Graduate Visa Questions - Do you know the answers?

International Graduates

As international students near the completion of their studies, many will be looking to continue living and working in Australia on a temporary and/or permanent basis.

For most, the best way forward will be to start with a Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa. This visa is a great stepping-stone, providing additional time for students to obtain the necessary documents and points in order to pursue permanent residence.

Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa

On the surface, the 485 visa appears straight-forward, however, it has a lot of time-critical and lodgement-critical requirements that, if missed, have devastating effects on an application. Here are some of the more common areas of confusion:

Two Streams

There are two streams for this visa; the Post Study Work Stream and the Graduate Work Stream. The stream you can apply for depends on when you applied for your first ever Student visa. All Student visa types are included, even if you only visited on exchange.

QUESTION: Did you apply before 5 November 2011 or after?


Applicants must meet the Australian Study Requirement, which is commonly thought of as completing 2 years or 92 academic weeks of study in Australia. But this becomes complicated if you have received credits towards your course, if you accelerated your course, or if you have spent time overseas (such as for an internship or exchange placement) as part of the studies.

QUESTION: How long have you spent studying in Australia?


There are more deadlines than just the expiry of your Student visa. Applications must be submitted within 6 months of course completion, and within 6 months of holding a valid Student visa.

If you do not allow yourself sufficient time to prepare and lodge an application, you may miss a critical deadline and the chance to stay in Australia.

Also, certain components of the application process must be lodged or acquired before you can submit a 485 visa application, and making a mistake or missing out one of these will result in a visa refusal. If it is a time of application requirement, then even appealing the decision will not save your case.

QUESTION: Are you aware of your deadlines and time of application requirements?


Graduate Work stream applicants must obtain a positive skill assessment in a MLTSSL occupation in order to be granted the visa, adding another layer of complexity to the process. Each skill assessing body is different, and for some Graduates it simply may not be possible to meet the assessing body requirements.

QUESTION: Do you need a skill assessment?

Closely Related

If you are applying in the Graduate Work stream, the qualifications you have just completed must be closely related to your nominated occupation. So what does 'closely related' mean, and how is this assessed? It's not as simple as saying that the courses are similar or the subjects are relevant.

QUESTION: Are your courses closely related?


We receive a lot of enquiries from Graduates who have completed their course of studies and then want to travel overseas while still on their Student visa. The risk is that once their education provider advises Immigration of course completion, Immigration can cancel your Student visa if you leave Australia. This is because if you're not studying, you don't need a Student visa!

As applicants must be in Australia at the time of lodging 485 visa, it is a good idea to apply for this before taking any trips overseas. Your Student visa is unlikely to be cancelled in this scenario.

QUESTION: What are your travel plans after course completion?

Our Advice

If you don't know how to answer any one of the above questions, then it is best to check with a professional before you spend time and money on an application that is doomed to fail.

Our strongest advice is; don't leave everything until the last minute! You are competing with thousands of Graduates for English language test spaces and other required services, so gathering the required documents and information may take longer than anticipated. Deadlines for these visas cannot be extended.

Acacia Immigration can assist not only with a 485 Temporary Graduate case, but also look at your permanent visa options and guide you on the best pathway to achieve your migration goals.

Contact us now for an initial review of your circumstances and options.

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