In a further development, the Government has announced that International students in Perth and the Gold Coast will also be eligible for an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa.

International students studying at regional universities in cities and major regional centres will be eligible to access an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa. Eligible areas are Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast Canberra, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Geelong and Hobart.

International students studying at regional universities in regional centres and other regional areas will be eligible to access an additional 2 years in Australia on a post-study work visa. Eligible areas are all those excluding Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and those listed above.

The government has recently announced the introduction of a new Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa which will provide international students who are studying at regional universities with access to an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa. This new Temporary Graduate Visa, which will require ongoing residence in a designated regional area, will provide an added incentive for international students to study and live in regional Australia, is part of a suite of measures which aim to attract more migrants to settle in Australia’s smaller cities and regions to support their growth and to help to fill much needed employment vacancies, as well as to ease pressure on the major cities.

To be eligible, international students will need to:

  • have graduated from the regional campus of a registered education institution with a higher education or postgraduate qualification; and
  • maintain continuing residence in a regional area for at least 2 years whilst holding their first Temporary Graduate Visa.

Regional Australia will exclude Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Eligible current and prospective graduate visa holders may qualify for this new visa from 2021 (taking account of the requirement to reside in a regional area for a minimum of 2 years). 

A Temporary Graduate Visa can be a good next step for recent student visa graduates to extend their stay in Australia and to have unrestricted work, study and travel rights. This change to the post-study work stream means eligible graduates will be able to remain in Australia for a minimum period of 3 years on a Temporary Graduate Visa. For applicants who are seeking to apply for a permanent residence visa as part of their migration pathway to Australia, having an extra year onshore to prepare and work towards meeting eligibility requirements may prove to be very beneficial.

We will provide further updates on this new initiative as they become available. Please also refer to our Comprehensive Guide to Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 Visa for more information about this visa subclass.

For up to date advice on the Temporary Graduate visa and these changes, book your confidential consultation with a migration agent in Adelaide. PAX Migration Australia is a leading immigration advice service based in Adelaide.


Media Release, 20 Mar 2019, A plan for Australia’s future population

Prime Minister, Minister for Cities Urban Infrastructure and Population, Minister for Immigration Citizenship & Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Regional Services Sport Local Government and Decentralisation, Minister for Education