Are you interested in applying for the Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa? It can be a great option if you are an international student who has recently completed your studies in Australia. It offers you the opportunity to remain onshore with essentially no visa conditions to limit what you can do in Australia. You can continue your studies, or you may wish to work and gain skilled employment experience to help you to potentially qualify for a skilled visa later down the track. Or you may simply wish to travel around Australia to experience what it has to offer. It is this flexibility which makes the subclass 485 visa an attractive option for potential applicants.

You can also extend your stay in Australia for one to two years by applying for a second temporary graduate visa if you meet specified requirements.

Graduates with a select degree are also eligible for an additional two-year Post-Study Work Temporary Graduate visa.

In this article, we discuss some of the key requirements to qualify for a subclass 485 temporary graduate visa, and provide links to further information to the subclass 485 visa step by step eligibility requirements. We also outline a roadmap to permanent residency in Australia for international students. We discuss how points are calculated and ways to get more points for a skilled points-based visa, and what is required to get an employer sponsorship.  We then discuss ways in which you can find employment, for the purposes of meeting eligibility criteria for a state sponsored skilled visa. We conclude with a discussion on IELTS tips, to help you to meet the English language requirement.

What Are The Key Requirements To Qualify For A Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa?

To apply for a temporary graduate visa 485, you must select from either the Graduate Work or Post-Study Work stream. To do so, you will need to meet several common criteria that apply to each stream (such as the English language, health and character requirements), in addition to specific requirements that apply to each stream.

Some of the key aspects that you need to address when lodging a temporary graduate visa 485 visa application include the Australian Study Requirement, which relates to your course of study and aspects of your student visa (and which is subject to a strict deadline to qualify). You must also arrange appropriate health insurance cover. Each of these eligibility requirements apply to the Graduate Work and Post-Study Work streams.

Before you apply for a temporary graduate visa 485, it is vital that you have a good understanding of the visa 485 step by step requirements and how they apply to your individual circumstances. Otherwise you risk having your subclass 485 temporary graduate visa application refused. We recommend that you speak with a migration agent who will take you through the subclass 485 visa step by step criteria and provice tailored advice for your situation. The team of registered migration agents at PAX Migration Australia are here to assist you; give us a call to get expert advice on applying for a subclass 485 temporary graduate visa and the visa 485 step by step requirements.

We recommend that you refer to our article on the Difference Between Post Study Work Stream vs Graduate Work Stream for further information about the visa 485 step by step requirements and how they apply in each of these circumstances.

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We recommend that you refer to the articles below which we have prepared to assist you in understanding how the temporary graduate visa 485 application works and the issues you need to be aware of when embarking on this type of application, including the visa 485 step by step requirements.

Temporary Graduate Visa Subclass 485

Graduate Visa 485 Application Tips

Graduate Visa For International Students

Australian Study Requirement For Visas

Difference Between Post Study Work Stream vs Graduate Work Stream

485 Visa Requirements And Qualification Criteria

Australian Graduate Visa Requirements And FAQs

Let us now turn to some of the relevant factors to consider if you are thinking about a potential pathway to permanent residency.

Planning Your Visa Pathway

A Student visa can often be a good starting point in the pathway to achieving permanent residency in Australia. It allows you to not only gain a highly regarded education and qualification/s, gain new skills and/or further your knowledge to help improve your employment prospects, but it also allows you to start working on the elements which you will need to qualify for a Skilled visa in the future.

A potential skilled visa option for you to consider as you plan your pathway is a points-based visa. To qualify, you will need to achieve a prescribed minimum points score. Gaining a higher points score can also help to increase your chances of a successful application result.

Some points-tested visas are state sponsored, meaning that you will first need to apply for, and receive nomination approval, before you can proceed with lodging your application for the relevant skilled visa.

Another skilled visa class which you might consider applying for is an employer sponsorship. To qualify, you will need to first locate an employer who is willing to sponsor you. There are also a number of requirements which both you and your proposed sponsoring employer will need to meet before you can apply.

To qualify for state sponsorshio, you may need to have completed a certain minimum period of work experience in the state or territory for which you are applying. There are various search tools which you can use to help you to find a job that is right for you, and to enable you to meet relevant requirements.

English language requirements apply to several visa classes as part of valid visa application and/or grant criteria. These will differ for each visa class, as do any exemptions which apply (e.g. passport holders from certain countries is one exemption category). There are also several English language tests which can be completed to meet relevant requirements, one of which is the IELTS.

How Can An International Student Graduate Qualify For Permanent Residence In Australia?

Once you have completed your course, as a student visa holder, you may then qualify for a subclass 485 temporary graduate visa. The temporary graduate visa 485 can be a great option to include in your plan as it allows you to continue to build on and accumulate the necessary elements to later apply for a skilled visa. You can gain skilled employment experience and/or additional qualifications as a graduate visa holder, (without restrictions), which can be very important attributes to qualify for, or improve your chances of, a successful application for a skilled visa. The subclass 485 temporary graduate visa is only available to international student graduates.

Following on from this stage, you may then be eligible to apply for a skilled visa, of which there are several possibilities (depending on your personal situation). You might qualify for a Subclass 189 Skilled (Independent) visa, or a Subclass 190 Skilled (Nominated) visa. These are points-based visas which grant automatic permanent residence in Australia. Another points-based skilled visa option is the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa. This is a provisional visa which provides a pathway to permanent residence after three years if prescribed requirements are met via the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa.

The subclass 190 and 491 visas are state sponsored migration programs, requiring you to receive nomination approval from your selected State or Territory before you can apply for the visa.

Be aware that each jurisdiction has its own criteria for approving a nomination, and thus you will need to ensure that you are informed about what these are and that you satisfy them before applying.

If you receive nomination approval from a State or Territory, you may also be subject to several additional obligations to your nominating jurisdiction for a certain period, as a condition of granting the nomination approval. These obligations can include residing in your nominating State or Territory, and providing information to the relevant authority, as required.

How Are Points Calculated And How Can You Achieve More Points?

Each of these points-based skilled visas operate by way of an Expression of Interest (EOI) and invitation system.

The migration provisions prescribe the minimum points score which you will need to achieve to qualify for each of the above skilled visas. They also specify a points table, listing each attribute and the number of points that you will score. Examples of attributes for which you can achieve points include skilled employment, qualifications and English language competency. You can work on building your points score whilst you hold Student and Graduate visas, which helps to make them such attractive options to incorporate into your plan.

What Other Types Of Skilled Visa Options May Be Available?

Apart from the points-tested skilled visas, you may also have options under the employer sponsored and nominated visa programs. The Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa is a temporary employer sponsorship visa which provides a pathway to permanent residency after two years.

The Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visas, which requires an employer to nominate you for permanent residence in Australia, consists of three streams, namely, a Temporary Residence Transition (TRT), Direct Entry and Labour Agreement stream.

To qualify for both the employer sponsored and nominated visas, a key component of visa grant requirements is the need to have a specified number of years of skilled employment experience in your nominated occupation. The temporary graduate visa 485 will enable you to gain skilled employment experience, which you will need for this purpose (but be aware that there are two graduate visa streams, and the one you qualify for will determine your graduate visa term, which will be important as you need to ensure you will have enough time to gain this experience – this again demonstrates how crucial it is to know all the information up-front so that you can formulate a plan that will ultimately lead to you qualifying for a skilled visa in the future).

How Can You Get An Employer Sponsorship?

Before embarking on an employer sponsorship, you will need to have established a relationship with an employer and they must be willing to sponsor you for a position in their business. One of the benefits of having a Student Visa and/or Graduate Visa is the opportunity which these provide for you to locate potential employers and perform work for them to demonstrate that you are a good candidate for an employer sponsorship in the future. As you gain knowledge and skills whilst completing your qualification (as a Student Visa holder), and later, build on those skills and gain further experience once you are qualified in your nominated occupation (as a Graduate Visa holder), a potential sponsoring employer will be able to determine whether you would be a valuable addition to their business, and can decide whether to sponsor you.

The work experience which you gain whilst on your graduate visa may also qualify as skilled experience for the purposes of meeting eligibility requirements for a subclass 482 visa. This again illustrates the importance of planning your permanent residence visa pathway with the right information, so that you can spend the time on your student and graduate visas building these elements to later qualify for a skilled visa. This would also include being aware of which graduate visa stream you would need to apply for, to ensure that your graduate visa validity period will be long enough for you to gain the required work experience for a future skilled visa application. And even before you get to this stage, you must ensure that your qualification awarded whilst you hold a student visa will allow you to apply for the required graduate visa stream. Therefore, planning from the beginning of this process is crucial to help ensure that you achieve your desired long-term goals.

The application process for an employer sponsorship comprises of three stages, which all need to be approved for a successful outcome. The Sponsorship and Nomination applications must be lodged by your proposed sponsoring employer, whilst you need to lodge a separate visa application on your own behalf. All three applications can be lodged at the same time. Be aware also that a sponsorship application will not be required in all cases, as your proposed sponsoring employer may already have an approved sponsorship.

Tips On Finding Employment

Skilled employment experience may be required to qualify for several skilled visa options. State sponsorship may also require that you have a specified minimum period of skilled employment experience as part of the eligibility requirements in the relevant State or Territory for which you are applying.

Employment experience may also add to your points score for a skilled visa, and thereby help you to qualify for a skilled visa or increase your chances of a successful outcome on your application.

Finding an employer will be required if you are planning to apply for an employer sponsored or nominated visa (as discussed above). The nominated position may need to be located in a specific region of Australia (for example, in South Australia) to qualify for a subclass 491 visa.

You will need to conduct research to locate an employer. We would recommend commencing your research via the internet, where you can easily search for vacant positions in all industries and for all employer types. This is the most widely-used method for employers to advertise positions, and for applicants to search for them. To find employment in a specific state or territory, you can narrow your search by selecting the State/City and/or more specific postcode/suburb when entering your search criteria.

Some job recruitment sites which you could start with include:

Some of these job search sites allow you to create a profile and upload your CV, so that potential employers can search for and find your details when trying to recruit potential employees.

You can also contact recruitment companies, who specialise in helping candidates to locate employment. These organisations often focus on certain industries and/or job types and will therefore likely have a more in-depth knowledge about how each industry conducts its recruitment activities and thus how best to approach your own job search. Recruitment agents also have direct relationships with these potential employers, which can be very beneficial for job applicants, by providing a ‘direct line’ to the employer.

Another method of conducting a job search might be to research employers to whom you would like to apply, and to send your CV with a cover letter explaining your personal situation and what you are looking for. Some employers do not advertise widely, and this can be a useful method to try for these types of positions. Researching your industry (which you can do online) will help you to find potential employers in this way.

Linked In searches and word-of-mouth are other methods you can use to help you to find employment.  You could also approach professional organisations for your industry (for example, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) if you are seeking employment in the accounting profession).

The best way to find employment is to search widely using several methods (some of which may be discussed above).

An Important Note Regarding All Skilled Visa Options

Each of the skilled visas outlined above have a prescribed set of requirements that you will need to satisfy for valid application lodgement and visa grant purposes. It is very important that you are aware of these requirements at the start of the process, as you embark on planning and formulating your visa pathway. This involves keeping up-to-date with new developments as they occur and making any required variations to your plan as applicable. With migration laws frequently changing, this makes it even more critical to stay on top of these changes as they occur. To help you to achieve the result you are seeking, you may consider engaging a migration agent, who are trained professionals in Australia’s migration laws and who can advise you on the best course of action based on your individual circumstances.

English Language Requirements

Achieving a minimum English language competency is often a requirement to qualify for a range of visa classes, including for the visa subclasses discussed in this article (such as for the graduate visa and skilled visas). Prescribed criteria specify what you will need to meet this requirement, including the type English language test that is accepted, the minimum score which you will need to achieve (in a single test attempt), how long the English test result will be valid for visa application purposes, and the date by which you must have completed the test/achieved the required result.

These requirements will be different across the various visa classes, and you must therefore carefully confirm the criteria that apply to your own situation before you apply.

A variety of English language tests are accepted for visa application purposes, but the most common and widely used test is the IELTS. It is an internationally recognised test which is accepted by a number of different organisations, in addition to Australian migration purposes (such as for skills assessments and as part of entrance requirements for certain education providers) and has several testing facilities around Australia, making it accessible to more applicants.


The number one tip for improving your IELTS test results is preparation and practice before you complete the examination. Make sure that you leave yourself plenty of time to prepare before attempting the test, including allowing for additional time in case you need to re-sit the test to achieve your desired results.

Research online to find IELTS preparation courses, including on the IELTS website, which contains practice materials such as practice tests, support tools and exam tips to help you to prepare.

You should also ensure that you confirm the minimum test score which you will need to qualify for the visa for which you intend to apply. Check this information when you start planning your visa pathway, so that you know exactly what you are working towards. Knowing this information from the beginning will give you the added benefit of time to achieve the results which you will need to meet your goals.

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Student Visa

To learn more about applying for a student visa, please refer to the following articles:

Extending Student Visa In Australia

Australian Student Visa Financial Requirements

Student Accommodation Tips

International Student Visa Australia

Australian Study Requirement For Visas

No Further Stay Condition For Student Visas

Reasons For Student Visa Cancellation Or Student Visa Rejection

PR Courses In Australia


IELTS Classes To Improve Your Score

Skilled Visas

To learn more about applying for a skilled visa, please refer to the following articles:

Australian Skilled Migration Visa List

General Skilled Migration Visa Options

SAF Skilling Australians Fund Levy

General Skilled Migration Visa Points

Subclass 491 Regional Visa

Subclass 190 State Sponsorship Visa

Australian Skilled Occupations List

Australian Permanent Resident Visa Case Study

State Sponsorship Visas In Australia

South Australia State Sponsorship Opportunities

Skilled Regional Visa Australia

Regional Sponsor Migration Scheme

Regional Sponsored Visa Requirements

Visa Options For Professionals

Skilled Trade Visa Options In Australia

English Requirements For Skilled Visas

Australian Visa Options For IT Occupations

Australian Immigration And Visa Options For Doctors

Australian Immigration And Visa Options For Nurses

Employer Visas

For further information about employer visas, we recommend that you refer to the below articles.

Employer Sponsored Visas

Employer Nomination Migration Scheme

Labour Agreement Visa

482 Visa Employer Obligations

457 Visa Replacement

Employer Sponsor Visa Requirements

Changes To 457 Temporary Work Skilled Visa

Business Requirements For Accredited Sponsorship

Self Sponsor Visa Australia

Does 482 Visa Require Skills Assessment

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Contact us to book a no-obligation consultation to obtain advice on your eligibility for a subclass 485 temporary graduate visa, to apply for a temporary graduate visa 485 and for further information on the subclass 485 visa step by step requirements.

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In conclusion, we note that the above discussion provides an overview of some of the key requirements to qualify for a subclass 485 temporary graduate visa, with links to further information to the subclass 485 visa step by step eligibility requirements. It also outlines a roadmap to permanent residency in Australia for international students. And we have discussed how points are calculated and ways to get more points for a skilled points-based visa, applying for a state sponsored skilled visa, and what is required to get an employer sponsorship. We have provided some sources which you can use to find employment, and concluded with a discussion on IELTS tips, to help you to meet the English language requirement (which is a key criterion to qualify for several visa classes).

Australia’s migration laws are complex, and each case is different. We recommend that you seek professional advice before you proceed with applying for any visa, including the subclass 485 temporary graduate visa, as being fully informed about the process and subclass 485 visa step-by-step requirements that apply will prevent you getting caught out when lodging your application and likely also to give you the best chance of achieving a successful outcome.

Several terms mentioned in the above article are defined in the migration provisions. It is vital to have a good understanding of these terms and how they apply in practice. Detailed advice about these is beyond the scope of this article and we would therefore recommend that you seek further information in this regard.

For up-to-date advice on the temporary graduate visa 485 process, visa 485 step-by-step requirements and how to avoid a refusal, book your confidential consultation with a migration agent in Adelaide. PAX Migration Australia is a leading immigration advice service based in Adelaide, and we aren’t expensive! Just ask us!