Graduate Visa- key factors!

The temporary graduate visa is a great option for students who are about to complete their studies in Australia. The 485 is comprised of 2 streams: Graduate work stream and the post-study work stream.

What are the common criteria for the 485 visa subclass?

  • Completed at least 92 weeks of study within the last 6 months prior to the application

  • Achieved the required score in the English test e.g IELTS 6 overall

  • Arrange for the Australian Police Clearance prior to the application

  • Arrange health insurance prior to the application

  • Arrange provisional skills assessment prior to the application if applying for the Graduate work stream


Graduate work stream is open to student who have recently graduated with an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

What are the acceptable combinations for the subclass 485?

The following are examples of acceptable combinations of study and nominated occupation:

  • an applicant who nominates Construction Project Manager as their skilled occupation and has completed an Advanced Diploma of Building and Construction in Australia

  • an applicant who nominates Automotive Electrician as their skilled occupation who has completed a Certificate III in Automotive (Electrical) and a Certificate IV in Automotive Technology in Australia

  • an applicant who nominates Airconditioning and Mechanical Services Plumber as their skilled occupation who has completed a Certificate III in Plumbing and a Diploma of Plumbing and Services in Australia.


Post-Study Work stream is open to student who have recently graduated with a higher education or above, regardless of their field of study. You also are not required to have undertaken a skills assessment.

The following are examples of acceptable combinations to satisfy the Australian study requirement for this stream:

  • Six months of study of a Graduate Diploma/Certificate in Electrical Engineering, from which the credits are granted towards a further year of study in a Master by Research course, CRICOS registered for 92 weeks and resulting in completion of a Master of Engineering qualification that satisfies the Australian study requirement

  • One year of a Master by coursework in Architecture followed by another year of Master by research in Business Administration - Two unrelated Master courses that are completed when study is undertaken for at least two academic years (as required by the Australian study requirement) is acceptable.

How to Make the Most of your Graduate Temporary Visa?

It is important to make the most of your graduate temporary visa so you can improve your eligibility for migration to Australia. Some of the best ways to do this include:

  • Professional Year: professional years are available for accountants, IT professionals and engineers. They can help with passing skills assessment, and result in an additional 5 points for the skilled migration points test.

  • Full or Permanent Skills Assessment – for some occupation the assessing authorities issue a provisional skills assessment for recent graduates. The primary difference is that a provisional skills assessment does not require employment in your occupation at the skilled level unlike a full or permanent skills assessment. You can utilise your 485 to gain work experience and apply for a full or permanent skills assessment, this will open up various options in the points-tested skilled migration visa options such as the subclass 189, 190 and 489.

  • Work Experience: you can work full time on a 485 visa. This is a great opportunity to find potential employers - if they give you a full time job offer, this opens up various employer sponsored visa options such as the 457 visa, ENS visa (186) and RSMS visa (187).

  • Regional Opportunities: you to relocate anywhere in Australia. You can exlore work opportunities in regional areas and improve your chances of obtaining state nomination and a job offer that may lead to a permanent RSMS visa option.

Did you know?

1) In order to qualify for the 485 visa subclass you need to have successfully completed a degree, diploma or trade qualification.

2) You can only hold one Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 as a primary applicant in your lifetime.

3) A positive skills assessment undertaken by a relevant assessing body can be provided for the Graduate Work Stream regardless of whether your qualifications were completed in Australia or overseas. You are required, however, to separately fulfil the Australian Study requirement in a closely related field of study to your nominated occupation.

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