485 visa changes

Learn About All The Latest 485 Visa Changes

If you are an international student in Australia, you should be aware of the opportunities you can get after completing your studies. For you, the culmination of your educational journey will open doors to a wealth of opportunities. 

One such prospect to brighten your future is a 485 visa which allows you to extend your stay. With this visa, you can get the freedom to explore, learn, and thrive in your chosen field for up to six years. Work experience is a plus point of this visa. Hence, it can be your ticket to gain permanent residency and enjoy all the perks. 

In this guide, we will shed light on each important aspect related to Subclass 485 including the the recent 485 visa changes announced by the government:  

485 Visa and its Different Streams:

The Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) in Australia is designed for international students who have completed a CRICOS-registered course and wish to stay in the country after graduation. There are four different streams of this visa that can be your pathway to Australia:

1-Graduate Work Stream:

The Graduate Work Stream is typically for those international students who possess qualifications aligned with occupations in demand in Australia. This stream provides a visa for a duration of up to 18 months, which was temporarily extended to 24 months for visas granted after December 1, 2021. 

To be eligible, applicants must be:

  • You must be between 18 and 50 years of age 
  • You should nominate an occupation from the eligible skilled occupations list
  • Applicant must have received a positive skills assessment from the relevant authority
  •  Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English
  • They should hold a degree, diploma, or trade qualification closely related to their nominated skilled occupation
  •  You must meet the Australian Study Requirement, which involves completing a minimum of 92 weeks of CRICOS registered courses within the last six months.


2-Post-Study Work Stream:

The Post-Study Work Stream is made for international students who have recently graduated with an eligible qualification from a CRICOS-registered course. This stream offers a visa for a duration of up to 6 years. 

To qualify, applicants must be aged between 18 and 50, have completed an eligible qualification from an Australian educational institution within the last six months, and demonstrate the required level of English proficiency. The length of the visa granted under the Post-Study Work Stream is determined by the level of qualification completed.

3-Second Post-Study Work Stream:

The Second Post-Study Work Stream caters to holders of a first Temporary Graduate visa in the post-study work stream. This stream offers an additional stay period of 1 or 2 years on the basis of certain factors such as the regional location of the institute and the regional area of residence during the first post-study temporary graduate stream visa.  

Graduates who lived and studied in a Category 2 regional area can be granted this visa for 1 year. While those in a Category 3 regional area are eligible for a 2-year visa.The purpose of this stream is to encourage the graduates to contribute to the growth and development of regional areas in Australia.

4-COVID-19 Replacement Stream:

This stream was Introduced from July 1, 2022 and is valid until January 1, 2027. This Stream addresses the unique circumstances faced by current or former Temporary Graduate visa holders during COVID-19 travel restrictions. Eligible applicants must have held a Graduate Work stream or first Post Study Work Stream Temporary Graduate visa granted before December 15, 2021.

Latest 485 Visa Changes In 2023:

The Australian Government has recently announced substantial changes to the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485). These updates were implemented from July 1, 2023. If you are curious to know how it can reshape your career trajectories, keep on reading. 

Let’s dive into the significant alterations and what they mean for you.

1- Extended Post-Study Work Rights:

One of the most impactful changes is the extension of post-study work rights for eligible graduates. On the basis of qualification, international students can now enjoy a prolonged period of work opportunities in Australia:

  • Bachelor’s Degrees: From 2 years to an impressive 4 years.
  • Master’s Degrees: Extended from 3 years to a substantial 5 years.
  • Doctorates: A remarkable shift from 4 years to an extensive 6 years.

These extensions show that Australia wants to retain skilled talent to bridge the labor gaps in various sectors. To benefit from these extended post-study work rights, graduates must meet certain eligibility criteria:

The degree obtained must fall under the list of approved qualifications. The Australian government has developed a skill priority list in 2022. This list includes all those crucial qualifications that are in high demand in Australia.

2-Extra 1 or 2-Year Visa for International Graduates from Regional Institutions:

Graduates who choose to study, live, and work in regional areas have been granted an additional opportunity. Those who meet the criteria may be eligible for an extension of their post-study work rights by 1 to 2 years. This measure aims to distribute skilled talent across different parts of the country and addresses specific skill shortages in regional areas.

3-Status Of Secondary Applicants:

One of the noteworthy aspects of these changes is that they apply to secondary applicants as well. This means that family members of the primary visa holder, such as spouses and dependent children, can also benefit from the extended post-study work rights.This allows families to plan and pursue their goals together.

4-COVID-19 Concessions for Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) Visas:

In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government has introduced concessions for graduates who were unable to travel to Australia due to international border restrictions.

Graduates in this situation now have the opportunity to apply for a replacement visa. This allows them to make up for lost time and still benefit from post-study work rights, even if they were initially unable to enter Australia.

Advantages Of Recent 485 Visa Changes:

The recent changes to the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) bring about several significant benefits for international graduates in Australia:

1.Extended Work Opportunities: 

The most notable benefit is the extension of post-study work rights. Graduates now have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in Australia for a longer period which allows them to further enhance their skills and build a strong professional foundation.

2. Increased Competitiveness:

With longer post-study work rights, international graduates become more competitive in the Australian job market. They have a greater opportunity to secure meaningful employment. This can lead to valuable career progression and potentially even sponsorship for a skilled migration visa.

3. Pathway to Permanent Residency: 

The extended post-study work rights create a more viable pathway to permanent residency for international graduates. By accumulating relevant work experience, graduates may become eligible for skilled migration visas, such as subclass 189 or 190, which can ultimately lead to permanent residency in Australia.

4. Economic Contribution: 

International graduates who remain in Australia and contribute to the workforce play a vital role in the country’s economy. They bring diverse skills and contribute to innovation and growth in various industries.

What To Do Next?

The 485 visa changes marks a new era for international graduates in Australia. The extended post-study work rights, opportunities for replacement visas, and the relaxation of certain requirements showcase the effort of the Australian government to nurture the skills. These changes are not only pivotal for individual career growth but also contribute to the continued economic prosperity of Australia. 

If you are having any difficulty in applying for any of the above-mentioned streams. Don’t need to worry, because the Migration has your back. Our experienced immigrants can be your entrusted partners. You can contact us through our website to get in touch with us.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1: What are the recent changes made by the Australian government in 485 visas in 2023?

The key changes include extended post-study work rights for graduates, additional 1 or 2-year visas for graduates from regional institutions, application of changes to secondary applicants, and COVID-19 concessions for graduates who were initially unable to enter Australia.

Q2: How can extended post-study work rights grant permanent residency to International Students?

The extended post-study work rights provide international graduates with more time to gain work experience in Australia. This allows them to polish skills, become more competitive in the job market, and potentially qualify for skilled migration visas leading to permanent residency.

Q3: Can family members of the primary visa holder benefit from the extended post-study work rights?

Yes, the recent changes apply to secondary applicants, which means family members of the primary visa holder, such as spouses and dependent children, can also benefit from the extended working rights.