Applying for Graduate Skilled Visa? Changes are fast approaching!

By Mark Webster
7 December 2012

Many students completing studies in Australia apply for graduate work visas - most commonly they apply for the Skilled Graduate Subclass 485 visa. This visa is also called a TR visa and gives students 18 months stay in Australia with full work rights.

Currently, students who held student visas on 8 February 2010 are eligible for "transitional arrangements" when applying for the 485 visa. This means that they can nominate a wide range of skilled occupations - in fact any occupation on the previous skilled occupations list which applied prior to 1 July 2010 which consists of some 400 occupations.

What's happening on 1 January 2013?

From 1 January 2013, these transitional arrangements will cease. As a result, people applying for Graduate Skilled Visas after this date must nominate an occupation on the SOL. The SOL consists of around 190 occupations, so this could have a significant effect on many applicants.

For instance, a marketing specialist who held a student visa on 8 Feb 2010 would be able to qualify for a 485 visa providing they lodge prior to 1 Jan 2013. After this date, they will no longer be eligible.

Are you eligible?

The main criteria for a 485 visa are:

  • Pass IELTS test with a score of at least 6 in each component
  • Apply for skills assessment in your occupation, prior to lodgement
  • Complete a course taking at least 2 years of study in Australia prior to lodgement
  • Age between 18 and 44 inclusive
  • Meet health and character requirements

    Why apply for a 485 visa?

    The 485 is highly beneficial for students - for instance, they receive a bridging visa allowing them to work full time whilst their 485 is being processed. For many students, the extra time in Australia is critical to them accumulating additional points to facilitate a permanent skilled visa, like working in Australia, completing a professional year or undertaking additional English language testing.

    What happens now?

    For students completing in December, lodging a 485 visa may still be possible prior to 1 January. We would need a letter of completion and transcript to lodge the skills assessment - unlike other skilled visas, the skills assessment does NOT need to be completed prior to lodgement of the 485 visa application.

    If you think that you may be affected by this change to the 485 visa, please contact us to discuss lodging your application before time runs out.

  • Stay up to date - Subscribe to Immigration News!