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Neo Phoenix Pty Ltd
Lawyers & Registered Migration Agents

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Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 Visa - Temporary Residency (TR) for Overseas Students

What are the requirements for a Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 Visa?

This visa subclass is designed to give Overseas Students who have completed eligible study in Australia that meets the Australian Study Requirement and who do not meet the requirements for a Permanent Residency (PR) visa an opportunity to remain in Australia for up to 4 years (depending on the type of study completed) to gain the additional skills, English language ability or Work Experience they need.

If you have recently completed a course of study in Australia you must apply for your Subclass 485 TR visa within 6 months of the completion, provided your study meets the Australian Study Requirement. We can advise you on this issue.

There are 2 streams in this subclass and in theory

it is possible for an Applicant to apply under either stream:

· Graduate Work stream – for international students who graduate with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). A visa in this stream is granted for 18 months.

Post-Study Work stream – for international students who graduate with an eligible qualification. This stream is only available to students who applied for and were granted their first Student visa to Australia on or after 5 November 2011. A visa in this stream can be granted for up to four (4) years, depending on the qualification.

With additional points now available for Australian Work Experience/Professional Year, as well as increased points for Proficient and Superior English language ability, after a certain period in Australia on this visa subclass applicants may be eligible to apply for a skilled permanent residency visa.

The Skilled Graduate Visa will also assist former overseas students by allowing them to work and live in Australia, enhancing their cultural awareness and giving them greater exposure to the Australian labour market, thus allowing the possibility to organise employer sponsorship.

This visa subclass has no conditions restricting work or study.

Options for visa holders include, but are not limited to:

  • · Working including finding a sponsor
  • · completing a professional year
  • · studying to improve their English skills
  • · travelling

A visa holder will be eligible to apply for skilled migration or an employer sponsored visa at any stage during the course of the visa.

There are no provisions to extend this visa. It is a once only visa.

To be eligible for a Skilled - Graduate (subclass 485) visa, generally applicants must:

  • hold an eligible student visa or have held an eligible student visa in the last 6 months;
  • have met the Australian study requirement in the last 6 months;
  • have applied to have their skills assessed for their nominated skilled occupation; and
  • have competent English;

You must provide evidence at the time you lodge the application that you have met the relevant English language standard.

The standard of English for this visa subclass is a Minimum Overall Score of six (6) and a score of at least five (5) on each of the four (4) components of the International English Language Test Scheme (IELTS) test or equivalent standard in a specified test.

IELTS or alternate test results must be no more than three (3) years old at the time of application.

Applicants need to provide evidence of English language ability when lodging their application. Failure to do so may result in applicants being unable to satisfy the criteria for this visa, and this application may be refused.

There are exceptions for applicants who hold an eligible passport from one of the following specified countries who are not required to submit evidence of their English language ability:

  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Ireland
  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • United States of America (USA).

These visas can only be applied for when the primary visa applicant is physically in Australia. Upon successful application a Bridging Visa A (BVA) is granted. An applicant must also be in Australia for visa grant under these visa sub classes.

I have just completed eligible study can I apply for permanent residency?

If you have just completed higher education in Australia, you may be able to apply for a permanent residency (PR) visa.

We often get asked this question.

The answer is maybe!

With the Skilled - Independent (Subclass 189) visa, Skilled - Nominated (Subclass 190) visa and Skilled - Regional Sponsored (Provisional) (Subclass 489) whilst you may even receive points for having completed eligible study in Australia the issue is that you need amongst other things, a full skills assessment in your nominated occupation and also need to at least meet the Points Test Pass Mark.

For certain occupations it is possible to obtain full skills assessment without having any prior work experience. However for trade occupations generally this is not the case. Even if you can fulfill the above requirements, before you can submit a Visa Application for one of the above visa subclasses you need to first lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect and then be invited to apply by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). Normally given the short period of time from when you complete your studies to when your Student Visa expires this may not be possible.

As control of the process is out of your hands it is not wise to put all of your eggs in this basket. This is where the Skilled Graduate Subclass 485 Visa Temporary Residency (TR) visa is useful. It can provide you with more time in Australia and a recognised pathway for overseas student to obtain the requisite experience and/or English language test scores to obtain a full skills assessment and claim enough points to meet the Pass Mark and Invitation Score.

Pathway to General Skilled Permanent Residency (PR)

Subclass 485 visa holders may choose to focus on improving their English language skills or gaining skilled work experience in the Australian labour market. Alternatively they may choose to complete a Professional Year that has been specified by the Minister (where available in their chosen occupation).

Those applicants who can demonstrate at least 12 months Australian work experience in their skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation will be awarded 5 points under the Points Test. An example of working in a 'closely related' occupation would be if an applicant has nominated 'social worker' as their skilled occupation but has 12 months post-graduate work experience as a 'counsellor'.

Applicants who do not have 12 months local skilled work experience but who have completed a professional year instead will also be awarded 5 points.

Skilled- Graduate visa holders can apply for a:

  • Provisional Skilled - Regional Provisional (subclass 489) visa
  • Permanent Skilled - Independent (subclass 189) visa or
  • Permanent Skilled - Nominated (subclass 190) visa at any time while their visa is valid.

Skilled - Graduate visa holders can also apply for an employer sponsored visa at any time.

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 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.

This visa ensures 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.

The Subclass 485 Visa also allows a graduate to complete a Professional Year program which can allow 5 Points extra to be claimed.

Assess your Options

You should not wait until you have graduated - if you have completed your course or are about to complete your course you should explore whether you are eligible. Time is of the essence, as you may have to 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.

Visa Assessment

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