About 485 Visas in Australia
The Graduate (Temporary) – Subclass 485 visa us a work visa for international students who have completed two years of study in Australia and wish to extend their stay to gain professional work experience and improve their chances of becoming eligible for a permanent visa pathway or provisional skilled visa. This visa can last between 18 months to 4 years and this is dependent on various circumstances.
There are two eligibility streams for the Temporary Graduate visa:
8501 – Health Insurance Condition
The Department of Home Affairs imposes specific conditions to the range of visas available to those travelling to Australia.
Condition 8501 requires that visa holders must have and maintain adequate health insurance for the whole of your stay in Australia.
This condition applies to all streams of the Temporary Graduate – Subclass 485 visa.
Overseas Visitor Health Cover & 485 Graduate Visa- FAQ
What is Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC)?
OVHC is health cover that complies to a standard set by the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DoHA). It’s part of the requirements for a range of visas when coming to Australia.
Why is OVHC important?
Overseas Working Visa Requirement
As most overseas visitors or workers are not eligible for Medicare (Australia’s publicly funded healthcare for residents and citizens), maintaining adequate health insurance is a requirement for a range of working visas. Overseas workers with visa condition 8501 must purchase and provide proof of adequate OVHC when applying for their visa.
Maintaining adequate OVHC is a mandatory condition
The Australian Government through the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) requires all holders of an overseas working visa to maintain adequate OVHC for the entire time they are in Australia until their visa expires.
Medical treatment can be expensive
Most overseas workers who come to Australia to work cannot access Medicare, our publicly funded healthcare system, which may lead to large out-of-pocket costs to pay if they require medical treatment. Depending on the type of cover you choose, your OVHC will keep you covered for some of the costs of medical treatment if you get sick or have an accident.
What is a Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement?
Some countries have a Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement (RHCA) with Australia that entitles their citizens to Medicare eligibility, but even citizens who are eligible for Australian Medicare under an RHCA are only covered for public hospital treatment that is medically essential and cannot wait until you get home. RHCA’s do not cover treatment in private hospitals.
Working or temporary graduate visa visitors to Australia who want private hospital cover in Australia (or who are citizens of countries that do not have an RHCA with Australia) must obtain a Department of Immigration-approved overseas visitor health cover before they arrive in Australia.
What if I am transitioning from Overseas Student Health Cover to Overseas visitor Health Cover as I was previously on a student visa?
As a 485 visa holder, you will need to show that you have adequate arrangements for health insurance when your 485 visa is granted. Whilst it is OK to have OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover) at the time of application, you will need Working Visa cover for approval of your 485 visa.
You also need to maintain your Working Visa cover whilst you hold your 485 visa. If you do not maintain this level of cover, your 485 visa might be cancelled.
You can contact your current health insurance provider and inform them your visa type is changing and they can assist you in changing your policy. Alternatively, you can view our pages on Overseas Visitor Health Cover to determine the best provider for you.
Will I have OSHC and OVHC at the same time?
Australia’s Department of Home Affairs requires you to have continuous health cover during your stay in Australia. Therefore it’s not uncommon for students to have both OSHC and 485 cover while you’re applying for your 485 visa. So you may have two sets of cover at the same time while you wait for your visa. You may be able to speak with your health insurance provider to ask them to backdate your OSHC cover so that you are not out of pocket.
Health Insurance Providers
Choosing the relevant health provider for insurance can be overwhelming. In Australia, the relevant insurance for 485 visa holders is known as: Overseas Visitor Health Cover.
We have put together some information on the different OVHC policies that are available, see our pages below: