What’s next for international students after graduation?

Male student in graduation clothes smiling at camera

Completing your studies and finally graduating from your course is a proud and relieving moment for most of us. It can also be an exciting and interesting time trying to figure out what to do next now that those long and late nights of reading, assignments and exam preparations are over. If you’re an international student looking to stay in Australia to gain some work experience after completing your studies, there is one visa that might be ideal for you. 

The temporary graduate visa (subclass 485)

International students who have recently graduated may wish to consider the subclass 485 temporary graduate visa as a way to remain in Australia for an additional period beyond the expiry of their student visa. The 485 visa has two streams: 

  1. Graduate Work stream (18 months visa period)
    Suitable for international students who have recently graduated with skills and experience relevant to specific jobs that are in demand in Australia.

  2. Post-Study Work stream (2 to 4 year visa period depending on qualification)
    Suitable for international students who have recently graduated with a degree from an Australian university or college.

Main requirements

There are common requirements for the primary applicant in both streams of the 485 visa. These include: 

  • Must be under 50 years of age

  • Within the past 6 months met the Australian Study Requirement

  • Meet the minimum English skills requirement for this visa

  • Hold a student visa or held one in the last 6 months and now hold a bridging visa A,  bridging visa B or another substantive visa

  • Never been granted a 485 visa previously

  • Have adequate health insurance

  • Meet character requirements

The requirements that are specific to each stream of the visa are as follows: 

Graduate Work stream

  • You nominate an occupation that is on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

  • Completed an Australian degree, diploma or trade qualification closely related to the nominated occupation within the past 6 months

  • Been assessed by the relevant assessing authority as having skills suitable for the nominated occupation

Post-Study Work stream

  • Granted your first student or student dependent visa on or after 9 November 2011

  • Hold one of the following eligible degrees

    • Bachelor degree

    • Bachelor (Honours) degree

    • Masters by coursework degree

    • Masters (extended) degree

    • Masters by research degree

    • Doctoral degree

  • Completed one of the above degrees within the past 6 months at an Australian education provider who is CRICOS registered

What you can do with this visa

The length of the visa period will depend on the stream of the subclass 485 visa you have applied for and the type of qualification you obtained in Australia. The Graduate Work stream offers up to 18 months stay. In the Post-Study Work stream, applicants with a Bachelor degree including honours or Masters by coursework degree can stay up to 2 years. Graduates of a Masters by research can stay up to 3 years and graduates of a Doctoral degree can stay up to 4 years. Regardless of the stay period, 485 visa holders have no restrictions on work, study or travel in and out of Australia, however they must maintain adequate health insurance for the duration of their visa validity. The advantage of the subclass 485 visa is that it gives graduates an opportunity to obtain further work experience in their field of study and obtain additional points for a possible skilled visa application in future.


The current visa processing charge for a subclass 485 is $1,650* for the primary applicant. Each additional family member included in the application who is 18 years of age and older will incur an additional $825*. Anyone under the age of 18 will be charged an additional $415*.

* Source: Department of Home Affairs as at 3 September 2019

For more information or assistance

If you would like further information about the subclass 485 temporary graduate visa or think you are eligible to apply for one, the team at Titan Migration will be glad to assist. Contact us on +61 2 8003 5330 or email us at info@titanmigration.com.au to book a consultation.