Over the course of the COVID 19 pandemic and Australian border closures, many temporary visa holders have been severely prejudiced, including 485 visa holders. To address these issues, the Australian Government has announced the introduction of new “replacement” Subclass 485 visas for current Subclass 485 visa holders whose previous graduate visa expired on or after 1 February 2020.
Replacement 485 Visa
Whilst the following information is thus subject to change, it is understood that Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa holders who have been unable to travel to Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions and closures may be able to obtain a “replacement visa.”
The Minister has indicated that this “replacement visa” will be offered to current 485 Temporary Graduate visa holders, as well as former Temporary Graduate visa holders whose visas had expired on or after 1 February 2020.
The “replacement visa” will be issued for a duration equalling that of one’s previous Subclass 485 visa.
Replacement 485 Visa Changes
In addition to the above, the following additional changes have been announced for the Graduate Visa scheme.
485 for Masters Students
Temporary Graduate Visa applicants applying on the basis of a Masters by Coursework should now be issued a Graduate Visa of three (3) years in duration. This is in line with the duration of Graduate Visas issued to students who have completed a Masters by Research.
It is unclear whether this change will apply retrospectively to Subclass 485 visa applicants awaiting their visa grant. As Subclass 485 durations are largely determined via Department policy, it is possible that this change may benefit existing applicants, though confirmation is yet to be provided.
485 Offshore Study
In addition to the existing concessions, further concessions will apply in relation to recognition of offshore Australian study for the purposes of Subclass 485 eligibility. Details are not yet known.
Should you require an in-depth consultation about Australian visas, please do not hesitate to contact Visa Plan.