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What You Need to Know About the 485 Visa

As a temporary graduate visa, the 485 Visa gives international student graduates work and travel rights in Australia. It allows the visa holder to gain work experience and can be a step towards other visas, such as the skilled visa subclasses 189 or 190.

The visa is available to international students who have completed a qualification that meets the requirements of a specified occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and who meet other migration requirements. It is a good idea to start preparing for the visa application as soon as you receive confirmation from your education provider that you have successfully completed your course of study. It is important to know the migration laws and requirements, especially as these can change.

Generally, you will need to have health insurance cover in order to lodge a 485 Visa. It is also advisable to get an Australian Federal Police check (AFP check) for yourself and your family members aged 16 and over. This will need to be done before you submit your 485 visa application.

For those considering the 485 visa, we advise you to seek professional advice as it is essential to understand the requirements and laws that apply to this visa. This can help avoid any potential pitfalls or delays in lodging the application and give you the best chance of success.

One of the key aspects of a 485 visa application is satisfying the Australian Study requirement. This relates to the course you studied and certain aspects of your student visa, and is very time-limited in terms of when you must satisfy this requirement. In addition, the link between your nominated occupation and your qualifications is not as clear-cut as it once was and has prompted some recent legal cases at the Immigration Dispute Resolution (IDR) Tribunal and Federal Court of Australia.

Another key aspect is passing a skills assessment in your nominated occupation. This will be based on your qualifications, English language proficiency and any registration requirements. It is a good idea to make sure you are fully prepared for this as the standards can vary from occupation to occupation. Many skills assessment authorities, including accounting bodies, VETASSESS and Trades Recognition Australia, have reduced their assessment requirements for 485 applicants.

We would also like to highlight that the extended post-study work rights for select degrees that were provided on the Graduate Work Stream until mid-2024 will no longer be available as of this year. This is a significant change for many students who have been able to benefit from this.

It is likely that the government will consider extending this two-year period again in light of the public feedback and the need to boost Australia’s workforce. We will keep you updated as further information becomes available.