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Key Updates to the Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) in Australia: What You Need to Know

Are you an international student in Australia planning to stay and work after graduation? The Australian government has implemented significant changes to the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa program starting July 1, 2024. This blog post will outline the key changes you need to be aware of.


Streamlined Visa Streams

The existing Graduate Work and Post-Study Work streams have been renamed and restructured:

  • Post-Vocational Education Work Stream: This replaces the Graduate Work stream and is for international graduates with Associate Degrees, Diplomas, or Trade qualifications aligned with Australia's Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

  • Post-Higher Education Work Stream: This replaces the Post-Study Work stream and is for graduates with Bachelor's Degrees (including Honors) or Master's Degrees (coursework or extended).


Reduced Age Limit

The maximum age for applicants in both Post-Vocational and Post-Higher Education streams has been reduced to 35 years old. However, there are exceptions for holders of Hong Kong and British National Overseas (BNO) passports, who can apply up to age 50.


Changes to Visa Grant Periods

The previous two-year extension for select degrees is no longer offered. New maximum stay periods are:

  • Bachelor Degree (including Honors): Up to 2 years

  • Master’s Degree (coursework and extended): Up to 2 years

  • Masters (research) and doctoral degree (PhD) – up to 3 years.

  • Post-Vocational Education Work stream - up to 18 month.

Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders may be able to stay for up to 5 years.


Indian Nationals and the AI-ECTA

Indian nationals with qualifications under the Australian Indian Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) will have specific visa grant periods determined by their qualification level.

  • Bachelor degree (including Honours) – up to 2 years

  • Bachelor degree (with first class Honours in STEM, including ICT) – up to 3 years

  • Masters (coursework, extended and research) – up to 3 years

  • Doctoral degrees (PhD) – up to 4 years.



Unaffected Stream: Second Post-Study Work Stream

The Second Post-Study Work Stream remains unchanged and maintains its current eligibility requirements.


Important Dates

The Replacement Stream for students impacted by COVID-19 restrictions will cease on July 1, 2024.


What to Do Next

If you're an international student in Australia graduating after July 1, 2024, ensure you understand the new requirements for the Post-Vocational Education or Post-Higher Education Work Stream, whichever applies to your qualification. Research the MLTSSL to see if your chosen field aligns with Australia's skills needs.

For more information on Temporary Graduate 485 visa new rules 2024 or to discuss your visa options contact our team at Leading Edge Migration and our experts will be able to guide you.


Source: Department of Home Affairs - Temporary Graduate visa (Subclass 485): 

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