Frequently Asked Questions – Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 Visas

The Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa is available for international students completing studies in Australia.

It allows students to remain in Australia for between 18 months and 4 years, depending on the student’s circumstances. During this time, they have full work rights in Australia.

Below are some of the more frequently asked questions about Subclass 485 visas.

Q. What are the different types of Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa?

There are two “streams” for the Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa:

  • Post Study Work Stream:

For international students who graduate with a higher education degree from an Australian education provider, regardless of their field of study. 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 years from the date the visa is granted, depending on the visa applicant’s qualification.

  • The Graduate Work Stream:

For international students with an eligible qualification who graduate with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the list of eligible skilled occupations. A visa in this stream is granted for 18 months from the date of grant.

Q. How do I qualify for the Graduate Work Stream?

Requirements for this visa include:

  • you nominate an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
  • your visa application included evidence that you had applied for a skills assessment for your nominated skilled occupation by a relevant assessing authority
  • your skills have been assessed by a relevant assessing authority as suitable for your nominated skilled occupation (‘suitable skills assessment’)
  • you have met the Australian study requirement in the past six months
  • each degree, diploma or trade qualification used to meet the Australian study requirement is closely related to your nominated skilled occupation.

You must nominate an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). You can nominate only one occupation and you cannot change that occupation after you apply

Q. How do I qualify for a PSWV (Post Study Work Stream)?

Main requirements for the PSWV or Post Study Work Stream are:

  • Applied for your first student visa on or after 5 November 2011
  • Have completed 2 years of study in Australia at the bachelor level or higher
  • Have completed a bachelor degree, masters or PhD within the last 6 months
  • Have held a student visa within the last 6 months, and hold a substantive visa, bridging A or B visa at time of application
  • English: if you hold a passport from UK, Ireland, USA, Canada or NZ, you will not need to undertake an English test. Otherwise, you must complete one of the recognised English tests: IELTS, OET, Pearson (PTE Academic), TOEFL iBT or Cambridge (CAE Advanced).
  • Aged under 50 at time of application

Q. How long is the Temporary Graduate Visa Valid for?

485 visas granted under the Graduate Work Stream are valid for 18 months from the date of grant.

Post Study Work Stream (PSWV) visas can be valid for between 2 and 4 years from the date of grant, depending on the type of qualification completed. Validity periods are as follows:

  • 2 years: completion of Bachelor Degree, Bachelor with Honours, Masters by Coursework or Masters (Extended)
  • 3 years: Masters by Research
  • 4 years: Doctorate

Eligible qualifications

For the purposes of applying for a subclass 485 under the Graduate Work stream, the course/courses must have resulted in a degree, diploma or trade qualification. For example, a student may complete two consecutive Diploma level courses and satisfy the Australian study requirement under the Graduate Work stream, provided the other components of the requirement are satisfied.

Qualifications must be closely related to nominated occupation

The qualification(s) completed must be closely related to the student’s nominated skilled occupation. For your qualification to be considered to be closely related to your nominated occupation, the skills underpinning the qualification must be directly transferable to that occupation. This applies to both the subject matter and the level of the qualification. For example, if you nominate ‘physiotherapist’ as your occupation, a degree in physiotherapy would meet this requirement, but a degree in commerce would not.

Example: Acceptable combinations of study and nominated occupations include:

  • an applicant who nominates ‘Physiotherapist’ as their skilled occupation and completes a degree in physiotherapy in Australia
  • an applicant who nominates ‘Air-conditioning and Mechanical Services Plumber’ as their skilled occupation who has completed a Certificate III in Plumbing and a Diploma of Plumbing and Services in Australia

Example: A combination of study and nominated occupation that would not be acceptable:

  • An applicant’s nominated occupation is Registered Nurse but they satisfied the Australian study requirement on the basis of having completed a Bachelor of Commerce.

Skills assessment

It is your responsibility to arrange for the skills assessment. Contact the relevant assessing authority well before you apply for this visa, because each assessing authority has its own assessment procedures, timeframes and charges.

Contact details for Assessing Authorities are listed on the department’s website.

  • You must apply to the relevant assessing authority to obtain a suitable skills assessment prior to lodging your application
  • If your nominated occupation is ‘medical practitioner’, evidence of your full medical registration is accepted as evidence of a skills assessment. Further information can be found on migration of medical practitioners under the general skilled migration program
  • If your nominated occupation is a Nurse, you must obtain a skills assessment from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) even if currently registered to work as a nurse in an Australian state or territory

A skills assessment is only valid until the expiry date specified on the assessment, or for a period of three years from the assessment’s date of issue.

Graduate Work Stream requirements

For international students with an eligible qualification who graduate with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the list of eligible skilled occupations. A visa in this stream is granted for 18 months from the date of grant.

Requirements for this visa include:

  • you nominate an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
  • your visa application included evidence that you had applied for a skills assessment for your nominated skilled occupation by a relevant assessing authority
  • your skills have been assessed by a relevant assessing authority as suitable for your nominated skilled occupation (‘suitable skills assessment’)
  • you have met the Australian study requirement in the past six months
  • each degree, diploma or trade qualification used to meet the Australian study requirement is closely related to your nominated skilled occupation.

You must nominate an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). You can nominate only one occupation and you cannot change that occupation after you apply

Eligible qualifications

For the purposes of applying for a subclass 485 under the Graduate Work stream, the course/courses must have resulted in a degree, diploma or trade qualification. For example, a student may complete two consecutive Diploma level courses and satisfy the Australian study requirement under the Graduate Work stream, provided the other components of the requirement are satisfied.

Qualifications must be closely related to nominated occupation

The qualification(s) completed must be closely related to the student’s nominated skilled occupation. For your qualification to be considered to be closely related to your nominated occupation, the skills underpinning the qualification must be directly transferable to that occupation. This applies to both the subject matter and the level of the qualification. For example, if you nominate ‘physiotherapist’ as your occupation, a degree in physiotherapy would meet this requirement, but a degree in commerce would not.

Example: Acceptable combinations of study and nominated occupations include:

  • an applicant who nominates ‘Physiotherapist’ as their skilled occupation and completes a degree in physiotherapy in Australia
  • an applicant who nominates ‘Air-conditioning and Mechanical Services Plumber’ as their skilled occupation who has completed a Certificate III in Plumbing and a Diploma of Plumbing and Services in Australia

Example: A combination of study and nominated occupation that would not be acceptable:

  • An applicant’s nominated occupation is Registered Nurse but they satisfied the Australian study requirement on the basis of having completed a Bachelor of Commerce.

Skills assessment

It is your responsibility to arrange for the skills assessment. Contact the relevant assessing authority well before you apply for this visa, because each assessing authority has its own assessment procedures, timeframes and charges.

Contact details for Assessing Authorities are listed on the department’s website.

  • You must apply to the relevant assessing authority to obtain a suitable skills assessment prior to lodging your application
  • If your nominated occupation is ‘medical practitioner’, evidence of your full medical registration is accepted as evidence of a skills assessment. Further information can be found on migration of medical practitioners under the general skilled migration program
  • If your nominated occupation is a Nurse, you must obtain a skills assessment from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) even if currently registered to work as a nurse in an Australian state or territory

A skills assessment is only valid until the expiry date specified on the assessment, or for a period of three years from the assessment’s date of issue.