Comprehensive Guide to the July 1, 2024, Changes for Current and Prospective Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visa Holders.

Zhanna Heenan

Visa News

The Australian Government has announced significant changes to the Temporary Graduate visa program, which took effect on July 1, 2024. These changes are designed to better align visa streams with the levels of study completed in Australia. Here’s everything you need to know about these updates and how they might affect your visa application.

 Re-aligned Visa Streams

The Temporary Graduate visa has been restructured into two main streams based on the qualification levels:

  1. Post-Vocational Education Work Stream (Previously Graduate Work Stream):

   – Eligibility: If you hold an associate degree, diploma, or trade qualification, you should apply under this stream.

   – Occupational Requirements: The qualification used must be closely related to your nominated occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

   – Age Limit: The maximum eligible age is now 35 years at the time of application, except for Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders, who are eligible up to 50 years of age.

   – Visa Duration: Eligible applicants may stay for up to 18 months. For Hong Kong or British National Overseas passport holders, the duration can extend up to 5 years.

  1. Post-Higher Education Work Stream (Previously Post-Study Work Stream):

   – Eligibility: This stream is for applicants with qualifications at the degree level or higher.

   – Age Limit: The maximum eligible age has been reduced to 35 years at the time of application, with exceptions for Masters (research), doctoral degree (PhD) graduates, and Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders who may be eligible up to 50 years of age.

   – Stay Periods:

The stay period varies by qualification:

     – Bachelor degree (including honours): up to 2 years

     – Masters (coursework and extended): up to 2 years

     – Masters (research) and doctoral degrees (PhD): up to 3 years

     – Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders: up to 5 years

   – Special Provisions for Indian Nationals: Under the Australia India – Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA), stay periods for Indian nationals include:

     – Bachelor degree (including honours) in STEM with first class: up to 3 years

     – Masters (all types) and PhD: up to 4 years

Discontinued Streams

Replacement Stream: This visa stream has been discontinued. However, members of the family unit can still apply to join primary visa holders in Australia as subsequent entrants.

How to Navigate these 485 Visa Changes

These changes reflect the Australian Government’s strategy to better match educational achievements with workforce needs in critical sectors. If you are affected by the age limit adjustment or need to understand which stream best fits your qualifications and career goals, it’s crucial to get the right advice.

Need Expert Guidance

Navigating visa regulations can be complex, especially with recent changes. If you’re a current or prospective Temporary Graduate visa holder and need clarity on how these updates affect you, book an appointment with us for personalised guidance. At Heenan & Browne Visa Migration Services, our experienced migration agents are here to help you understand your options and provide expert advice tailored to your unique situation. Let us assist you in making informed decisions about your stay in Australia and maximising your potential under the new visa regulations.



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