Graduate Temporary (Subclass 485)

About This Visa

International students who have completed two years of study in Australia are eligible for the Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa. It is a work visa that lasts from anywhere between 18 months and 4 years depending on your specific situation. This visa subclass also increases your chances of eligibility for a permanent or provisional skilled visa.

Eligibility Streams

The Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 Visa has two eligibility streams:

Post Study Work Stream:

Introduced in March 2013, this eligibility stream more commonly known as the Post Study Work Visa or PSWV is for students applying for their first student visa after 5 November 2011.

The Graduate Work Stream:

Criteria are similar to the 485 Graduate Skilled visa as it was prior to March 2013

Common Criteria

These are the criteria which are common to both the PSWV (Post Study Work) stream and the Graduate Work Stream:


The main applicant must be under the age of 50 at the date of lodgment.

Language Skill

  • The main applicant must achieve a minimum of 6 in International English Language Testing System or IELTS (Competent English) or passport from native English speaking country.
  • At date of lodgment, evidence of threshold English must be provided.

Study in Australia:

The 2 year study requirement must be met and all qualifications completed within six months of application for this visa.

Points Test:

The Temporary Graduate subclass 485 visa is not points-tested.

Post Study Work Stream (PSWV) Criteria

The following criteria must be met in order to qualify under the Post Study Work Stream (PSWV):

Applied for First Student Visa on or after 5 November 2011:

To be eligible for the PSWV, you must have applied for your first student visa on or after 5 November 2011.

First student visas lodged prior to this date will not be eligible for the PSWV even if you obtain a subsequent student visa after said date.

Studies in Australia at Bachelor level or Higher:

One or more of the following qualifications in Australia must be completed to qualify for the Post Study Work Visa:

  • Bachelor Degree
  • Bachelor with Honours
  • Masters by Coursework
  • Masters (Extended)
  • Masters by Research
  • Doctorate – e.g. PhD

Take note that you could not apply for a PSWV purely on the basis of having completed a graduate diploma or graduate certificate. However, these studies can count towards the 2 year study requirement if they resulted in academic credits towards one of the above qualifications.

Studies below the level of a bachelor degree (e.g. Certificate III, Diploma or Associate Degree) do not count towards the study requirement for the PSWV.

Graduate Work Stream Criteria

The Graduate Work Stream criteria are quite different to that of the Post Study Work Visa:

Skills Assessment:

You must pass skills assessment in an occupation included in the Skilled Occupations List to qualify for a Graduate Work Stream 485 visa. The PSWV however, has no occupations list or skills assessment.

Until you have lodged your application for skills assessment, you are not permitted to apply for a Graduate Work Stream visa. As for the 485 visa application, the skills assessment does not need to have been completed prior to lodgment.

Occupation Closely Related to Qualifications:

All qualifications counting towards the 2 year study requirement should be “closely related” to your nominated occupation.

Eligible Qualifications:

Students can apply for a Graduate Work Stream visa with a wider range of qualifications compared to the PSWV, for example:

  • Trade Qualifications: including certificate III or higher qualifications in a trade occupation
  • Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas
  • Graduate Diplomas

Where should I be when I apply for this visa?

When applying for a 485 visa, the primary applicant must be in Australia and must already hold an eligible student visa within a 6 month period prior to lodgment.

Including Family Members

The following types of family members can be included in your application:

  • Spouses, de facto and same sex partners
  • Dependent children

If you already hold a 485 visa, you can apply for family members to join you in Australia on 485 visas.

Duration and Conditions

The duration of the 485 visa will depend on your circumstances.

Graduate Work stream visas are valid for 18 months from the date of grant of the application.

The duration of the PSWV depends on which qualification has been completed in Australia as follows:

  • 2 years: completion of Bachelor Degree, Bachelor with Honours, Masters by Coursework or Masters (Extended)
  • 3 years: Masters by Research
  • 4 years: Doctorate

You have unrestricted work rights in Australia whilst your 485 visa in in effect.


Why use Turner Coulson Immigration Lawyers?

Graduate Temporary (Subclass 485) visa can be refused for a number of reasons. The Graduate Temporary (Subclass 485) visa application also has strict criteria which all must be met and only very limited waiver provisions for age, English language and skill requirements exist.

It is essential that the application is assessed, structured and lodged in a way to satisfy all applicable DIBP law and policy. Turner Coulson (Immigration Lawyers Sydney) has years of experience handling the most complex cases and achieving positive outcomes in circumstances where the applicant would have failed if we were not involved.


What to do next and how to apply?

Getting the right advice upfront is essential so contact for a free no obligation discussion with one of our advisors who are ready and waiting to assist you applying for your visa.