Frequently Asked Questions by International Students
By Mark Webster
Tuesday, 17 September 2013
What are the requirements to apply for a post study working visa after completing a one year Postgraduate course? What is the fee for this type of visa? What are the criteria for this type of visa, including registration? Do I need to take any exams such as IELTS?
To be eligible for a Post Study Work Visa
, you would need to have completed a course or courses taking at least 2 years of study in Australia.
You could potentially use a 1-year postgraduate course as part of the 2-year study requirement, but would need to have completed at least one other qualification taking at least one academic year of study in Australia.
The application fee
for a Post Study Work Visa depends on the number of people included in the visa application. You can calculate the fees which apply by using our online visa fee calculator: https://www.acacia-au.com/immigration-fee-calculator.php
A summary of these is below:
$ 1,440: Main Applicant
$ 720: Each spouse or dependent aged 18 or over
$ 360: Each dependent child aged under 18
Note that a surcharge of $90 applies for each applicant if lodging a paper application rather than an online application.
The main criteria for a Post-Study Work (Subclass 485) Visa are as follows:
Competent English: Minimum of 6 in each of the 4 bands of IELTS, OET B pass or holder of a UK, US, Ireland, Canada or NZ passport
Australian Study: You must have completed qualifications taking at least 2 academic years of study in Australia. The studies must be at the bachelor level or higher, and cannot include Graduate Diplomas or Graduate Certificates unless they gave credits towards completion of a Masters or PhD.
You must lodge your application within 6 months of completion of your Australian studies
You must have applied for your first student visa after 5 November 2011
Note that you may qualify for the Graduate Work Stream of the 485 visa even if you do not meet the above criteria.
Is bridging visa automatically granted for those who apply for 485 visas?
A bridging visa
is granted providing a valid application for a 485 visa is lodged.
Where the applicant holds a student visa when they apply for a 485 visa, a Bridging A visa would be granted. This gives full work rights, but ceases if the student leaves Australia. If the student wishes to travel outside Australia during processing of their application, they should apply for a Bridging B visa.
If the student holds a Bridging Visa when they apply for a 485 visa, a Bridging C visa would be granted. This also gives full work rights, but it is not possible to obtain a Bridging B visa to facilitate travel.
Will it affect my migration application if I applied for an exemption/advanced standing on some subjects, meaning I did not complete all the subjects in Australia?
For a student to meet the Australian Study requirement
, they must have completed courses taking at least 2 academic years in Australia.
Two academic years is defined by the regulations as studies taking at least 92 weeks as registered on CRICOS (http://cricos.deewr.gov.au/).
If academic exemptions have been granted for overseas studies, then the amount of weeks the student is taken to have completed in Australia is reduced. This can result in the student becoming ineligible for a Temporary Graduate visa if too many exemptions are granted.
For example - a student completes a Master Degree in Australia which normally requires 16 units and is registered for 104 weeks on CRICOS.
If they obtain 1 unit exemption for overseas studies, they are taken to have completed: 15/16 * 104 = 97.5 weeks of study. This would meet the Australian study requirement as it is over 92 weeks.
If they obtain 2 units of exemptions, they are taken to have completed 14/16 * 104 = 91 weeks of study, which would not meet the requirement.
What are the possibilities for an international student to get a working visa without any sponsorship? Can an international student study part time in postgraduate?
Most working visas require sponsorship by an employer.
However, there are a number of options which do not require sponsorship, including:
A Graduate Temporary subclass 485 visa: for students completing qualifications taking at least 2 Academic Years of study in Australia
A Working Holiday subclass 417 visa: for people aged under 31 who hold passports from certain countries only
It is also possible to use a visitor visa or student visa to explore business opportunities and in some cases establish a business in Australia. In this case, it may be possible for the student to "self-sponsor" for a 457 visa. The business would need to be relatively well established and have Australian workers for this to be possible.
If studying in Australia on a student visa, the student must study full time, even if this is at postgraduate level.
Students who are studying a masters degree by research or doctoral degree can work full time once they have commenced their studies.
Spouses and partners of students completing a master or doctoral degree can work full time also.
What are the requirements for English for the post study working visa?
Students must show that they have Competent English
to qualify for a Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 visa.
There are three ways of establishing this:
Minimum of 6 in each of the 4 bands of IELTS
OET B pass
Being a holder of a UK, US, Ireland, Canada or NZ passport
If testing is required, it must be conducted prior to lodgement of the 485 visa. Tests up to 3 years old can be used for the purposes of General Skilled Migration.
After graduation, what do I need to do to apply for skill migration (permanent visa)? What are the conditions and procedure?
There are a number of different General Skilled Migration types, and the process depends on which of these you are going for:
Skilled Independent Subclass 189: this requires an occupation on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) but does not require sponsorship by a relative or state/territory government
Skilled Nominated Subclass 190: this requires an occupation on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List and a nomination by a state or territory government
Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489: requires either sponsorship by a relative living in a designated area or by a state or territory government
In general, the application process for General Skilled Migration is as follows:
Complete English language testing
Complete Skills Assessment
Make Expression of Interest through SkillSelect
For subclass 190 or 489, complete state nomination
Once a SkillSelect invitation is received, make the application for a skilled migration visa
Complete Health and Police checks
Only once the SkillSelect Invitation
is received and the application for the skilled migration visa is lodged would a student receive a bridging visa.
Many students do not have sufficient time to go through all the required processes before their student visas expire and so must rely on making an application for a Graduate Temporary subclass 485 visa on completion of their studies.
What are the chances that I would be employed here in Australia after I finish my course?
It's difficult to give a general answer to this question.
However, you can improve your chances of obtaining a skilled job by:
Improve your English Language Ability: improving your communication skills will significantly increase your effectiveness in an interview
Seeking work in your field during your studies: even if you work as an unpaid intern in your occupation, this can make your CV more impressive and help you to make contacts with potential employers
Making use of the University Careers Centre: the Careers Centre can give you tips on preparing your resume and interview technique, as well as give you information on potential employers in your field
Professional Year: if you are studying IT, Engineering or Accounting, you can complete a Professional Year after your studies. As this involves an internship, as well as workplace skills training, this can greatly enhance your chance of getting a skilled job after your studies
Making friends with your Australian classmates: Most jobs are not advertised and the better your contacts, the more likely you will be aware of job opportunities which arise
My postgraduate research sector visa (subclass 574) expires on 28 Feb 2015. How long I can stay in Australia after my projected PhD thesis submission on March 2014?
If your visa was granted after 5 November 2011, your 574 visa should be valid for 6 months after the usual duration of your course. This gives you additional time to allow for marking and re-submission of your thesis.
Once your thesis has been accepted and you have met the requirements for award of your qualification, you should look at applying for a visa for further stay in Australia as soon as possible.
Once you have met requirements for award of your qualification, your university will notify the Department of Immigration that you have completed. Unless you have applied for further stay, it's quite possible that the Department of Immigration will look at cancelling your visa.
If marking takes longer than 6 months, you may need to either extend your student visa or notify the Department of Immigration that marking is taking longer than anticipated.
It appears that your 574 visa will be valid for almost 12 months after submission of your thesis. Your visa will allow you to remain in Australia for 6 months after submission or until your thesis is accepted, whichever is sooner. I would recommend that you look at visa options to extend your stay once your thesis is marked, and would certainly not rely on remaining in Australia for 12 months after submission on your current 574 visa.
What are the requirements for the 457 employer sponsor visa?
There are three stages to the 457 visa application
Employer would need to apply for approval as a Standard Business Sponsor. To get this approval, the business will need to provide evidence of financial position, record of training Australians in the business to at least 1% of payroll (unless sponsor is an overseas entity).
Employer has to apply for permission to fill a nominated position with overseas national. The position needs to meet minimum salary requirements - currently $53,900 minimum annual salary and also be at the applicable market rate. Your occupation needs to be on the approved list of occupations (CSOL).
Employee has to demonstrate they have skills necessary to fill the position, meet English requirements (Vocational English - minimum of 5 in each of the 4 components of IELTS) and all members of the family travelling to Australia must meet health requirements
Will I be eligible for the post study working visa if I completed one year master from another university and now I am doing a second master from UWS? I came to Australia before November, however my course started in Feb 2012.
If you came to Australia prior to November 2011, you will unfortunately not be eligible for a Post Study Work Visa. You may, however, be eligible for a 485 visa in the Graduate Work stream.
It is possible to use two master degree qualifications to meet the required Australian study requirement. The total number of weeks required to complete the qualifications must be at least 92 weeks as registered on CRICOS, and caution must be used if there have been academic exemptions.
Are students allowed to partake in business such as Import/Export or any sole proprietor business in Australia?
Students are allowed to start a business in Australia whilst holding a student visa.
However, students should be cautious about the following:
Not exceeding the 40 hours per fortnight limitation 8105/8104
Ensuring that they have all the relevant business registrations and licensing, and make the necessary tax lodgements
Students should consult an accountant to ensure that their business is properly set up to trade lawfully in Australia.
What steps would be required to change from a Post Study Work Arrangements Visa to a Permanent Residency Visa? How long would this process take?
There are a number of permanent residency options which students can look at whilst on a Post Study Work visa. These include:
General Skilled Migration: outlined above
Employer Sponsorship: if you have a job offer with an Australian employer
Family Sponsorship: if you have an Australian partner or other relatives in Australia.
Processing times vary depending on which option you choose, but can take anywhere from 3-4 months to 12-18 months.
As a PhD student of marketing, what visa can I apply for as a Tutor or lecturer? When should I apply for it? How long does it take to process?
The occupations of Tutor and Lecturer are on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL) but not on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL).
This means that you can apply for employer sponsored or state/territory sponsored visas, but not for the skilled independent subclass 189 visa.
In terms of the Graduate Temporary subclass 485 visa, you could apply for the Post Study Work stream, but not for the Graduate Work Stream.
To qualify for the Post Study Work stream, you would need to have applied for your first student visa prior to 5 November 2011. However, there is no occupations list and you can use potentially any qualifications at the bachelor, master or doctorate level regardless of which discipline you have studied in.
To qualify for the Graduate Work stream, you must nominate an occupation on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL). Unfortunately, the occupations of marketing specialist, university lecturer and university tutor are not on the Skilled Occupations List.
I applied for a student visa before Nov 2011, doing a course on SOL, but by the time I am finished, the course is no longer on SOL, how do I get a work permit then?
If your occupation is no longer on the SOL, then it may not be possible to apply for Graduate Work Stream.
The following options require your occupation to be on the CSOL, which is much wider than the SOL:
State/Territory Nomination: ie the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 or the Skilled Regional Provisional Subclass 489 visa
If you are unable to lodge prior to the expiry of your current student visa, you may need to either:
Extend your studies in Australia; or
Await the outcome of your application overseas
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