Graduate Work Visa: International students are staying in Australia.

More and more international students are using graduate work visa (subclass – 485) to stay longer in Australia after their study. Graduate work visa allows international students to stay further for 2 to 4 years depending on which stream they apply for.

Subclass 485 visa has two streams,

1. Graduate Work stream:

  provides 18 months of stay for students who have

  • Finished 2 years of study in Australia
  • Their education/course is listed on MLTSSL (Medium and Long term Strategic Skill List)
  • Obtained skill assessment from relevant authority

2 . Post-Study Work stream: provides up to 4 years of stay for students who have

  • graduated with a higher education degree from an Australian education provider, regardless of their field of study
  • is only available to students who applied for, and were subsequently granted, their first Australian student visa on or after 5 November 2011

Temporary Graduate 485 visa gives students full work rights in Australia during their visa validity. International students are allowed to work for 40 hours per fortnight during their student visa, but no restrictions apply to the graduate work visa stream. The graduate work visa may be a path for some towards to permanent residency in Australia. The mandatory requirement of Graduate work visa is to have appropriate level of health insurance to cover the health costs of you and your family members for the duration of stay in Australia.

The increase number of Graduate Visa has prompted concern from Labor Party. In March 2018, around 50,000 international graduates were in Australia on the 485 visa, a significant increase of more than 16,000 in a year.

This number is set to increase even further because of increase in the student enrolment. More students graduate from colleges/universities, there are chances that more will apply for subclass 485 visa.

ANU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian Schmidt told speaking to ABC News that this graduate visa provides flexibility and financial incentives to students. He said “They’re not displacing other workers, they’re actually very high value people that are hard to attract. But it also means the graduates we have here, who are incredibly well trained, have the opportunity to contribute to the Australian economy,”

In November 2011, the Gillard government changed the visa pathways for some international students. These changes saw a significant increase of temporary graduates in the second half of 2014. Since then, the population of international students staying on after their education has more than doubled to over 55,000 by September 2017.





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