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Everything you should know about Australia’s 485 post-study work visa

A majority of International students who study in Australia look for options to continue living in the country after their graduation. While there are options such as opting for higher studies or applying for visas through the General Skilled Migration program, not every student can afford to study further or becomes eligible to apply for skilled migration visas right after their graduation. For those students who are unsure of what to do next after course completion, a Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) gives the much-needed breathing space to plan their future. When a student obtains this visa, they can use the extended stay period to find a job or acquire skills and experience to become eligible for general skilled migration visas later. Here is everything you need to know about the Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485).

The Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) has two streams that one can apply for.

  1. Post-study Work stream
  2. Graduate Work stream

Post-Study Work stream 

International students who have recently graduated from an Australian institution with a  Bachelor’s degree or above (Masters, PhD)  in a CRICOS* registered course are eligible to apply for this stream.

With this visa, students can stay in Australia between 2 and 4 after their graduation year, depending on their qualification.

Graduate Work stream

This stream is for international students who have graduated recently with at least a diploma or a trade certificate in a course that features in the Skilled Occupations List of Australia. 

This visa lets students stay back in Australia for 18 months. 




            Post-Study Work stream    Graduate Work stream
Be under 50 years of ageBe under 50 years of age
You held a student visa within the past 6 months before your application and you now have a Bridging Visa A or Bridging Visa B, granted on the basis of a valid application for a visaYou held a student visa within the past 6 months before your application and you now have a Bridging Visa A or Bridging Visa B, granted on the basis of a valid application for a visa
You successfully completed a CRICOS* registered course (at least a Bachelor’s degree)You successfully completed a CRICOS* registered course (at least a diploma or a trade certificate)
The course duration was at least 2 years (92 weeks)The course duration was at least 2 years (92 weeks).
You were physically in Australia for at least 16 months to complete the courseYou were physically in Australia for at least 16 months to complete the course
You studied with a CRICOS* registered education provider in Australia.You will nominate one of the skills in the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and be assessed by a relevant skill assessment authority.

English proficiency requirement is the same for both streams. To prove your English proficiency, 

                    you either hold a valid passport from one of these countries – the UK, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland.


                    in the last 3 years, you achieved the required scores in one of the following English tests.


IELTS – overall score of 6 with a minimum of 5 in each of its 4 parts

TOEFL iBT – total score of 64 with a minimum score of 14 for Writing and speaking and 4 for listening and reading  

PTE Academic – overall score of 50 with a minimum score of 36 for each of the 4 parts

Occupational English Test – at least B in all the sections

Cambridge C1 advanced test – an overall score of 169 with at least 154 in each of the 4 components. 


Visa benefits for studying in Regional Australia

International students who study in institutions from regional Australia get an extra 1 to 2 years extension to their post-study work stream 485 visas.  Regional Australia is an initiative from the government of Australia to fill the skill shortage and boost the economy in the regional areas of Australia. The government incentivizes international students and skilled immigrants with exclusive regional visas and extension to post-study work visas when they choose to study or work in the regional areas. 

Under this initiative, all the locations in Australia have been classified into three categories.


          Category 1Major cities Sydney, Melbourne,  Brisbane
          Category 2Cities and Major Regional   CentresPerth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Geelong and Hobart
        Category 3Regional Centres and Other Regional AreasAll other locations in Australia sans 

Category 1 & 2


International students graduating from the institutions in the ‘category 2’ locations get a one-year extension to their post-study work visa while the category 3 locations offer a two-year extension. 

Levels of qualification and  their current stay back period            Extension under Regional Australia initiative (in years)      
DegreeStay back periodMajor citiesCities and Major Regional CentresRegional Centres and Other Regional Areas
Bachelor’s degree2None12
Master’s by coursework2None12
Master’s by research3None12
Doctoral research4None12


For instance, if you successfully complete your doctoral research from an institution located in a Regional centre and other regional areas (category 3), in addition to the current stay back period of 4 years, you will get an extra 2 years to stay in Australia on the 4 years post-study work visa.

The application fee for the Temporary Graduate Visa is AUD 1650 for both streams and the processing time (the period within which 90% of all the applications are processed) is 4 months and 5 months for the Post-Study Work stream and the Graduate Work stream respectively.  

AECC Global helps thousands of students across the world achieve their study abroad goals every year. Right from discovering the right university, till permanent migration, we help students at every step. Talk to our expert consultants today and seek answers to your questions related to studies, visas and PR pathway. 

* Eligibility – The purpose of this section in the blog is to give you only a fair idea of the eligibility criteria for the 485 Temporary Graduate Visa. It is not exhaustive. For more detailed and latest information on the same, always visit the website of the Home Affairs Department, Australia or seek help from a certified migration consultant.

* CRICOS – Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students is a register of education providers that offer courses to overseas students in Australia. 

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