485 Graduate Visa Overview
The 485 Graduate visa (subclass 485) visa, often called the Post Graduate Visa, 485 or TR Visa, allows you to live, work and study in Australia. The visa gives new graduates the chance to gain full-time work experience in their industry of study, enhancing the value of their Australian education. This also gives Australian companies the benefit of additional labour in the economy. This visa can be a pathway to other visa options, such as sponsorship or skilled migration.
While on the visa, graduates who studied Accounting, Engineering or Information Technology (IT) can take advantage of the Professional Year (PY) Program, which can only be studied while on this TR Visa. Please note that you must have 1 year left on the visa to meet the entry requirements. It is best to start the PY Year as soon as the visa is granted, as this also gives you new skills to use in the workforce over the duration of the visa.
The Graduate visa is undergoing significant changes.
It is unclear when the changes will start, but they are expected before July 2024. The changes we are aware of are highlighted below (as of Jan 3, 2024).
However, it is unclear if students who hold a student visa at the time of the changes will be exempt from the changes (known as 'grandfathering').
Due to the new free trade agreement, it appears Indian graduates will be be exempt from the changes in time frame - to be confirmed.
Graduate Visa holders will no longer be allowed to re-apply for a student visa.
Post-Study Work Stream
The majority of graduates will be eligible for this stream. You must graduate with one of the following qualifications in a minimum of 92 weeks of study:
Unfortunately, a Graduate Certificate (GC) or Graduate Diploma (GD) - on their own or combined - does not qualify you for this stream of the visa.
However, if you combine the above qualifications when graduating with a Masters, known as 'nesting', then it does make you eligible.
For example: completing a Graduate Diploma (GD) for 1 year, then receiving credit from the GD and completing a Masters the following year. You are eligible due to the Masters, not the Graduate Diploma.
The length of the visa depends on what you studied:
2 years for Bachelor Graduates
3 years for Masters by Coursework Graduates - this is changing to 2 years
3 years for Masters by Research Graduates
4 years for Doctorate Graduates - this is changing to 3 years
The above qualifications may make you be eligible for an additional 1 or 2-year Graduate Visa if you meet the requirements for the Second Post-Study Work Stream and/or Extended Post-Study Work Stream.
Extended Post-Study Work Stream
The extended version is expected to be cancelled
From July 1, 2023, graduates who completed a select group of courses, delivered at select group of education providers, may be eligible for an additional 2 years on the visa. This graduate visa extension adds 2 years to the current visa duration:
Bachelor Graduates - 2 years to now 4 years
Masters Graduates - 3 years to now 5 years
Doctorate (PhD) Graduates - 4 years to now 6 years
Graduates may also qualify for the Second Post-Study Work Stream depending on where they studied, and l where they lived while on their first 485.
What courses qualify for the 2 year extension of the 485?
Over 2,000 courses are included in the eligible courses list.
Not surprisingly, many international students are panicking that has their course is not on the list, and are transferring to an another education provider to qualify.
Many education providers have complained that their courses were not included in the list, and we understand a review is underway. Thus, more college and universities may be added to the list.
Therefore, we do not recommend you change education providers at this stage (as of September 14, 2023), as the list may be updated in coming months.
Second Post-Study Work Stream
If you studied and are living in a regional area of Australia, you may be eligible for a second graduate visa for an additional year.
This will depend on 2 things:
1. The location of the education provider which qualified you for the First Graduate Visa. You completed a CRICOS-registered course on a campus located in a designated regional area.
To determine if you are in such an area, use the postcode list tool to determine if the location is a designated regional area for migration purposes. will be either a Category 2 or Category 3.
2. The regional area in which you lived and worked while on the First Graduate Visa. You must have lived in the eligible designated regional area for a minimum of 2 years while on the 485.
Visa Draft & Document Review Service
Applying for the visa yourself?
Take advantage of an expert immigration lawyer will do a detailed check of your visa application draft & supporting documents - ensuring no mistakes have been made, or evidence is missing.
Graduate Work Stream
A smaller number of graduates are eligible for the graduate work stream of the Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485).
Graduates are eligible for this 1.5-year visa if they have studied a course in the Vocational Education & Training (VET) sector - one or more Certificates, Diplomas or Advanced Diplomas - which leads to an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
Examples as of eligible study fields are the trades, early childhood education, and commercial cookery.
To be eligible for this stream, applicants must provide evidence of applying for, or already holding, a skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for their industry.
Do I qualify for the Graduate Visa?
For both stream of the visa, these are the requirements:
be under the age of 50 on the day you submit your application - this is changing to 35 years old
be located in Australia at the time you apply, through you can be inside or outside Australia at the time the visa is granted
hold a visa that makes you eligible
have the required English level, or be exempt based on your passport nationality - this is increasing from the equivalent of IELTS (General or Academic) 6.0 to 6.5
meet the 92-weeks of study requirement
hold Oversea Visitor Heath Cover (OVHC)
be of good health & character
See more detail on the TR Visa on the Department of Home Affairs website.