Australia 485 Visa: Requirements, Processing Time & Extension


Australia 485 Visa: Requirements, Processing Time & Extension

Are you an international student planning to stay in Australia after graduation? If so, you must apply for a 485 visa to live and work in Australia.

The Australian Government has recently announced the latest changes to Visa 485 relating to the Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 Visa for overseas graduates.

This is a great opportunity for 485 visa holders or applicants looking to extend their stay and hit the road to permanent residency in Australia.

Are you ready for your 485 visa application?

In this guide by PTE Magic, we will dig deep into the information about the 485 visa, including the application process, eligibility, and fees.

Related:

What is a subclass 485 visa in Australia?

The Temporary Graduate visa (Subclass 485) permits international students to temporarily live and work in Australia after completing their studies at an Australian educational institution.

Unlike other migration visas to Australia, the Temporary Graduate visa has a straightforward assessment procedure as most candidates have spent considerable time in Australia.

Once issued, the 485 visa grants its holder unrestricted work rights in Australia for the duration of the visa.

Besides, it may allow you to improve further your qualifications for permanent residency or skilled visas in Australia such as subclass 189 or 190.

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What are the 485 visa requirements?

You must meet the following requirements to be eligible to apply for a 485 visa:

  • Must be under 50.
  • Must have held a student visa such as Visa Subclass 500, 570, 572, 573, or 574 in the last six months.
  • Must hold a valid visa at the time of processing.
  • Have a degree, master’s degree, or doctorate in a min. 92 weeks CRICOS-registered course.

*Please note that English language proficiency courses cannot satisfy the criteria for study requirements.

  • Must provide proof of the required English Language level.
  • Must fulfil physical and character standards set by Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
  • Must have valid Health Insurance for the duration of your visa.
  • Must satisfy any extra requirements of the relevant stream.
  • Must submit your 485 visa application within six months of the date of course completion.

This is the first day your institution announces your eligibility to graduate and receive a degree. It differs from the award conferral date, such as a graduation ceremony.

What has changed recently to the 485 visa?

The Australian Government has changed the Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) to facilitate the work rights of holders of student visas or temporary graduate visas.

These modifications aim to tackle the skill shortages in key industries in Australia.

Here are the latest updates on the 485 visa taking effect on July 1, 2023. The new changes will apply to existing visa holders and eligible applicants.

Extend post-study work rights for select degrees

The Australian Government has announced extended post-study work rights (PSW) for higher education students.

Accordingly, the length of stay of eligible graduates in the Post-Study Work stream will be extended by two years.

The extended work right applies to graduates with bachelor’s and higher-level degrees in workforce shortages areas such as health, engineering, agriculture, and education.

The new policy will be in effect from July 1, 2023.

Here is the updated length of stay for eligible 485 visa applicants:

Qualification
The old length of stay

before 1 July 2023

The new length of stay

on or after 1 July 2023

Select Bachelor degrees
2 years
4 years

(plus 1 to 2 additional years in regional areas)

Select Masters degrees
3 years
5 years

(plus 1 to 2 additional years in regional areas)

All Doctoral degrees
4 years
6 years

(plus 1 to 2 additional years in regional areas)

Occupation nomination and skills assessment requirements for Graduate Work stream

Graduate Work stream applications sent after 1 July 2023 must include a qualification relevant to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).

Besides, candidates must apply for a skills assessment in the selected occupation.

Applications lodged between 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023 will no longer be subject to these requirements.

*Disclaimer: The updates above are correct as of the February 20, 2023 announcement. These details are subject to change.

We will provide more information once the changes take effect on July 1, 2023.

What are the main streams of the 485 visa?

The Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) includes two main streams: Graduate Work and Post-Study Work streams. The duration of stay will depend on each stream.

Learn more about each stream with their specific requirements below.

Graduate Work stream

Graduate Work stream grants to international students who have recently graduated with skills and qualifications needed for certain occupations in demand in Australia.

Duration of stay

Typically up to 18 months

Up to 24 months for visas issued from 1 December 2021. Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders may stay for 5 years.

Additional stream requirements

  • You must have obtained a qualification closely related to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List.
  • You must have applied for a skills assessment at the relevant assessment agency linked to your nominated occupation.

*These two requirements apply only to new applications after 1 July 2023.

Post-Study Work stream

The Post-Study Work stream is suited for international students with a bachelor’s degree or higher from an Australian education institution. 

Duration of stay

Typically between 2 and 4 years, depending on your qualification

However, you can stay for up to 6 years after the new extension policy takes effect on 1 July 2023.

Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders having bachelor, master’s or doctoral degrees are eligible to stay for 5 years.

Additional stream requirements

  • You must have got your first student visa after November 5, 2011.
  • You must have a higher education degree: Bachelor’s degree, Bachelor (honours) degree, Master by coursework degree, Master (extended) degree, Master by research degree, and Doctoral degree.

Other streams

  • Second Post-Study Work stream

This stream visa is open to Temporary Graduate visa holders (first Post-Study Work stream or Replacement stream) who have graduated from an Australian institution in a regional location.

You can get an additional stay of 1 or 2 years.

  • Replacement stream

This stream visa grants for current and former Temporary Graduate visa holders who have lost time on their first visa due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The duration of stay is typically from 18 months to 5 years.

Click here for more details on four streams under the Temporary Graduate Work visa (subclass 485).

What occupations and qualifications are eligible for the 485 visa?

485 visa requirements & how to apply

Download the list of occupations and qualifications eligible for post-study work rights extension.

*The full list of eligible courses will be available before 1 July 2023. Students need to check the full list once published to verify their specific courses’ eligibility.

To implement the extension of post-study work rights, Jobs and Skills Australia and the Department of Education have created lists of in-demand occupations and relevant qualifications.

This document includes:

  • A list of identified occupations from the 2022 Skills Priority List.
  • A summary list of eligible qualifications by occupational category.

The implementation and management of the extension to post-study work rights will be under continuous monitoring and evaluation on an annual basis.

Therefore, lists and implementations will be flexible in responding to shifts in the labour market and can address any potential risks.

Eligibility for 485 visa extension

To be eligible for this 485 visa extension, you must:

  • Meet all the requirements for the Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)
  • Hold an eligible qualification for the post-study work rights extension (Download the list above)

Additionally, you must follow one of these requirements:

  • You possess a Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) on 1 July 2023, or
  • You have submitted a Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) application by 1 July 2023, or
  • You submit a Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) application after 1 July 2023.

You remain eligible for a 485 visa extension if your Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) expires before 1 July 2023, but you have an eligible qualification.

However, you will receive a two-year Temporary Activity Australian Government Endorsed Events (COVID-19 Pandemic Event) visa (subclass 408) instead of another Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485).

You qualify for a two-year Temporary Activity Australian Government Endorsed Events (COVID-19 Pandemic event) visa (subclass 408) if you satisfy the following criteria:

  • Your Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) was issued before 15 December 2021.
  • The visa became valid on or after 1 February 2020.
  • You were in Australia during the valid period of your visa between 1 February 2020 and 15 December 2021.
  • You provide an eligible qualification.

How to apply for a 485 visa?

Your 485 visa will be automatically extended by two years if:

  • Satisfy the eligibility criteria.
  • Have earned a qualification from the approved list.
  • Possess a valid Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) on 1 July 2023 or,
  • Apply for a Temporary Graduate visa before or after 1 July 2023.

You must contact the Department of Home Affairs to apply for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa if:

  • Your Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) expires before 1 July 2023 or,
  • You meet the requirements for the two-year Temporary Activity (subclass 408) Australian Government Endorsed Events visa (COVID-19 Pandemic event).

The Department of Home Affairs accepts applications online. You must prepare all necessary documents and payments to guarantee your visa application is approved.

How long can I stay in Australia with my 485 visa?

You can typically stay in Australia for up to 18 months under the Graduate Work Stream (temporarily raised to 24 months for visas issued after December 1, 2021).

You can stay in Australia for 2 to 4 years under the Post-Study Work Stream.  This length of stay will change according to the policy for extended post-study work rights after 1 July 2023.

How much is a 485 visa?

Each stream of Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) has a different application fee.

Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) Stream
Cost
Graduate Work stream
From AUD1,730.00
Post-Study Work stream
From AUD1,730.00
Second Post-Study Work stream
From AUD680.00
Replacement stream
From AUD1,730.00

485 visa processing time

eligible occupations and qualifications for the 485 visa

The processing time of a 485 visa is around 1-4 months, varying according to your chosen work stream and country of origin.

Post-Study Work stream applications are often processed more quickly than Graduate Work stream applications.

Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) Stream
Processing Time
Graduate Work stream
25% of applications: Less than 1 day

50% of applications: 59 days

75% of applications: 72 days

90% of applications: 3 months

Post-Study Work stream
25% of applications: 52 days

50% of applications: 56 days

75% of applications: 3 months

90% of applications: 8 months

Second Post-Study Work stream
Not available
Replacement stream
Not available

What English tests are applicable for this visa?

You must present proof of your English proficiency when applying for a 485 visa.

The Australian Government Department accepts scores from the following English tests:

English proficiency test
Score requirements
Pearson Test of English (PTE)
A minimum score of 50 with no less than 36 for each section
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT)
Overall band score 64; and 4 for Listening, Reading and Speaking and 14 for Writing
International English Language Testing System (IELTS), including One Skill Retake (OSR)*
Overall band score is 6.0, and a minimum of 5.0 for each skill
Cambridge English (CAE) (also known as C1 Advanced)
Overall band score 169 with no less than 154 for each skill
Occupational English Test (OET),

*Note this is a test developed for health professionals

Score B or higher for each test component

The PTE test has recently gained popularity thanks to its comprehensiveness and ease of scoring. Many people prefer PTE over its major competitors like IELTS or TOEFL iBT.

The best part is you can get your PTE results within five business days. This is very helpful for completing the visa application early.

If you are interested in PTE, PTE Magic will provide all PTE information with a practice platform and a bank of actual mock tests.

Other FAQs

Is OSHC required for your visa application?

Yes.

If you have a student visa currently in effect, you are already required to be protected by overseas student health insurance coverage.

Once your student visa ends, you should prepare your OVHC when applying for a 485 visa.

How do I know if I’m qualified for the visa?

You can get a full checklist to apply for a Temporary Graduate visa (Subclass 485) at the Department of Home Affairs.

Here are some main eligible criteria:

  • Must have completed a course and earned a degree in an Australian institution.
  • Must meet the English language requirements.
  • Must apply for skills assessment.
  • Must show valid health insurance.
  • Meet character and physical requirements.

Is a police check required for this visa?

Yes. You must present your 485 visa for an Australian police check.

Will my 485 visa allow me to work full-time?

Yes. The 485 visa grants you the ability to work full-time or part-time without restrictions for the duration of your visa.

Is this 485 visa a migration visa?

No. The 485 visa is a short-term work visa for graduates.

It lets you live, study and work temporarily in Australia. You will be granted working rights to gain work experience in the country. You must fulfil certain requirements for each visa stream when applying.

Can I include my family members in my 485 visa?

Yes. You can bring your family to Australia with a 485 visa. However, they must be your close family members such as spouses, children, or grandchildren. Your family members over 16 must meet the character standards.

When should I apply for a 485 visa?

You should apply for a 485 Visa within 6 months after the completion of your study.

You must provide a valid student visa or Bridging visa A/B when applying for the 485 visa. If you are applying for a 485 visa while on a bridging visa, your last student visa must have ended within 6 months.

Conclusion

The Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) is the golden key for international students to stay longer, gain onshore work experience, and seize potential settlement opportunities in Australia.

As future labour market trends shift, the Australian Government will make further changes to its visa policy for international students and workers.

Follow us to stay up to date on any 485 visa changes.

Last updated on 20/12/2023

I am a firm believer that the best teachers educate with their hearts not just their minds.

Moni | PTE MAGIC International Founder

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