Study in Australia

Temporary Graduate Visa Implemented
DIAC implemented its long-awaited Temporary Graduate Visa (485 Visa) on 23rd March. The 485 Visa is the result of post-study work rights recommendations in 2011’s Knight Review. The visa will allow international students to work up to four years in Australia upon graduating depending on when a student’s visa was granted and their level of study. The visa comprises two streams with differing conditions and limitations:
  • Graduate Work stream: graduates with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL):  A visa in this stream is granted for 18 months.
  • Post-Study Work stream – graduates with an eligible qualification. This stream is only available to students who applied for and were granted their first Student visa to Australia on or after 5 November 2011. A visa in this stream can be granted for up to four years, depending on the qualification.
As the post-study work stream also requires students to have studied in Australia for at least two years and is only available to students who received their visa on or after 5 November 2011, it won’t be until later this year that graduates will begin to take advantage of the new system.
Since the post-study work rights were proposed in November 2011, they have garnered generally positive response from within the industry. Some, however, have been cautious in their optimism (for more info, see Issue 11 of the IEU).
The Australian carried a story highlighting the influence the new work rights have already had on international students’ decision to study in Australia. Tong Sheng Ch'ng, a Malaysian student who began his studies in 2009, said that the post-study work rights had significantly influenced his decision to continue studying a postgraduate degree in Australia.
"I enrolled in a masters course because I wanted to stay here. I'm hoping to eventually get permanent residency," said Mr Ch'ng.
IEAA executive, Phil Honeywood, however, says it is still too early to tell how the new visa will influence student numbers into Australia.
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