485 Temporary Graduate Visa

Temporary Graduate Visa provides recent graduates of Australian education institutions with full work rights for a minimum period of 18 months. It is often referred to as a TR visa or a TGV by international students in Australia. It can be applied only for once unless your TR visa is in the post-study work stream and you have graduated from a regional educational institution and have been living in regional Australia on your first TR visa.

 

485 Visa Common Criteria

  • Age: The maximum age limit depends on the stream:
    • Post-Vocational Education Work Stream: Up to 35 years old, extended to 50 years for Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders.
    • Post-Higher Education Work Stream: Up to 35 years old, extended to 50 years for certain graduates and passport holders.
  • English: You must have obtained specified results in a specified English test or hold a passport issued by a prescribed nation.
  • Health Insurance: You must maintain adequate health insurance while in Australia.
  • First-Time Applicant: You must not have previously held a subclass 476 or 485 visa, either as a primary or secondary visa holder, unless you are applying under the regional concession.
  • Australian Study Requirement: You must have satisfied the Australian Study Requirement. The date of satisfying this requirement does not equate to the date upon which the degree, diploma, or trade qualification was formally conferred.
  • Application Timing: You must lodge your application for the Temporary Graduate Visa within 6 months of meeting the Australian Study Requirement.

Stream-Specific Notes:

  • Second Post-Higher Education Work Stream: This stream continues from the Second Post-Study Work stream with no changes.
  • Replacement Stream: This stream will cease to exist from 1 July 2024.

 

485 Visa – Post Study Work Stream

You may apply under this stream if you are a recent graduate who studied and completed academic courses at one of the following levels:

  • Bachelor Degree: The visa duration for graduates with a Bachelor’s degree is up to 2 years.
  • Masters by Coursework Degree: Graduates with a Master’s by Coursework degree can stay for up to 2 years.
  • Masters by Research Degree: Graduates with a Master’s by Research degree are eligible for a visa duration of up to 3 years.
  • Doctoral Degree: Graduates with a Doctoral degree can stay for up to 3 years.

Special Conditions:

  • Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders, as well as Indian nationals under the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA), may be eligible for extended visa durations and other benefits under this stream.

This update reflects the latest visa durations and includes the special conditions applicable to certain passport holders and agreements.

 

Regional Concession

You may be eligible for a second TGV if you satisfy both of the following requirements:

  • During your student visa, you have undertaken tertiary study for the qualification while living in a regional area, and the study must have been undertaken at a campus located in a regional area.
  • During your first TGV, you had lived, worked and studied in regional areas for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately before applying for the second TGV.

You must declare in the application for your second TGV that you and any family member making a combined application with you intend to live only in a regional area.

 

Categories of Areas

You are ineligible for a second TGV if you have studied or lived in Category 1 area on your student visa.

  • Category 1: ‘Major Cities’ of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – No regional incentives.

If you have studied and lived in a Category 2 area on your student visa, you will be eligible for 1 additional year on a second TGV.

  • Category 2: ‘Cities and Major Regional Centres’ of Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle/ Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/ Illawarra, Geelong and Hobart

If you have studied and lived in a Category 3 area on your student visa, you will be eligible for 2 additional years on a second TGV.

  • Category 3: ‘Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas’

 

485 Visa – Graduate Work Stream

You can apply under this stream if you recently completed studies at one of the following levels:

  • Diploma
  • Certificate III or higher for a skilled occupation in Major Group 3 in ANZSCO
  • Indentured Apprenticeship
  • Training Contract

In this stream, the visa would be valid for 18 months.

From 1 July 2023, the pre-pandemic rules relating to the “Graduate Work Stream” of the Subclass 485 visa will be coming back into force. This additional criteria are as follows: 

[1] You will need to have a qualification relevant to an occupation on a skilled occupation list. 
[2] At the time of your application, you must either:

  • Have a valid skills assessment for your nominated skilled occupation. This skills assessment must be specifically intended for the Subclass 485 visa. or, 
  • have applied for such a skills assessment. This skills assessment must be successful in order for the visa to be granted. 

 

485 Visa Application Charges

  • Base application charge: $1,895
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $950
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18: $475

 

Q: How much is it to apply for TR visas with my partner?

  • $1,895 + $950 = $2,845 (plus surcharge)

 

Q: How much is it to apply for a TR visa as a subsequent entrant?

  • $1,895 (plus surcharge)

 

Q: What is the Australian Study Requirement for 485 Visa?

Migration Regulations 1.15F stipulates that the Australian study requirement is satisfied if the person has completed 1 or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications at an Australian educational institution as a result of a registered course or courses that were:

  • Completed in a total of, at minimum, 16 calendar months; and
  • Completed as a result of a total of a minimum of 2 academic years; and
  • Taught in English; and
  • Undertaken whilst holding a visa authorising you to study.

 

Q: Can I study 2 courses concurrently to satisfy the Australian Study Requirement for 485 Visa?

Yes, as long as the 2 courses were registered as being a total of 92 weeks in duration and completed for the award of the degrees.

For example, Paudel had concurrently studied and completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) at Holmes Institute, from July 2016 to March 2018. Some subjects were credited towards both courses, and as a result he completed the 2 courses in 78 weeks (16 calendar months). The Tribunal held that he satisfied the Australian Study Requirement.

 

Q: What is the difference between calendar and academic years for TR Visa?

  • Calendar years = Period actually studied
  • Academic years = Enrolment period

A distinction must be calendar and academic years when assessing satisfaction of the Australian study requirement. Calendar years refer to the duration which you actually spent studying in Australia, whereas academic years relate to the length of the course as defined under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (“CRICOS”).

For example, you may enrol in a course that is listed as being at least 92 weeks in duration on the CRICOS. This course would meet the requirement in relation to academic years. If you were to obtain enough credits for prior learning and overloaded your enrolment to complete the course in less than 16 months, you would fail to meet the requirement in “calendar months”, irrespective of the CRICOS course length.

 

Q: What happens if I choose the wrong occupation in the TR Visa application?

This error may be so critical and irreparable that it may not be able to be remedied. Considering the terms of the application form: ‘what is your nominated occupation?’, there would be very few acceptable excuses for mistakes. Incorrect advice or lack of legal advice when completing the application form will not amount to satisfactory reasons: Chen v MIAC [2011] FMCA 859; and Pavuluri v MIBP [2014] FCA 502.

You could argue that your mistake was a mere clerical or typographical error: for example, Pavuluri v MIBP [2014] FCA 502 at [49], but there is no guarantee that this would succeed on appeal. We refer to the Tribunal’s decisions in relation to such an error.

Singh applied for a 485 visa in the nominated occupation of Lift Mechanic, accompanying evidence that he had applied for a skills assessment. This application resulted in an unfavourable outcome. He subsequently applied for skills assessment as an Electrical Engineering Technician which led to a positive result which was provided to the Department. The visa application was refused.

The applicant claimed to the Tribunal that he relied on a migration agent who had provided incorrect advice. The Tribunal was not satisfied on the evidence that the error was inadvertent and clerical, and the original decision by the Department was affirmed.

Lao applied for a 485 visa, nominating the occupation of ICT Business Analyst. She asserted that she had wanted to put her nominated occupation as ICT Sales Representative, but she had inadvertently hit ICT Business Analyst. She argued that it was a clerical error as the relevant occupations were one after the other in the drop-down box online and started with ICT in their titles.

The applicant provided evidence that she had applied for skills assessment for ICT Sales Representative on the same date on which the application was lodged. She also submitted that she studied a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in marketing, and was employed as an ICT Sales Representative. The Tribunal was satisfied on evidence that she had intended to apply for ICT Sales Representative and that it was an inadvertent error.

The Tribunal remitted the application for reconsideration with the direction that the applicant met the criteria in contention.

 

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