The opportunities given to International Student Visa holders by the subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa

From the Directors Desk: The Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa can offer opportunities to international student visa holders, who wish to gain practical work experience to accompany their Australian qualifications.

The visa allows for employers interested in hiring recent international graduates, who may be currently employed in their business, an opportunity to work full time hours.

This visa grants the applicant and their family the right to live, work and study in Australia for the duration of the visa, and the freedom to travel in and out of Australia.

Let's see who may be eligible for this visa.


Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa by Elizabeth Wisser

The Temporary Graduate subclass 485 Visa is a work visa for international students who have completed two years of study in Australia. It can last from between 18 months and 4 years depending on your situation.

It is a good way to extend your stay in Australia to improve your chances of becoming eligible for a permanent or provisional skilled visa.

Eligibility Streams

There are two eligibility streams for the Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 Visa:

  • Post Study Work Stream: Commonly referred to as the Post Study Work Visa (PSWV). This eligibility stream was introduced in March 2013 for students applying for their first student visa after 5 November 2011.
  • The Graduate Work Stream: An occupation on the current Skilled Occupation List is required as well as a skill assessment.

Common Criteria

There are a number of criteria that are common to both the PSWV (Post Study Work) stream and the Graduate Work Stream:

Age: The main applicant must be under 50 at the date of lodgement.

English: The main applicant must demonstrate their English language ability, either through holding certain types of passport or by undertaking an English test.

Evidence of threshold English must be provided at date of lodgement.

Study in Australia:  You must meet the 2-year study requirement and have completed qualifications within six months of applying for the visa.

Points Test:  The Temporary Graduate subclass 485 Visa is not points-tested

The primary applicant must be in Australia when they make their application for a 485 Visa, and must have held an eligible student visa within the 6-month period prior to lodgement.

You can include the following types of family members in your application:

  • Spouses, de-facto partners and same-sex partners
  • Dependent children

If you already hold a 485 Visa, you can apply for family members to join you in Australia on 485 Visas.

Duration and Conditions

Duration of the 485 Visa will depend on your circumstances.

Gradate Work stream visas are valid for 18 months from the date of grant of the application.

Duration of the PSWV depends on which qualification has been completed in Australia as follows:

  • 2 years: Completion of Bachelor Degree, Bachelor with Honours, Masters by Coursework or Masters (Extended)
  • 3 years: Masters by Research
  • 4 years: Doctorate

Whilst on a 485 Visa, you have unrestricted work rights in Australia. Furthermore, it is a pathway to permanent residency (General Skilled Migration) by allowing the visa holder to gain relevant work experience, which may be necessary to meet the points test.

We will discuss General Skilled Migration Subclass 189 and Subclass 190 in subsequent editions.