Australia’s Temporary Graduate Visa – Subclass 485 – the “other temporary skilled work visa” 


This visa is designed to allow you to live, study and work in Australia temporarily, after the completion of your studies here.

The Temporary Skilled Graduate visa recorded rapid growth between 2008 and 2012.  At the end of 2012 there were 38,210 holders of this visa—a 74 % increase on the previous year (21,910). This is more than double the 2009 number and 15 times as many as in 2008.

By nationality Asian students represent the bulk of the market for Temporary Skilled Graduate visas. The top 5 home nations of 485 visa holders in December 2012 were India (15,550 visa holders), China (5,450), Nepal (2,980), Sri Lanka (1,320) and Malaysia (1,210). Temporary Skilled Graduate visa holders from India more than tripled between 2009 and 2012. Chinese students in Australia significantly outnumber Indian students (at the end of 2012 there were 53,361 student visa holders from China and only 29,536 from India). The Temporary Skilled Graduate visa tells a different story—visa holders from India outnumber those from China by almost 3:1. It appears that post study work rights are more popular with graduates from India than graduates from China.

The Common criteria relating to both streams of this visa (set out below) are:

  • you must be younger than 50;
  • you must be in Australia;
  • you must hold an eligible visa (see below);
  • you must meet what is called the 2-year Australian study requirement (this includes that you’ve met this requirement during the last 6 months);
  • you must have it least competent English (a score of at least 6 for each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test);
  • you must have recently graduated with either an eligible qualification, or you have skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List;
  • you must meet health and character requirements;
  • you must have health insurance to a required level.

An eligible visa really means either a subclass 572, 573 or 574 visa, (but not if you will are a secondary visa holder, as a family member of a main visa holder).  If you don’t now hold one of these student visas that did so within the last 6 months, you can also:

  • be the holder of either a Bridging visa A or Bridging visa B, if you’ve received that visa as a result of applying for any visa other than an ineligible student visa; or
  • you hold a substantive Visa other than an ineligible student visa.

There is another limitation relating to certain scholarship and government or multilateral agency sponsored students.

Please note that ineligible student visas of those under subclass 570, 571, 575 and 576.

You must also not have had a visa application refused or cancelled since last entering Australia, if you don’t currently hold a substantive visa. Please note that a bridging visa is not a substantive visa. Be also very careful to check whether you have any conditions that relate to “no further stay” (usually noted by the numbers 8503, 8534 or 8535 on your visa or letter of grant.

During the term of the visa you can travel, work or study in Australia.

The visa has 2 streams:

The Graduate Work stream

This is for international students who hold eligible qualifications and skills relating to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List. This is effectively the list of occupations which enable independent points based skilled migration, (not nominated by a State or Territory government), as well as Family Sponsored Skilled applications

This visa is granted for a period of 18 months.

The Post-Study Work stream

This stream is for international students who have graduated with a higher education degree from an Australian educational provider. The field of study and occupation are not relevant. However, it is only available to students who will both applied for and were granted their first student visa to study in Australia on or after 5 November 2011. Under this stream, a visa of up to 4 years can be granted, dependent upon the occupation and qualification.

Please note that each of the 2 streams have particular individual criteria which must be met.  Please ask Australian Visa Law to advise.

Australian Visa Law are highly skilled and experienced in advising applicants under Subclass 485.

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