Students may wish to remain in Australia to work after their course has finished. A student visa entitles a person to come to Australia on a temporary basis for a specified period to undertake study at an Australian educational institution. While many overseas students make a decision to apply for permanent residence upon completing their studies, this is an entirely separate process and there is no guarantee that, on the basis of having held a student visa, a person will meet the requirements to be granted permanent residence.
There is the opportunity for graduating students who meet particular criteria to stay in Australia and work temporarily. The information that follows is a summary and you should refer to the DHA website for further detail. In order to remain in Australia after studies, a student can obtain a Temporary Graduate visa. This visa has two streams:
- The Graduate Work stream
- The Post-Study Work stream.
The Graduate Work stream is the same as the previous Skilled Graduate visa (subclass 485). The Post-Study Work stream offers extended options for working in Australia to eligible graduates of a higher education degree. Under this stream, successful applicants are granted a visa of two, three or four years duration, depending on the highest educational qualification they have obtained.
All subclass 485 visa applicants must meet the Australian study requirement in the six months immediately prior to making their application, regardless of the stream that they are assessed under. Students must have attained either a single qualification requiring at least two academic years study or multiple qualifications resulting in a total period of at least two academic years study; undertaken this study in no less than 16 months; lodged their application within six months of completing their course (when they received their results not the Graduation ceremony).
Two academic years study is defined as 92 weeks of study in a course or courses registered by CRICOS. CRICOS defines a number of weeks for each course. Students may take longer to complete their course but will only be credited with the number of weeks that CRICOS determines as a standard duration. Only study that is successfully completed counts towards the two academic years. Students may meet the two-year academic study requirement when completing a course that is longer than two years.
Credits for prior learning may reduce the amount of study undertaken. Credit granted on the basis of study undertaken in Australia in a course registered with CRICOS may contribute towards meeting the Australian study requirement, but only once.)
Graduate Work Stream
Relevant to international students with an eligible qualification who graduate with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). A visa in this stream is granted for 18 months.
Eligible qualifications can be a degree, diploma or trade qualification and the qualifications must be closely related to the student’s nominated skilled occupation. This means the subject matter and the skills gained from the qualifications can be applied at the level achieved in the nominated skilled occupation.
Post-Study Work Stream
For international students with an eligible qualification. A visa in this stream is granted for 2-4 years. Eligible qualifications:
- Bachelor degree (2 years work rights)
- Bachelor (honours) degree (2 years work rights)
- Masters by coursework degree (2 years work rights)
- Masters (extended) degree (2 years work rights)
- Masters by research degree (3 years work rights)
- Doctoral degree. (4 years work rights)
Note: Study resulting in a diploma level qualification or trade qualification is NOT eligible.
All courses must have been undertaken at an Australian university or education provider accredited to offer degree level programs.