Understanding the 485 visa

Post-Study and Graduate Work visas give students who graduate from Australian degrees the opportunity to enrich their studies by gaining work experience in Australia.

The post-study work visa provides a huge incentive for many people to consider studying in Australia. Here we will answer your questions about the visa with the latest information available from the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Will I be eligible for the Post-Study Work visa?

  • Be under 50 years old
  • Be in good health
  • Hold an IELTS score of 6 or a passport from an English speaking-country

There are two different types of Temporary Graduate Visa:

Post-study Work Stream Visa

  • If you have graduated from an Australian tertiary institution in the previous six months, this allows you to live, work, study and travel in Australia, along with your family, for between two and four years.
  • A bachelor degree equals two years, a masters degree equals two-three years and a doctorate equals four years. Qualifications below a bachelor level, such as certificate III, diploma or graduate diploma, are not valid for this visa.
  • You are not eligible for this visa if you applied for your first ever student visa before 5 November 2011.

Graduate Work Stream Visa

  • If you have graduated from an Australian tertiary institution in the previous six months, this allows you to live, work, study and travel in Australia, along with your family, for 18 months.
  • However, the field you are qualified in must be in demand on the Skilled Occupation List, for which a skills assessment must be passed. The work must be closely correlated with your qualification. For example, a journalism graduate cannot work as an electrician.
  • You are eligible for this visa, even if you applied for your first ever student visa before 5 November 2011.

When were Post-Study and Graduate Work streams introduced?

Changes were made to the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa in March 2013, from which applicants for the visa were required to apply in either the Post-Study or Graduate Work stream.

What if I don’t qualify?

Students who do not qualify for the Post-Study Work visa (including those who are graduating with a qualification below bachelor degree level and those who applied for their student visa before 5 November 2011) are eligible to apply for the Graduate Work stream, which allows them to remain in Australia and work for a period of up to 18 months after completing study.


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