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Professional Year on 485 Graduate Visa

International student graduates who have completed a bachelor or higher in either accounting, information technology, or engineering may be eligible for the Professional Year (PY) Program.

Over the 44 weeks of PY study, the course provides industry-specific skills training both in the classroom and through on-the-job training. The goal is to up-skill new graduates by incorporating their university training into the real-time Australian workplace. It is also provides the opportunity to grow your business network, a crucial part of a successful job search.  

The first 32 weeks are in the classroom, followed by a 12-week internship (which may or may not be paid). The internship must be a minimum of 22.5 hours per week.

The key focus of the classroom training is to provide a clear understanding of Australian workplace culture. Topics covered include:


  • Australian workplace practice

  • work health and safety

  • meetings & presentations

  • workplace communication & writing skills

  • executing a job search

  • interview skills

  • developing your resume

  • using career-tools such as LinkedIn

  • preparing for the internship

Various education providers deliver the professional year program. However, the content is managed by the relevant industry bodies, including:

Australian Computer Society (ACS)

CPA Australia

Institute of Public Accountants (IPA)

Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ)

Engineers Australia (EA)

This ensures a connection between the degree earned, content in the professional year program, job outcomes for that industry, and skilled migration goals.

Am I eligible for the PY?

You must meet the following requirements to be eligible to apply for the Professional Year:

1. Completed an Australian undergraduate or postgraduate degree in:

  • accounting

  • information technology/computer science

  • engineering


2.  Have the following visa:


  • hold an eligible visa with work & study rights

IMPORTANT:  the visa must be valid for at least 12 more months at the time of application to the program

3. English test result:

  • PTE-Academic score of 50 or higher

  • IELTS 6.0 in all bands

Choosing Where to Study the PYP

Due to the fact that completing the program results in 'points' towards skilled migration, many graduates feel forced to study the PY, and will often seek out the cheapest option.

The content of the course will be the same across all education providers due to regulation, but it's the quality of the internship that is most important to be aware of. The lower calibre (often cheapest) education providers often do not have access to decent internship opportunities.  It's not very useful to be doing the accounting all alone for a Thai Takeaway shop in Brisbane. The point of the internship is to learn from others, and gain valuable industry contacts.

Before joining any program, seek out reviews, asked for examples of recent internships, and perhaps ask if you can speak to some current students. Definitely take a tour of the campus. Even the cheapest programs will cost approximately $8,000 for 44 weeks. That is a lot of money to spend on something you may get very little out of.

We also suggest you be careful about who is in enrolling you in the program. Some migration agents/lawyers will offer large discounts on the tuition, or free support to submit the temporary graduate visa. Their goal is to lock you in so that they will later be working on your potential permanent residency application. Thus, the quality of the program they are recommending may not be the best. Ensure you are getting the best advice from anyone consulting you. If you don't feel confident about the advice you are receiving, talk to someone else, or to the education provider directly.  


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