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Graduate Visa Home

Overseas Students Apply for General Skilled Migration (GSM)

I have just completed a Degree in Australia, can I apply for a skilled permenant residency visa?

Yes! You may even receive Bonus Points for having completed eligible study in Australia. Furthermore, depending on the course you have studied, you may be able to become a permanent resident of Australia without having any prior work experience.

If you have recently completed a course of study in Australia you must apply for your permanent residency visa within 6 months of the completion of your course, provided your study meets the Australian Study Requirement.

In February 2010, DIAC announced a number of changes to its Skilled Migration program. These changes included the withdrawal of the Migration Occupation in Demand List and the introduction of a new Skilled Occupation List. The changes included generous transitional arrangements which have been extended to current and former students. These transitional arrangements are in place until the end of 31 December 2012.

Transitional arrangements


If you held or had applied for a Temporary Skilled Graduate visa (subclass 485) on 8 February 2010, you can apply for permanent general skilled migration on the basis of the old SOL.

If you held a qualifying student visa (subclass 572, 573 or 574) on 8 February 2010, you can apply for a Temporary Skilled Graduate visa (subclass 485) on the basis of the old SOL.


Eligible applicants can apply for the following visas using the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) in effect on 8 February 2010:

•Subclass 885 Skilled - Independent
•Subclass 886 Skilled - Sponsored
•Subclass 487 Skilled Regional - Sponsored
•Skilled - Graduate (subclass 485) visa - 18 month temporary visa - holders have unrestricted work and study rights and can apply for a permanent General Skilled Migration or employer sponsored visa at any time.

Onshore Skilled Permanent Residency Visas are available for Overseas Students who have completed Eligible Study in Australia

These visas can only be applied for when the visa applicant is physically in Australia. Upon successful application a Bridging Visa is granted. An applicant must also be in Australia for visa grant under these visa subclasses.

If you are an overseas student who wants to make an application for permanent residency under the skilled visa stream (on the basis of Australian qualifications) and your Student Visa is due to expire before you are able to complete the necessary steps to submit a valid skilled visa application, you may be able to obtain a temporary residency visa to help keep you lawful as you undertake the path to permanent residency.

An overseas student who has completed Eligible Study who can't score the required 65 points on the Skilled Visa Points Test, or who does not have an eligible family sponsor willing and able to sponsor them or State/Territory government willing to sponsor them, should consider other visa options which may enable them to extend their stay in Australia with a view to obtaining permanent residency.

The 18 month Skilled-Graduate (subclass 485) allows overseas students to build on their skills and work experience. This visa has unrestricted work rights and provides pathways to permanent residency via the Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 885 and Skilled Regional Subclass 887.

The changes aim to ensure that overseas students who decide to stay on in Australia after completing their studies have a much better chance of competing for jobs in their chosen vocation.

Therefore, you should not wait until you have graduated - if you have completed your course or are about to complete your course you may be eligible. Time is of the essence, as you must have your skills assessed by the appropriate assessing body as suitable for your nominated occupation.

If you would like a detailed assessment of your profile and advice of your eligibility then you can contact us to make an appointment for a personal assessment.

Even if you have not finished your course - contact us now.