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Please read more about the 485 extension for eligible visa holders and the 485 replacement visa available from 1 July 2022 from our recent post here.

Temporary Graduate 485 visa is suitable for applicants who have recently completed an eligible course in Australia and would like to remain in Australia to work. It is also suitable for Hong Kong SAR applicants in particular because of the longer visa period and pathway to permanent residency (PR).

GW and PWS Streams

The Temporary Graduate 485 visa has 3 streams: Graduate Work (GW) stream, Post-Study Work (PWS) stream, and the Second PSW stream.  You are only allowed to apply GW stream once.  For the PWS stream, if you meet certain regional Australia criteria, you are allowed to apply for it the second time.  It can be a bit confusing which stream you should apply for, and I will try to clarify this.  But, please do contact us if you have any questions.

If you study eligible courses at Certificate or Diploma levels, then you must apply for the GW stream.  If you study eligible courses at Bachelor or above levels, then you can apply either the PWS stream or the GW stream.  If you do have this choice, then you would typically choose to apply for the PWS stream as it is a bit simpler.

The PWS stream requires you to study eligible courses at Bachelor or above levels (excluding Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma levels).  There is no requirement on what field of study you need to do (e.g. Accounting or Engineering, etc.).  But there is a requirement that your first Australia student visa was applied after 5/11/2011.  If not, you will not be eligible, and you must apply for the GW stream instead.

The GW stream requires you to study eligible courses that are closely related to the nominated skilled occupation on the MLTSSL occupation list, and you obtain a successful provisional skill assessment for that nominated skilled occupation.

Meet the Australian Study Requirement within 6 months

One of the most important criteria is that you must apply for the Temporary Graduate 485 visa within 6 months of completing your courses that meet the Australian Study Requirement (ASR).  If you fail to do so, you will not be eligible to apply anymore.  It is important you do proper planning and do not wait till the last minute.  Contact us so we can assist with your planning process.

It is also important you understand what is required to meet the Australian Study Requirement (ASR).  You can refer to the Department of Home Affairs website (here) for more detail.  I will discuss 2 important requirements you should pay attention to: 1) Two academic years, and 2) Minimum of 16 months study in Australia.

The two academic years requirement means the eligible courses you study must total at least 2 academic years (or 92 weeks).  You can meet this requirement with one or more eligible courses.  The minimum of 16 months study in Australia requirement means the amount of time you spent studying your courses in Australia must be a minimum of 16 months.  If you received credit for some units or if you studied portion of your courses online and offshore and this caused your total time studying in Australia to less than 16 months, then you may not meet this requirement.  Contact us if you are uncertain and we can help to assess your situation in detail.

English requirement

You must meet the English requirement before you can apply for the Temporary Graduate 485 visa.  You can meet this requirement if you completed an IELTS test (Academic or General) with a minimum score of 6 overall, and a minimum of 5 in each component.  You can meet this requirement if you achieve the minimum scores in other eligible English tests.  However, if you hold a passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, or the Republic of Ireland, you also meet the English requirement, and will not be required to complete an English test.  If you believe you may find it difficult to achieve the required score, then you should plan ahead and spend time on improving your English skills.

Choice of courses

As mentioned, if you study eligible courses at Bachelor or above levels, and you apply for the PWS stream, there is no requirement on what field of courses you must study.  So, you would typically want to study a course that you are interested in, or a progression from your previous studies, or a course that can improve your qualifications towards your career.

However, if you do apply for the GW stream, then you must study eligible courses that are closely related to the nominated skilled occupation on the MLTSSL occupation list.  Choosing courses that are closely related to occupations on a different list (e.g., STSOL or ROL), then you will not meet the requirements for the Temporary Graduate 485 visa.  It is important you choose wisely, and we can help with this choice as we are also a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor (QEAC Q327).  Popular courses that can meet this requirement include the following:

Pathway to Permanent Residency with Hong Kong stream

Eligible persons with Hong Kong SAR or BNO passports may be eligible to gain permanent residency from studying Australia pathway.  You must be granted a Temporary Graduate 485 visa (by first completing eligible studies in Australia), and live in Australia for 3 or 4 years.  Then you should be able to apply either the Subclass 189 (if you live in Australia for 4 years), or Subclass 191 (if you live in regional Australia for 3 years) under the Hong Kong stream.  Contact us to learn more about this pathway to permanent residency.


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Tel: +852 2560 7711 (Hong Kong)

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Mobile: +852 9712 9015

Email: enquiry@tansonmigration.com

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