study Work stream, select applicants may also apply for an extra two years’ stay through this stream.

Replacement stream

The Replacement stream is a pandemic-related visa stream designed for current and former Temporary Graduate visa holders who experienced disruptions and lost time on their original visa due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The Replacement stream grants stays ranging from 18 months to six years.


Australian post-study work visa eligibility requirements

To obtain a Temporary Graduate visa, the applicant must:

  • be under 50 years old
  • hold a student visa or a substantive visa
  • have an eligible qualification at degree level or above
  • meet the Australian study requirement
  • have studied with an Australian education provider
  • pass an English proficiency test
  • meet the necessary health and character requirements
  • sign the Australian values statement
  • have no debt to the Australian government
  • have not had a visa cancelled or an application refused.


How to apply for a post-study work visa in Australia

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a post-study work visa in Australia:.

Get confirmation of degree completion

Before anything, the student must prepare their passport and check their visa conditions. They should also consult with their education provider and obtain confirmation that they have successfully completed their course.

Applicants should apply for the Temporary Graduate visa within six months of their official date of degree completion.

Gather the necessary documents

The student should determine the requirements for the specific stream through which they’d like to get their post-study work visa, after which they must gather and prepare all the necessary documents to support their application. These typically include:

  • identity documents
  • study documents
  • English language proficiency test results
  • health insurance documents
  • character documents
  • partner documents or documents for dependents under or over 18 (if applicable).

Apply for the visa

Students can apply for the subclass 485 visa online. To do this, they must create or log in to their ImmiAccount, where they must attach their gathered documents, pay the visa application charge (AUD 1,895, except the Replacement stream which costs AUD 745) and submit their application within the eligibility timeframe.

After applying, the student may need to complete health exams (they will be notified after submitting their application).

Wait for the results

Visa application results will be made in writing. Those who are granted a Temporary Graduate visa will be given their visa grant number, the date when their visa starts and their visa conditions. Refusals will come with an explanation and an opportunity to review the decision. Note that, regardless of the result, the visa application charge cannot be refunded.


Help students obtain their post-study work visa in Australia

Understanding the available routes is essential for students aspiring to stay in Australia post-studies. The Temporary Graduate visa stands out as the primary way for international students to pursue a career in the country after completing their degree. Contact our business development experts to learn more about post-study work visas and opportunities in Australia.

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