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Study at IBIBS

The following information provides further detail on the planned Knight Review changes to the student visa program.

Information regarding the Knight Review is available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's website.
See: Implementation of the Government Response to the Knight Review of the Student Visa Program

New post-study work arrangements were introduced from 23 March 2013. These arrangements operate as a new Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa. More information is available on the department's website.
See: Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485)

Who can access the post-study work arrangements?

Graduates of an Australian Bachelor degree, Masters by coursework degree, Masters (extended) degree, Masters by research degree or Doctoral degree have access to the new post-study work arrangements, provided they meet the other eligibility requirements of this visa.

Are the new arrangements available for graduates who made their first student visa application before the introduction of the genuine temporary entrant requirement ?

The new post-study work arrangements are only available to students who have applied for their first student visa (including subclasses 570, 571, 572, 573, 574, 575, 576 or 580) after the introduction of the genuine temporary entrant on 5 November 2011.

Further information about the genuine temporary entrant is available on the department's website.
See: The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement (Recommendations 1 and 2) ( 94KB PDF file)

Is there a requirement for applicants to have previously held a student visa? 

Yes. To be eligible for the new arrangements, graduates must have completed their studies in Australia while on a qualifying student visa. A qualifying student visa is a subclass 572, 573 or 574.

English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) Sector, Schools Sector and AusAID or Defence Sponsored Sector students are not eligible unless they subsequently complete an eligible degree level qualification on a qualifying student visa.

Applicants who have undertaken studies while on other visas that allow study, such as dependents of Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa holders, are not eligible for this visa.

What are the visa eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for the new arrangements, primary visa applicants must:

  • be in Australia
  • be under 50 years of age
  • have attained an eligible degree level qualification within six months of applying for the visa.

Graduates must also meet the Australian study requirement. The Australian study requirement is defined as study in Australia in a course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) for a period of at least two academic years (92 weeks). The course itself must be conducted in English and must be completed in no less than 16 calendar months.

Further information regarding how the Australian study requirement operates under the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa is available.
See: Information about the Temporary Graduate Visa

English language, health, character and security requirements will also need to be met and evidence of adequate health insurance for the duration of the visa will need to be provided.

For the purposes of accessing the new arrangements, what study is considered towards meeting the Australian study requirement?

To be eligible for the new arrangements, graduates must have obtained an eligible degree level qualification. Aligning these arrangements with the Australian Qualifications Framework, for the purposes of accessing the arrangements, only study undertaken at the Australian Qualifications Framework Level 7 or above (Bachelor degree level or above), which leads to the conferral of an eligible degree level qualification, may be considered towards meeting the Australian study requirement.

Further information regarding the Australian Qualifications Framework is available.
See: www.aqf.edu.au

This means that degree level courses that are packaged with a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma course may be eligible, provided the total duration of study satisfies the Australian study requirement. For example, a student may be eligible for the new arrangements on the basis of completing a Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies which articulates (or leads) into a Masters of Education, provided the student successfully completes this Masters degree.
Note: Graduates are unable to access the new arrangements solely on the basis of having obtained a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma qualification. To access the new arrangements, graduates must have obtained an eligible degree level qualification (Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degree).

Are there any restrictions on where the study must be undertaken?

For the purposes of accessing the new arrangements, all courses used to satisfy the Australian study requirement must have been undertaken in Australia, at an eligible Australian university or other education provider accredited to offer degree level programs.

Can applicants combine qualifications to meet the eligibility requirements for the new arrangements?

Applicants may satisfy the requirements for the new arrangements on the basis of any combination of eligible degree level qualifications. That is, any combination of Bachelor, Masters and/or Doctoral degree qualification.

What level of English language is required?

The English language requirement is Competent English, which is a minimum score of 6 in each of the four components of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test or the equivalent score in another English language test specified by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship for use with this visa. The English language test must have been undertaken in the three years prior to lodging the visa application.

For the purposes of applying for a subclass 485, only IELTS and Occupational English Test (OET) results are acceptable. Currently, English language tests other than IELTS and the OET are only acceptable in the student visa program. The department will evaluate the implementation of alternative English tests in the student visa program before making any decisions to expand their acceptability to other visa programs.

Applicants are taken to have Competent English if they hold a valid passport from, and are a citizen of, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, the United States of America or the Republic of Ireland.

Do applicants need to nominate an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List when applying for the new arrangements?

No. Applicants eligible to apply for the new arrangements are not required to nominate an occupation on the skilled occupation list or undertake a skills assessment.

How long is the subclass 485 visa valid under the new post-study work arrangements?

Graduates who have completed a Bachelor degree, Masters by coursework degree or Masters (extended) degree in Australia are eligible to apply for a two year post-study work visa.

Graduates who have completed a Masters by research degree or a Doctoral degree in Australia are eligible to apply for a three or four year post-study work visa respectively.

Are the previous Temporary Skilled Graduate (subclass 485) visa arrangements still available?

The previous subclass 485 arrangements remain available for other eligible graduates through the Graduate Work stream. This stream of the subclass 485 allows an additional 18 month stay in Australia. It is available to eligible graduates provided they satisfy the criteria for the grant of the visa, including that they:

  • have recently completed an eligible qualification(s) as a result of at least two years study in Australia
  • have a skills assessment for an occupation on the skilled occupation list in effect at the time the application is made
  • meet the English language requirement of competent English
  • are under 50 years of age

Information about these arrangements and the skilled occupation list is available.
See:
Information about the Temporary Graduate Visa
Skilled Occupation Lists (Formerly Known as Form 1121i)

Does this change affect existing student visa holders?

Students currently studying in Australia may be entitled to apply for the subclass 485 visa under either the existing Graduate Work stream arrangements or the new Post-Study Work stream, depending on their individual circumstances.

Are the new post-study work arrangements available to someone who already holds, or has ever held, a Temporary Skilled Graduate (subclass 485) visa?

No. Students are only able to access the subclass 485 visa as a primary applicant once.

Are there similar arrangements in place for students not studying a degree?

These arrangements will only be available for graduates who obtain an eligible degree level qualification.

Other eligible graduates have access to the Graduate Work stream of the subclass 485 visa.

Are there any work restrictions on the subclass 485 visa?

No. The subclass 485 visa is a temporary visa that allows the holder to remain in Australia for an additional period upon completion of their studies. Should they choose to, subclass 485 visa holders may work or study in any field.

Can dependents work on the subclass 485 visa?

Dependents and secondary applicants are able to work and study on the subclass 485 visa.

How much will this visa cost?

Information about visa fees and charges is available in Form 990i on the department's website.
See: Form 990i Charges

Will there be any further changes to the subclass 485 visa?

It remains open to the government to review and alter particular visa policy settings in response to changed economic conditions.

Furthermore, the skilled occupation list is updated annually based on advice from the independent body, the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency.

Where do I go for more information?

More information is available on the department's website.
See: Implementation of the Government Response to the Knight Review of the Student Visa Program