Post Study Work Visas in Australia: A Complete Guide

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International students want to know how to get a post graduate or post-study work visa to stay longer in Australia.


International students studying in Australia often seek extended stays for work experience.


Fortunately, Australia offers diverse job opportunities, allowing students worldwide to apply for a post-study work visa. This visa permits up to four years of stay and work post-graduation.


This post provides detailed information on Australian post-study work visas, covering application processes, eligibility, fees, and processing times, as well as an overview of available work visas, including 485 post-graduate visas, post-study work visas, and associated requirements and costs.



1. Post Study Work Visas In Australia


Visa Type Key Features


Temporary Graduate Visa

(Subclass 485)

Graduate Work Stream

  • Applicable for recent graduates

  • Allows you to bring family members along

  • Visa Type: temporary

  • Stay Duration: up to 18 months

  • Visa Cost: starts at AUD 1,895

  • 485 Visa Processing Time: 3 to 4 months


Temporary Graduate Visa

(Subclass 485)

Post Study Work Stream

  • Applicable for recent graduates from an Australian institution

  • Allows you to bring family members along

  • Visa Type: temporary

  • Stay Duration: between 2 to 4 years, depending on your qualification

  • Visa Cost: starts at AUD 1,895

  • 485 Visa Processing Time: 70 to 90 days


Skilled Recognised Graduate Visa

(Subclass 476)

  • Applicable for recent engineering graduates

  • Allows you to bring family members along

  • Visa Type: temporary

  • Stay Duration: up to 18 months

  • Visa Cost: starts at AUD 465

  • 476 Visa Processing Time: 12 to 13 months



2. Post-Study Work Visa Requirements in Australia


The Australian Department of Home Affairs has set up eligibility requirements for Post Study Work Visas that need to be fulfilled by international students. These requirements may vary depending on the visa you are applying for and the duration you want to stay in Australia. 


We'll now discuss the requirements of different post-study work visas:


Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485)


The Temporary Graduate Visa Subclass 485 is for international students who wish to work, study, and live in Australia temporarily. This visa type has two streams - Graduate Work Stream and the Post-Study Work Stream


The Graduate Work Stream permits you to stay in Australia for up to 18 months. Whereas, through the Post-Study Work Stream, you can stay in Australia for around four years, depending on your qualification. 


Below are the 485 visa requirements for each stream:



Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) - Graduate Work Stream


  • You must be a recent graduate with skills and qualifications relevant to the professions mentioned in the skilled occupation list

  • You must be under 50 years of age.

  • You should fulfil the Australian study requirements. You must have a degree, or a diploma in a CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students) registered course. 

  • You must have a valid PTE, TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge C1 or OET test scores to prove your English language proficiency.

  • You must hold an Australian study visa, and your study medium should be English. 

  • You must not be a former holder of Subclass 485 or Subclass 476. 

  • If your visa has been refused or cancelled before, then your application for the Graduate Work Stream will not be considered.

  • You must also fulfil the character and health requirements mentioned. 



Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) - Post-Study Work Stream


  • You must have a graduate degree in a course registered with CRICOS.

  • You must be under 50 years of age. 

  • You should be a current student visa holder or must have held it in the past (usually six months before applying for the Temporary Graduate Visa).

  • You are required to study with an Australian education provider and hold either of the degrees - bachelor's degree, bachelor (honours) degree, Masters's degree, extended master's degree, master's (research) degree, and doctoral (PhD) degree. 

  • You should not be a previous holder of Subclass 476 or 485 visas in Australia. 

  • You should meet the Australian study requirements.

  • You must provide proof of your English language proficiency by taking tests like PTE, IELTS, OET, TOEFL, or Cambridge C1 Advanced Test. 

  • You cannot apply for this visa if you have a trade qualification or a diploma.

  • You must also meet the health requirements and have adequate health insurance.  



3. Skilled Recognised Graduate Visa (Subclass 476)


The Skilled-Recognised Graduate visa is mainly available for graduates in engineering. It enables you to study, live, work, and travel in Australia for up to 18 months. To be eligible for this visa type, you should meet the following requirements:


  • You must have an engineering degree from a specified educational institution. 

  • You must be below 31 years of age.

  • You must not be a previous holder of Subclass 485 or Subclass 476.

  • You must prove your English Language proficiency if you have a passport from countries like the USA, Canada, New Zealand, the Uk, or the Republic of Ireland. In that case, the 485 visa English requirements don't apply to you.

  • You must also meet character and health requirements as specified. 



4. Steps To Apply For A Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) PSW In Australia


A Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) Post Study work visa is for overseas students who have recently graduated from a recognised institution in Australia. It allows them to study, work and live in Australia temporarily.


Here is a step-by-step guide to applying for a 485 PSW visa.



Step 1: Before You Apply


You must apply for the visa within six months of the course completion date. Here are a few things you should do before applying for a visa:


  • Make sure you have a valid passport for this visa. If not, get a new passport before applying for it. 

  • Check your visa conditions.

  • Make sure your current visa doesn't have a 'No further stay' condition 8534 or 8503 before you apply for this visa online. If it has this condition, submit Form 1447, No Further Stay waiver and submit an ImmiAccount technical support form to waive the condition.
  • Find out the medical examinations you need before applying for the visa and get them done. 

  • If required, obtain immigration assistance from a registered migration agent, a legal practitioner, or an exempt person.



Step 2: Gather The Supporting Documents


Identity documents such as:


  • Current Passport

  • A National Identity Card

  • Proof of a Change of Name Documents 


  • Course Completion Letter from your Education Provider That Mentions: The course start date, completion date, your education provider's CRICOS code, a certified copy of the course transcript, and proof that the credit applied for the course meets the Australian study requirement.


  • English Language Test Results Taken in the Last Three Years Before Applying for The Visa.


  • Health Insurance Documents That Confirm You Have Adequate Health Insurance in Australia: a signed letter from a health insurance provider, evidence of health insurance, or a Medicare card or proof of your enrolment with Medicare.


  • Character Documents: Provide "complete" disclosure of National Police Certificates issued by the Australian Federal Police. Provide Form 80 and Form 1221, an overseas police certificate from each country where you spent 12 or more months in the last ten years after turning 16 years, military discharge papers or service records for the time served in the armed forces of any country.


  • Partner Documents: Provide your partner's identity documents, character documents, and documents about other family members, if applicable. De facto partners need to provide proof of their de facto relationship. Married applicants should provide a marriage certificate or any legal proof confirming the validity of their marriage in Australia.


  • Documents for Dependants Under 18 and Applying With You: copies of birth certificates and the adoption paper, if applicable. Parental responsibility documents, Consent for migration to Australia from someone legally responsible for deciding the child's residence and not coming to Australia with the child.


  • Document for Dependants Over 18 Years Who are Applying With You: over 18 but below 23, dependent on you or your partner, or over 23 and unable to earn due to cognitive or physical limitations and dependent on you or your partner. If your child is turning 23 during your application processing, you must provide a report from a qualified medical practitioner of their total/partial physical or mental disability and dependence on you or your partner.


  • Provide The Following Documents: a copy of their birth certificate/adoption papers proving their relationship to you, character documents, and identity documents. Also, provide proof of the child's dependency on you, including medical proofs, financial dependencies such as money transfers, rent receipts, bank statements, and a completed Form 47a.


Note: Make sure you translate all non-English documents into English and scan all documents in colour and save them as one file.



Step 3: Apply For The Visa


Follow the below steps to apply for the visa online:


  • Create an account or log in to the ImmiAccount

  • Attach supporting documents

  • Pay the visa application fee

  • Submit your application



Step 4: After You Apply


Wait for the response from the Immigration department once they receive your application and documents.


While you wait, you can add an applicant, i.e., your dependent child, to your 485 visa application before you receive a decision.


For this, you must submit Form 1436 with all necessary documents, such as the child's birth certificate, passport, and documents that prove your relationship and custody.



Step 5: Visa Outcome


When your visa application is approved, you will receive a visa that includes:


  • Your visa grant number

  • Your visa grant date

  • Your visa conditions


When your visa application is rejected, you will get an email stating the reason for refusal and whether you can challenge the original decision. No application fee refund is provided upon refusal of your application.


Check this link for more details on PSW Visa 485 application procedure.



5. How Can International Students Stay Longer in Australia?


Australian immigration is always ready to provide permanent visas to students who can contribute to the country's economy. Australia evaluates Skilled immigrants wanting to work in Australia on a points-based method, with points for language proficiency, qualifications, and work experience


To migrate to Australia and become a permanent resident (PR), you must first submit an EOI (Expression of Interest) through the SkillSelect process. 


If your EOI is accepted, you can start filling out the application form for a permanent visa. There are many permanent visas available, but the popular ones for recent graduates are as follows:



To explore more permanent work visa options in Australia, you can visit the Australian Department of Home Affairs.



6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



How Many Years is a Post-Study Work Visa in Australia?


Here is the stay duration for the different post-study work visas (PSW) in Australia:


  • Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) for Graduate Workstream: stay of up to 18 months

  • Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) for Post-Study Workstream: 2 to 4 years. 

  • Skilled Recognized Graduate Visa (Subclass 476): the stay duration is up to 18 months.


In Feb 2023, the government announced a two-year extension in the post-study "stay and work" period for overseas higher education graduates with a degree linked to workforce shortages in Australia.


So, the revised "stay and work" periods for eligible graduates of listed courses and qualifications are:


  • Four years for bachelor's degree graduates (up from the earlier duration of two years). 

  • Five years for master's degree graduates (up from the earlier three years). 

  • Six years for doctoral graduates (up from the earlier four years).



Who is Eligible for an Australia Post-Study Work Visa?


Australia's post-study work visa allows overseas students to live in Australia for up to 4 years. It inspires them to work after completing their studies.


Here are the eligibility conditions of various Australian PSW visa types:



Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) for Graduate Workstream:


This visa caters to international students who have completed their education at Australian institutions. These individuals must have qualifications and skills that align closely with professions in demand within the Australian labour market, both in medium and long-term skilled occupations.



Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) for Post-Study Workstream:


This visa is for overseas students who want to work in Australia after their studies. It is ideal for recent graduates from Australian educational institutes with an eligible qualification in any discipline.


From July 1, 2023, Post-Study Work stream applicants with a degree in verified skills shortage can get a 2-year extension on the stay duration on their visa. Click here to view the ?list of eligible degrees.


British National and Hong Kong Overseas passport holders may stay for five years.



Skilled Recognized Graduate Visa (Subclass 476):


This visa applies to engineering graduates who have finished their engineering qualifications from specific educational institutions within the last two years.



Can a 485 Visa Lead To Permanent Residency (PR)?


Overseas students who have completed studies in Australia and obtained their graduate 485 visas can turn their 485 visas into permanent residency using the below options:


  • TSS 482 visa: You must have worked in a nominated profession or a related field for two or more years to obtain this visa. The 485 visa gives a good opportunity to meet the 2-year work experience condition for this visa.


  • Employer Sponsored 186 visa: To get the permanent 186 visas, you need an employer keen to sponsor you for this visa. The primary eligibility condition for this visa is to gain three or more years of relevant work experience. Therefore, your time on the 485 visa will help you gain this work experience.


  • Skilled visas (489, 190, 189 visas): This option can lead 485 PSW visa holders to gain Permanent Residency in Australia. As this is a point-based visa, you need to obtain more points to obtain this visa. The work experience you built while you were on the 485 visas can help increase your points to obtain the Skilled Independent 189 visa, the State Regional Provisional 489 visa, or State Sponsored 190 visa.


  • Professional Year Program (PYP): IT professionals, Engineers, or Accountants can do a professional year to gain five more points. It will, in turn, help them with their skills assessment.


  • Regional Sponsored RSMS 187 visa: The 187 visa is quite similar to the 186 visas, except that the former requires work experience in a regional area in Australia.



What Is The Age Limit For a 485 Visa?


You must be under 50 years to apply for a 485 visa in Australia.



What is the Minimum PTE score for a 485 visa?


For the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), you need an overall score of at least 50 with a minimum score of 36 for each of the four parts.



How Long Does it Take to Get a Post-Study Work Visa in Australia?


As per the Australian Government Home and Immigration Dept, the time required to process a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) Post-Study Work stream is:


  • 25% of applications: 52 Days

  • 50% of applications: 56 Days

  • 75% of applications: 3 Months

  • 90% of applications: 8 Months



Can You Get a PSW After 1-Year Masters in Australia?


Students must complete at least two years of academic study in Australia to become eligible to apply for a post-study work visa.


Regardless of the number of degrees you obtain, the total study duration in Australia must be at least two academic years.



Can You Get a PSW After Your Bachelor's in Australia?


You can get a PSW visa after a bachelor's degree or any below degrees, provided you study the course with an Australian education provider:

  • Bachelor's (honours) degree

  • Master's degree

  • Extended master's degree

  • Master's (research) degree

  • Doctoral (PhD) degree



Can You Bring Your Parents to Australia on a 485 Visa?


Yes. You can include your family members in your application as a subsequent entrant after you obtain your 485 visa.


However, ensure your family members meet the health and character requirements before adding them to your visa application.



Can You Leave Australia with a 485 Visa?


The Graduate Work 485 Visa is valid eighteen months from the allocation date. It provides complete study and work rights with permission to travel freely to and from Australia during its validity period.



Can You Get a Second 485 Visa in Australia?


According to the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, you can't stay in Australia longer by extending the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) Post-Study Work stream visa.


However, you can apply for a second Post Study Work stream visa that allows you to stay between 1 and 4 years after your studies. The exact duration depends on where you lived and studied and your degree.


To apply for this visa, you must work, live, and/or study in a regional location while holding your first post-study work visa. The first PSW visa must be granted based on a degree or higher from an Australian institution situated in a regional area.


Click here to check the eligibility conditions for the second 485 visa. Present and future Temporary Graduate visa holders from Hong Kong will also have a pathway to PR after five years.



What is The Difference Between Graduate and Postgraduate Visas (PSW)?


Here are the four significant differences between a graduate and a PSW visa in Australia.


  • You can get the Graduate Work stream visa with more qualifications than the Post-Study Work stream visa. You may qualify for the Graduate Work stream visa if you have completed a diploma, trade qualification, or degree in Australia. However, the PSW visa is only available to applicants with a bachelor's degree or higher qualification.


  • The Graduate Work stream visa requires that: you nominate a skilled occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list linked to your Australian qualifications, have a positive skills assessment for your nominated occupation. 


However, such requirements don't apply to the PSW visa:


  • To be eligible for the PSW visa, you must have applied for and been given your first Student Visa to Australia on or after November 5, 2011. Such a requirement doesn't exist in the Graduate Work stream visa case.


  • The visa validity period is another key difference between graduate and post-study work visas. A graduate visa will be valid for a shorter duration of 18 months. On the other hand, the Post-Study Work visa has a validity period of between 2 and 4 years.



Can You Extend The 485 Visa?


You will be eligible for a 485 visa extension if:


  • You meet all the eligibility conditions for the Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) 

  • Your qualification is present on the eligible qualifications list. 


If you meet the eligibility conditions, qualify for the approved list, and have a valid Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa on July 1, 2023, your visa will automatically get extended by two years.



What Happens When The 485 Visa Expires?


If your Temporary Graduate visa (PSW stream) expires before July 1, 2023, but you have an eligible qualification, you can apply for this visa extension.


In this case, you will obtain a two-year Temporary Activity Australian Government Endorsed Events visa (Coronavirus Pandemic Event) (subclass-408) in place of an additional Temporary Graduate visa (subclass-485). You must apply for a Temporary Activity visa (subclass-408) with the Home Affairs Dept.


You may also qualify for a 2-year Temporary Activity Australian Government Endorsed Events visa (Coronavirus Pandemic event) (subclass-408) when:


  • You hold an eligible qualification.

  • You obtained a Temporary Graduate (PSW stream) visa before December 15, 2021,

  • The visa came into action on or after February 1, 2020, and 

  • You were in Australia for the entire period your visa was active, i.e., between February 1, 2020, and December 15, 2021.



How Can You Get PR in Australia after TR?


The TR visa, or Graduate Work Stream 485 visa, is temporary. To stay as a Permanent Resident in Australia, you must consider other visa options.


Below we have some options to continue remaining in Australia after the expiry of your 485 visa:


  • You can apply for a Skilled Permanent visa if you have finished a course in Australia and qualify to work in an eligible skilled profession in Australia: The Skilled Permanent Visa (Subclass 189) is a points-based system visa, where you have to score at least 65 points to be eligible. You earn points based on age, English proficiency, qualifications, work experience, and time spent studying in regional Australia. You may even include your spouse on your application and earn points for their relevant skillset.


  • Apply For an Employer-Sponsored Visa: To get this visa, you will require an Australian employer keen to sponsor your visa application. To apply for this visa, you must have an occupation on the eligible skilled occupations list, three years of relevant work experience, and undertake a skills assessment. You may even qualify for a temporary employee-sponsored visa like a Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa or a Subclass 407 Training Visa.


  • Apply For a Partner Visa: If you are in a relationship with a visa holder, you may become dependent on their visa. If you are in a de facto relationship or married, your partner/spouse can sponsor your stay in Australia.



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