A key outcome from the Australian Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit in September 2022 was the announcement of a two-year extension of post-study work rights for international graduates with select degrees in areas of verified skill shortage.
Post-study work rights for international graduates will be increased from:
- two years to four years for select Bachelor degrees
- three years to five years for select Masters degrees
- four years to six years for all doctoral degrees.
This extension will be added to the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) for eligible graduates; or enabling a new visa application for those select students who already hold a TGV and will be seeking an additional two years.
The Government has considered the working group’s advice and has announced more details about the measure including the indicative list of occupations and eligible qualifications.
The measure will commence on 1 July 2023.
Further information will be provided on the Home Affairs and Department of Education websites as July approaches.
This will not affect eligibility to apply for the Post-Study Work Stream for graduates who have studied, worked, and lived in a regional area.
Eligible international students whose TGV will expire between 1 September 2022 and 1 July 2023, as well as TGV holders who remained in Australia contributing to the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, will be able to access a two-year Pandemic event (subclass 408).
The list of eligible qualifications was developed by mapping in-demand occupations on the Skills Priority List to relevant qualifications.
The lists of occupations and qualifications will be monitored and reviewed on an annual basis to respond to any changes in the labour market and address any risks that emerge.
It is intended that future changes to the qualifications list will not adversely impact students who have started an eligible course of study, which has subsequently been removed from this list.
Students who graduate with a qualification that was eligible either when they started studying or when they finished studying, or both, will be eligible for the extension.
The list of eligible qualifications can be found here.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need an employer to sponsor me for the extension?
No, employer sponsorship is not required.
Why is my qualification not eligible?
While all Australian qualifications are designed to prepare graduates for employment, not all qualifications are directly relevant to occupations where skills shortages are being experienced.
The eligibility assessment process relies on the occupational forecasts created by Jobs and Skills Australia.
The list of eligible qualifications will be reviewed on an annual basis.
What if the list of qualifications changes while I am studying?
The list of eligible qualifications will be reviewed yearly, and it is possible that qualifications will be added or removed. If you graduate with a qualification that was eligible either when you started studying or when you finished studying, or both, you will be eligible for the extension.
Can I change my course of study to an eligible qualification and be eligible for the extension?
Can I change my course of study from an eligible qualification to an ineligible qualification and be eligible for the extension?
No. You must graduate with an eligible qualification in order to be eligible for the extension.
Why have graduate certificates and graduate diplomas been excluded as eligible qualifications?
Graduate certificates and graduate diplomas do not meet the Australian Study Requirement. Please check your eligibility on the Home Affairs website.
Are all skill priority occupations in-scope for the two-year extension?
Qualifications with direct links to occupations in shortage, with strong or moderate projected future demand are in scope for the two-year extension. The Government will agree and publish the final list annually after review.
Why have generalist qualifications been excluded?
Generalist qualifications are those which do not lead to a specific occupation pathway, so do not encourage international graduates to contribute to Australia’s skills needs by getting jobs in in-demand sectors.
Will the Australian Government be reviewing its decision to exclude generalist qualifications?
The list of eligible occupations and qualifications will be monitored and reviewed annually, and updated as required based on labour market needs.
Why aren’t doctoral degree holders restricted to the eligible qualifications list?
International doctoral degree graduates of all disciplines represent a highly-skilled cohort with significant potential for this cohort to contribute to Australia’s economy and society.
Is this extension of post-study work rights a permanent decision?
There is currently no end-date set for this measure.
International students working cap
Yes, from 1 July 2023, the working hour cap for international students will be reinstated. The cap will be raised from 40 hours to 48 hours per fortnight.
Latest 485 visa changes and updates:
- Extra 1 or 2-year visa for international graduates from regional institutions
- 485 Visa – Secondary applicants not excluded
- COVID-19 Concessions for Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visas
- 485 Visa Processing Time
- 485 visa