485 Visa updates & Extensions

Unlocking Opportunities: Understanding Australia's Subclass 485 Visa for International Students and Graduates

Greetings, readers! we delve into the world of visas to shed light on a crucial pathway for international students and recent graduates in Australia. The spotlight is on the Graduate Visa Subclass 485, affectionately known as the TR visa. In this article, we will walk you through the various streams within this subclass and bring you up to speed with recent changes you must be aware of.

Exploring Subclass 485: Opening Doors to International Students

The Subclass 485 visa comes with two primary streams: the Graduate Work Visa and the Post-Study Work Visa. It’s absolutely essential to grasp the distinctions between these streams, as opting for the wrong one could lead to a visa refusal. But before we dive into the specifics of each stream, let’s outline the general criteria for the Subclass 485 visa:

  1. Age Requirement: Applicants must be under 50 years old, with no exceptions to this criterion.
  2. Eligible Visa Requirement: You need to hold an eligible visa at the time of application. This entails either having a student visa or having held a student visa for at least one day within the last six months.
  3. Timing Matters: Ensure you apply for the visa before your qualification expires, which occurs six months from your course completion.
  4. Health Insurance: Evidence of health insurance coverage is a must.
  5. Character Check: Providing evidence of an Australian Federal Police (AFP) check is required during the application process.

Unveiling the Graduate Work Visa Stream

Let’s start by examining the Graduate Work Visa stream. This is geared towards international students who have completed a trade qualification of at least two academic years or a Certificate III, IV, or Diploma level course. To be eligible for this stream, you need to nominate an occupation that’s on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). Furthermore, you must have applied for a Skills Assessment and attained the required level of English proficiency when you lodge your visa application.

It’s important to note that a temporary concession was in place for this stream from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023. During this period, applicants could apply for this visa without a Skills Assessment or the need to nominate an occupation. However, this concession is no longer available.

Navigating the Post-Study Work Visa Stream

Next up is the Post-Study Work Visa stream. International students who have completed a CRICOS registered Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD program of at least two academic years can apply under this stream. If you were granted your first student visa on or after November 5, 2011, you’re eligible for this stream. If your initial student visa was issued before this date, you’ll need to apply under the Graduate Work stream.

Recent changes have been introduced to this stream, and I’m here to break them down for you:

  1. Extended Visa Duration: Starting from July 1, 2023, applicants under the Post Study Work stream who have completed qualifications in areas of verified skills shortage are eligible for a two-year extension on their visa. The list of eligible qualifications can be found in the provided link.
  2. Duration Breakdown: Here’s a quick look at the extended durations based on degree types:
    • Bachelor’s degree (including honours): 2 years
    • Bachelor’s degree (including honours) in select degrees: 4 years
    • Master’s by research and coursework: 3 years
    • Master’s by research and coursework in select degrees: 5 years
    • Extended Master’s: 3 years
    • Extended Master’s in select degrees: 5 years
    • Doctoral degree: 6 years
    • Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree for Hong Kong and BNO passport holders: 5 years

Embracing Opportunities and Looking Ahead

Starting July 1, 2023, applicants who already hold or have held a Subclass 485 visa and possess a select qualification from the eligible list can apply for a two-year extension of their Subclass 485 visa. Notably, no fee is associated with this application.

Remember, understanding the intricacies of the Subclass 485 visa can significantly impact your future in Australia. Stay informed, make informed choices, and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead. Until next time!

Registered Migration Agent – Ashani Yapa (MARN 1913368)