485 Visa Extension Eligibility

From 1 July 2023 the stay in Australia for SC 485 holders with ‘select degrees‘, as specified in a legislative instrument, will be extended by two years:

  • from two years to four years for select Bachelor degrees
  • from three years to five years for select Masters degrees
  • from four years to six years for all Doctoral degrees.

These select degrees are across medicine, health care, engineering and information technology and will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders are the exception with PSW visa validity of five years.

For first Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) applications lodged from 1 July 2023, an additional period of two years will be added to the standard visa period.

Eligible applicants applying, from 1 July 2023, for a Temporary Graduate visa in the Replacement stream, or in the Post-Study Work stream on the basis of study and residence in regional Australia, will also be granted the additional two years, if it has not been provided on a previous Temporary Graduate visa.

An additional Temporary Graduate visa in the Post-Study Work stream will be available at no cost, for eligible visa holders who have not previously been provided with the extended visa duration on a previous Temporary Graduate visa.

The extension is in addition to the existing additional one to two years of work rights for eligible students who study, live and work in regional areas.

The new extensions will apply from 1 July 2023.

Latest 485 visa changes and updates:

Eligibility

You will be eligible for this extension if:

In addition, one of the following must also apply:

  • You hold a Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) on 1 July 2023, or
  • You have lodged an application for a Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) by 1 July 2023, or
  • You lodge an application for a Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) after 1 July 2023.

If you hold a Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) that expires before 1 July 2023, but you do hold an eligible qualification, you can still apply for this extension. However, in this case, you will be granted a two-year Temporary Activity Australian Government Endorsed Events (COVID-19 Pandemic Event) visa (subclass 408) instead of a further Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485).

You are also eligible for a two-year Temporary Activity Australian Government Endorsed Events (COVID-19 Pandemic event) visa (subclass 408) if:

  • You were granted a Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) before 15 December 2021, and
  • The visa took effect on or after 1 February 2020, and
  • You were in Australia for the whole time that your visa was in effect between 1 February 2020 and 15 December 2021, and
  • You hold an eligible qualification.

Eligible qualifications

To view the list of identified occupations from the 2022 Skills Priority List, see here. The list of occupations and qualifications will be monitored and reviewed on an annual basis.

How to apply

If you meet the eligibility criteria, have completed a qualification from the approved list, and hold a valid Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) on 1 July 2023 – or apply for a Temporary Graduate visa before or after 1 July 2023 – your may be eligible for a two year extension.

If your Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) expires before 1 July 2023 or you are eligible for the two-year Temporary Activity (subclass 408) Australian Government Endorsed Events visa (COVID-19 Pandemic event) as above, you will need to apply for the Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa.

Unrestricted hours for aged care workers

The Australian Government has also announced that student visa holders already working in the aged care sector on 9 May 2023 can continue to work unrestricted hours in the aged care sector until 31 December 2023.

However, if this exemption applies to you, you must continue to balance your study and work commitments even though there is flexibility in the number of hours you can work. You must still:

  • maintain your course enrolment
  • ensure satisfactory course attendance, and
  • ensure satisfactory course progress.

If you cancel your enrolment and stop attending classes, or fail to meet satisfactory course progress, you may be in breach of your visa conditions.

25 November 2023 update and 485 visas

From 25 November 2023, online study requirements reverted to pre-COVID settings. However, online study undertaken during the COVID concession period (1 February 2020 to 25 November 2023) will continue to count towards the Australian Study Requirement (ASR).

As all students were required to return to in-person study in July 2023 by TEQSA, the tertiary education regulator, we anticipate that this position should not disadvantage any students, but also provide a clear end date to the announcement of the previous government made in November 2021.

From 25 November 2023, the subclass 485 can now be granted no matter the location of the applicant at the time of grant.

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