Visa Update for the Former and Current Temporary Graduate Visa Holders

Aug 14, 2023

The Australian government has amended the 485 Subclass Temporary Graduate Visa, with the goal of providing additional flexibility to international students studying in the country. These changes are intended to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 travel limitations on current or previous Temporary Graduate visa holders. Diploma graduates who were previously qualified for the 485 graduate stream will no longer be eligible under these new policies, with this exception only valid for the fiscal year 2022-23. This change highlights a change in the eligibility criteria for specific qualifications.

The government has extended the duration of the Temporary Graduate visa for certain bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Students who complete these degrees will now be able to stay for up to four years for bachelor's degrees, five years for master's degrees, and six years for doctorate qualifications.

Furthermore, international students who prefer to study in regional areas may be eligible for an extension of 1-2 years on their Temporary Graduate visa. These revisions reflect the Australian government's commitment to assisting international students and expanding their opportunities for further education and professional development.

We have compiled all the up-to-date information on 485 visa rules. Simply scroll down and keep an eye on the article to gain a comprehensive understanding of everything you need to know about the updates!

Post-study work rights (Extended)

The Australian government recently announced an expansion of post-study work privileges for international students who finish specified qualifications at Australian higher education institutions. These expanded labor rights cover a wide range of jobs and credentials, notably in fields where qualified people are in short supply, such as healthcare, education, engineering, and agriculture. This shift is particularly beneficial for students who have already studied or want to study in regional areas, as the additional year of post-study work rights peculiar to those regions has been preserved.

Commencing on July 1, 2023, eligible students will experience an enlargement of their post-study work rights in the following manner:

  • Students who have finished Bachelor degrees will now be eligible for four years of post-study work. Those who studied in regional areas would also get an extra year of work permit.

  • Students with Masters degrees will have their post-study work rights extended to five years. Those who pursued their education in regional areas will also be granted an additional year of work permit.

  • Doctoral degree holders will see their post-study work rights extended significantly, to a total of six years. Similarly, students who earned their doctorate in a regional area will be granted an additional year of work permit.

Temporary Graduate visa (Subclass 485) rules updated for Higher Education International Students​

The Australian Government has made changes to the Temporary Graduate visa (Subclass 485) for international students studying in Australia. The goal is to extend the duration of post-study employment privileges in Australia in order to strengthen the country's skilled labor pool. The Subclass 485 Post Study Work visa rights will be extended under the new regulations for specified degrees related with proven skills shortages in Australia, as follows:

  • The selection period for Bachelor's degrees will be extended from two to four years.

  • Subclass 485 Post Study Work privileges for certain Master's degrees will be increased from three to five years.

  • Additionally, Subclass 485 Post Study Work privileges would be extended from four to six years for selected PhD programmes.

You can simply perform your eligibility assessment by visiting the Immigrations Australia online portal, or you can consult one of PFEC Global's migration consultants for a better approach and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

COVID-19 travel restrictions update

A working group, that will include representatives from the Council of International Education, the National Tertiary Education Union, Universities Australia, and the Departments of Home Affairs and Education will be formed to provide advice to the Ministers of Home Affairs and Education on a variety of challenges.

Holders of Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visas who were unable to travel to Australia owing to COVID-19 border restrictions can now apply for a replacement visa. Individuals are typically limited to one initial subclass 485 visa throughout their lifetime, with further visas issued primarily for regional work and study. 

However, about 30,000 Temporary Graduate visa holders who were unable to come to Australia due to travel limitations will now be able to apply for another subclass 485 visa. Vaccinated Temporary Graduate visa holders from outside Australia will be allowed to enter the country. 

The alterations, together with additional modifications to the Temporary Graduate visa parameters, are intended to keep Australia competitive and appealing as a preferred location for students from abroad.

Occupations & Qualifications Criteria

In order to provide a comprehensive overview of eligible qualifications:

  • It is important to note that all doctoral studies are deemed eligible under the measure, irrespective of the field of study. They are not individually listed in this document. 

  • A detailed list, aligned with CRICOS course codes, will be issued by the Department of Education prior to the implementation on July 1, 2023.

Students should refer to this comprehensive list, once published, to ascertain the eligibility of their specific course at their respective institute.

For applicants of the Temporary Graduate visa Graduate Work stream:

  • The requirement to nominate an occupation from the skilled occupation list and obtain a skills assessment has been eliminated. 

  • This alteration applies to applications submitted between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023. 

  • individuals applying for this visa stream during this period will not be required to nominate a specific occupation or undergo a skills assessment as part of their application process. 

This change aims to simplify the application process for prospective visa holders, providing them with greater flexibility and ease in pursuing their post-graduate work opportunities in Australia.


If you meet all conditions and eligibility criteria, the visa allows you to live, study, and work in Australia. It allows you to bring your immediate family member to live with you. If you need any help with your visa application or need guidance, kindly consult an experienced consultant at PFEC Global. Let our experts help you achieve your migration and education goals.

Please reach out to us at +610396201773 (Melbourne), +610283784282 (Sydney), +610870992258 (Adelaide) for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What to do after a temporary graduate visa expires?

Answer: After the expiration of your 485 visa, you have several basic options available to you. These include applying for another student visa, seeking sponsorship from an employer, or aspiring for PR. Each option entails distinct requirements and necessitates following specific steps.

What IELTS score is required for visa 485?

Answer: All Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa candidates must take an English proficiency exam. If you take the IELTS, you must have a score of 6.0 overall, with at least 5.0 in each band. You can also take one of four other permitted English tests, or you may be excused due to your passport.

How can I convert my 485 visa to PR?

Answer: You’ll just have to successfully apply for and obtain a permanent visa in Australia, you can attain the status of a permanent resident, allowing you to reside in the country indefinitely. Common types of permanent visas encompass skilled work visas and family visas.

Can I extend my temporary graduate visa in Australia?

Answer: If you meet all of the eligibility criteria for the Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) and your qualification is on the list of approved qualifications, you will be eligible for this extension.

Does 485 visa require sponsorship?

Answer: This visa does not require employer sponsorship. Graduates are responsible for visa application and completing all visa criteria.

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