If you just graduated – firstly, congratulations – secondly, if you are unsure what to do next, you may want to consider applying for the Temporary Graduate 485 Visa. For all International Students, I urge you to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the Australian government for you to gain skilled Australian work experience. Even for those who are still deliberating whether to study in Australia or what course to select, this article will facilitate your long-term plan of permanently migrating to Australia.
I am going to break down everything you need to know about Temporary Graduate 485 Visa and how to apply for it.
What is subclass 485 visa?
In colloquial terms this is also known as “Work Visa” or “Temporary Resident (TR) Visa” – all of this most likely are being referred to the subclass 485 visa. This visa is offered to International Students who have completed a minimum of two years of studies in Australia. The visa allows you to stay in the country for two to four years with unfettered work rights. During this time you may study full-time as well (I will tell you why this may be a necessity. Keep reading).
Why is it offered?
This was introduced in 2008, and in my opinion highly useful for International Students to obtain skilled Australian work experience. I also consider it to be a transition period for you to a) decide if you wish to be in Australia b) work on the next step like Permanent Residency.
Gaining points for PR
You are able to gain five extra points if you have one to three years of experience in the field that you are applying under the Skilled Occupation (SO) list. It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway. Use this visa as an opportunity to get the five extra points you require to get you over the line for the points required for Permanent Residency.
Further, if there are units required to be eligible under the SO list, you can enrol for those units in particular during the course of the visa.
Being eligible for this visa is quite simple if you know the exact criteria.
- Hold a valid visa and is the primary applicant.
- Either you are currently holding a student visa after completing at least two years of studies in Australia.
- Or you must be in a Bridging visa A or Bridging visa B after completing at least two years of studies in Australia within the last six months of lodging 485 visa.
- Under 50 years of age.
- Meet the minimum English language requirement, which is 6 in IELTS or equivalent. You can use the same one that you used for the student visa, provided it is not expired.
- Does not hold any criminal record and does not have any outstanding debt to the Australian government.
How to apply for 485 visa?
If you meet the above criteria it is very unlikely you will be rejected as you have the eligibility to obtain the 485. However, there are chances it may be rejected due to errors by the applicant through incorrect processing or failure to provide required or proper documentation. I have listed everything that you need to do to in order to ensure there are no delays or rejections.
Two types of 485 visa
I think this is the first mistake: selecting the wrong type of 485 visa. If you select the wrong category, it may either be rejected or granted for a shorter period.
- 485 Graduate Work – if you have studied for a course below Bachelor’s degree and has the occupation under skill list, you may apply through Graduate Work category. This will be granted for 18 months.
- 485 Post Study Work – is the most commonly used category, and you can apply if have completed a Bachelor’s or higher and meet the two-year study requirement. You will be granted a visa for two years or four years if you have completed a Post Graduate research.
When to apply?
At the time you apply you must have completed your studies in Australia for at least two years. You need not wait until graduation but once your final results are released, you can request for a letter of completion and final transcript from the University admin. A small fee will be charged by the University for processing these documents.
When you complete your studies, the University is legally required to inform Department of Home Affairs that you have completed your studies. So if you depart Australia for a holiday right after completion of studies without applying for 485 visa, there is a possibility your current student visa will be cancelled and you will not be allowed to enter the country on return. The reason being, it may be assumed you are leaving upon completion of studies. Therefore, it is recommended that you apply for the 485 visa prior to any overseas travel after completing your course.
Click below to access the list of documents you require and you should start gathering whatever you are able to well in advance to avoid delays.
According to the Department of Home Affairs website, “provide certified copies of original documents. Do not include original documents unless specifically asked for them. Police certificates should be original documents. Documents not in English must be accompanied by accredited English translations.”
Can you do it yourself?
Most definitely! It is an extremely easy process and you can save some good money by doing it yourself. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. There is plenty of guidance online and still if nothing makes sense, simply contact Department of Home Affairs on 131 881. Be sure to contact them first thing in the morning to avoid being in the call queue for an hour.
All you need to make sure is that:
- your documents are in order as per the checklist,
- the documents are true copies,
- the documents certified and quality scans,
- you have selected the correct category as shown above.
How much does it cost?
Usually you will hear only about the application fee. But there are other fees you have to pay in order to obtain the required documents. These costs are likely to change, so always refer to the respective websites linked below.
The general application fee for an individual applicant is from $1,535.00. This cost will change depending on other factors such as dependence (spouse or children) and whether you lodge the application online or offline. Get an accurate estimate from Department of Home Affairs.
For overseas police checks, you will have to check from the relevant department in the foreign country. The national police check from the Australian Federal Police will cost $42.00.
An Australian immigration health check-up is required to lodge the 485 visa. This must be carried out by an authorised Bupa heath centre. This visa requires a medical examination and a chest x-ray costing $232.60 and $280.00, respectively.
It is hard to give an estimate as your medical insurances will vary depending on your requirements. You will require private insurance under Visitor Cover and the insurer is able to advise what is best suited as per your requirement. One of the cheapest and popular providers would be Bupa of approximately $1,200.00 a year and could be paid on a month to month basis.
If you have any questions relating to your 485 visa application, write to us on email@example.com. One of our Happy Helpers will be in touch.
Until next time…