Working after graduation in Australia

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Find out the right post-study work permits for international students

If you wish to gain some work experience in Australia after you finish your studies here, you can do so under the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) option.

The visa allows newly-minted international graduates to live, study and work in the country temporarily after completing a qualified CRICOS-registered course.

You must however have studied in Australia for at least two academic years – or 16 calendar months with tri-semester study – and apply for the subclass 485 visa within six months of finishing your study program (Note: It is six months after the date of your course completion, not your graduation ceremony).

And you can only apply for and have the visa once as a primary applicant.

The subclass 485 visa has two streams, each with different lengths of permitted stay and eligibility requirements:

  • Graduate Work stream
  • Post-Study Work stream

Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) – Graduate Work Stream

The Graduate Work stream offers an 18-month visa and is for international students who graduate from a course or courses with a degree, diploma or trade qualification(s) that closely relate to a job on the eligible skilled occupation lists.

It is an excellent option if you wish to enter the job market in Australia and explore the opportunity to stay permanently either through General Skilled Migration or an employer sponsorship later.

You must pass a skills assessment by a relevant assessing authority for a nominated skilled occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) to be eligible for this visa.

You must also be younger than 50 years old and holding an eligible visa when you apply for the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). If your student visa expires while your subclass 485 visa application is being processed, you can get the temporary Bridging Visa A (BVA) which allows you to remain in Australia during visa processing.

The English language requirement for the subclass 485 visa – Graduate Work stream is:

  • IELTS (Academic or General Training): Overall average of 6 with at least 5 in each band; or
  • Pearson (PTE Academic): Overall average of 50 with at least 36 in each band; or
  • TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test): Total score of 64 with at least 4 for listening, 4 for reading, 14 for writing and 14 for speaking; or
  • Cambridge English: Advanced test (CAE): 169 overall average with at least 154 in each band

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

The Post-Study Work stream is for international students who have recently graduated from an Australian university regardless of their field of study but only for those who earn a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s by coursework degree, Master’s (extended) degree, Master’s by research degree or Doctoral degree.

Students who graduate with a diploma or trade qualification are not eligible for the subclass 485 visa under this stream.

If successful, you will be granted a post-study work visa of two, three- or four-years’ duration, depending on the level of the final degree program that you have completed:

  • Bachelor, Master’s by coursework or Master’s (Extended): Two-year visa
  • Master’s by research: Three-year visa
  • PhD: Four-year visa

The Post-Study Work stream is an excellent option for international students who wish to gain work experience in Australia and be eligible for a permanent or provisional skilled visa.

Unlike the Graduate Work stream, you do not have to nominate a job on any skilled occupation list or pass any skills assessment to qualify for the subclass 485 visa under the Post-Study Work stream. However, to be eligible for this stream, you must have received your first student visa to Australia on or after 5 November 2011.

Also, like the other stream, you must be younger than 50 years old and holding an eligible visa when you apply for the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). Similarly, if your student visa expires while your application is being processed, you can get the temporary Bridging Visa A (BVA) which allows you to remain in Australia during visa processing.

The English language requirement for the Post-Study Work stream is the same as for the other:

  • IELTS (Academic or General Training): Overall average of 6 and with at least 5 in each band; or
  • Pearson (PTE Academic): Overall average of 50 with at least 36 in each band; or
  • TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test): Total score of 64 with at least 4 for listening, 4 for reading, 14 for writing and 14 for speaking; or
  • Cambridge English: Advanced test (CAE): 169 overall average with at least 154 in each band

There are other requirements for the subclass 485 visa for both the Graduate Work and Post-Study Work streams, such as health, insurance, character and more, especially if you are including family members in your visa application.

Speak to our experts at iae SYDNEY for more details or to guide you through the visa process.

Interested in study in Australia?

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