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Update: Changes to Temporary Graduate Visa New (Subclass 485) Requirements Effective July 1, 2024

Australia's Temporary Graduate visa program has long served as a bridge for international students to transition from study to work. However, as the global landscape evolves, so too must visa regulations. The Australian Government's recent announcements regarding changes to the Temporary Graduate visa program, effective from July 1, 2024, signal a shift in eligibility criteria and stay periods across various streams. Let's explore these changes and their implications for prospective visa applicants.

Re-aligning Streams to Levels of Study

One of the primary adjustments involves re-aligning visa streams to correspond with the levels of study completed in Australia. The Graduate Work stream will now be known as the Post-Vocational Education Workstream, while the Post-Study Work stream will transition to the Post-Higher Education Workstream. This shift aims to match better visa eligibility with the nature and depth of qualifications obtained during one's Australian study experience.


Qualification Requirements

Under the new system, the visa stream you're eligible for depends on the type of qualification you have. If you have an associate degree, diploma, or trade qualification that matches jobs on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), you should apply for the Post-Vocational Education Workstream. On the other hand, if you have a degree or higher qualification, you should go for the Post-Higher Education Workstream.


Removal of Restrictions

Notably, restrictions previously imposed on applicants whose first Student visa was granted before November 5, 2011, will no longer apply. This move signals a more inclusive approach, allowing a broader pool of candidates to access the Temporary Graduate visa program.


 

Post-Vocational Education Workstream (Formerly Graduate Work Stream)


  • Maximum eligible age reduced to 35 years at the time of application.

  • Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders are eligible if under 50 years of age.

  • Stay period: Up to 18 months for most applicants; up to 5 years for Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders.

  • Applicants ineligible due to age reduction may explore other visa options.


Post-Higher Education Work Stream (Formerly Post-Study Work Stream)


• Maximum age for eligibility is now set at 35 years when applying.

• Individuals who have completed a master's (research) or doctoral degree (PhD) can apply as long as they are under 50 years of age.

• Extension of two years for 'select degrees' is no longer offered.

• Revised duration of stay:

• Bachelor's degree (including honors) – for up to 2 years

• Master's (coursework and extended) – for up to 2 years

• Master's (Research) and doctoral degree (PhD) – for up to 3 years

• Holders of Hong Kong and British National Overseas passports are eligible to stay for up to 5 years.

• Applicants who do not meet the age requirement can explore alternative visa options.



Stay periods for Indian nationals remain unchanged by the Australia-India – Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA). Additionally, the Second Post-Higher Education Work Stream, formerly known as the Second Post-Study Work Stream, undergoes a name change with no further alterations to its structure or requirements.

 

Eligibility Criteria and Transition Period

Applicants need to make sure they qualify for their chosen visa type. They must finish their qualifications and submit their visa application before July 1, 2024. It's important to know that the completion date means when you've finished your studies, not necessarily when you receive your degree.


They also need to fulfill the Australian study requirement and provide evidence from their education provider regarding the completion date of their course before the visa decision is made. The completion date refers to when all academic requirements for the degree, diploma, or trade qualification were met, excluding the formal conferral of the degree, like through graduation ceremonies.


For those planning their visa applications, it's important to note the transition period. Applications submitted before July 1, 2024, will be assessed based on the current requirements, while those lodged after that date will be subject to the new regulations.

 

In conclusion, the recent changes to Australia's Temporary Graduate visa program, effective July 1, 2024, aim to better align visa eligibility with levels of study and provide a more inclusive approach to applicants. With re-aligned streams and the removal of previous restrictions, a wider pool of candidates now has access to the program. Prospective applicants should carefully review the new qualification requirements and note the transition period: applications before July 1, 2024, follow existing rules, while those after will adhere to the new regulations. These adjustments demonstrate Australia's commitment to accommodating the evolving needs of international students and the global landscape.

 

 

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