How to become an Australian citizen using this type of visa

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International students who have completed their studies and wish to continue living in Australia have the option of applying for a temporary graduate visa. This pathway can lead to working in Australia full-time and possibly permanent residency (PR) and Australian citizenship, notes Sable International.

Sam Hopwood of Sable International reviews the details regarding the graduate visa below:


The temporary graduate visa (subclass (485)

The Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) is a visa for international students in Australia who have completed their studies. You can apply for this visa if you want to stay in Australia after your student visa has expired.

The 485 visa allows you to complete a postgraduate professional year while gaining qualified work experience and improving your English. With this visa, you can temporarily live, study and work in Australia.

The Temporary Graduate Visa is not a points-based visa nor does it require an employer sponsor.

While you hold the temporary graduate visa, you can apply for another permanent visa at any time.

Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) Common Requirements

You have to:

  • Be under 50
  • Hold an eligible visa
  • Have held a student visa within the last six months
  • Have a recent qualification in a course registered with CRICOS
  • Name only one stream – it is not possible to change visa streams after applying
  • Skip the English language requirements
  • Attach specified evidence when applying

Streams of temporary higher education visas

The temporary graduate visa has three components:

  • Graduate Work Cycle – This visa is for international students who have recently graduated with skills and qualifications (diploma, diploma or professional qualification) that are relevant to a profession on the list of medium and strategic skills. term (MLTSSL).
  • Post-Study Work stream – This visa is for international students who have recently graduated from an Australian institution.
  • Second post-study work stream – This visa is for holders who have previously held a post-study work stream visa, who have graduated from an Australian institution located in a regional area.
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This visa allows you to:

  • Live, study and work in Australia.
  • Bring your family with you.
  • Travel outside of Australia and return as many times as you wish within the validity of the visa. It is important to note that time spent outside Australia does not extend the visa.

Graduate work cycle

The Graduate Work stream visa is suitable for students who have not taken a bachelor’s level course, but have still taken a course at the correct level for a job listed on the MLTSSL. Most trades courses would fall under this stream.

Graduate Workflow Requirements

Applicants will:

  • Have completed a course, in English, leading to a degree, diploma or professional qualification, following at least two academic years (92 weeks) of study.
  • Have been in Australia for at least 16 calendar months to study the course.
  • Have a qualification relevant to a profession on the MLTSSL.
  • Have applied for a skills assessment in your designated occupation on the Skilled Occupations List. It is not necessary to have received the provisional skills report. All you have to do is request it.
  • Provide proof of adequate health insurance for all applicants (you and eligible family members) when applying.
  • Pass the Good Character Requirement Test.
  • Provide proof of the required level of English with your application.

To meet the academic year requirement, you may combine courses under certain circumstances. For example, a student can take two consecutive degree courses and meet the Australian education requirement under the Graduate Work stream, provided the other elements of the requirement are met.

You can usually stay up to 18 months on this visa, but this has been temporarily increased to 24 months for visas granted from 1 December 2021. Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders can stay for five years .


Post-study work stream

This visa is for international students who have recently graduated from an Australian institution. It is not necessary to have a skills assessment or to have your education related to a relevant profession.

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Applicants will:

  • Have applied for and obtained your first student visa on or after November 5, 2011
  • Completed course work for an Australian bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree
  • Provide proof of adequate health insurance for all applicants when applying
  • Pass the Good Character Requirement Test
  • Provide proof of the required level of English with the application

The duration of your visa depends on your qualification:

  • Two years – Baccalaureate, baccalaureate with honors,
  • Three years – Master by research and master by curriculum
  • Four years – Doctorate

Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders can stay for five years.


Second part of post-study work

This visa is for those who have previously held a Post-Study Work stream visa and graduated from an Australian institution located in a regional area.

Applicants will:

  • Be in Australia when applying for this visa
  • Hold a temporary graduate visa in the field of post-study work
  • Have a recent degree in a CRICOS-registered course from an educational institution based in an eligible regional area. This degree should have led to the granting of your first temporary graduate visa in the field of post-study work
  • Have lived in an eligible designated regional area for at least two years prior to applying for the second temporary graduate visa in the field of post-graduate work
  • Have proof of adequate health insurance for all applicants when applying

On this component, you can stay another one to two years depending on:

  • The regional location of the educational institution you graduated from that led to the granting of your first temporary graduate visa in the Post-Graduation Work Stream.
  • The regional area in which you live as the holder of your first temporary graduate visa post-study work stream.
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Recognized qualified graduate visa (subclass 476)

This visa allows young engineering graduates to live, work and study in Australia for up to 18 months.

Visa requirements for qualified and recognized graduates

Applicants will:

  • Be under 31
  • Have obtained an engineering degree from a specified educational institution within the last two years
  • Not have previously been the primary holder of a subclass 476 or 485 visa

You must also have completed a major sequence of studies, or a specialization in:

  • Public works
  • Structural engineering
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Environmental genius
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical, production and plant engineering
  • Mining and Materials Engineering

You cannot stay longer in Australia by extending this visa, as you cannot obtain another recognized qualified graduate visa. If you wish to stay, you will need to apply for another visa.


How to Use a Graduate Visa to Become an Australian Citizen

The temporary graduate visa can only be applied for once, and although you cannot extend this visa, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent work visa after working in Australia for a few years. Many temporary graduate visa holders use their time on the 485 visa to learn the skills and requirements needed to apply for a general qualification permanent visa in Australia.

Work visas you may be eligible for after holding a subclass 485 or subclass 476 visa include:

  • Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (Subclass 482) (Temporary – two or four years depending on stream)
  • Employer Appointment Program (subclass 186) (permanent)
  • Qualified independent visa (subclass 189) (permanent)
  • Qualified Skilled Visa (Subclass 190) (Permanent)
  • Regional Skilled Worker Visa (subclass 491) (temporary – five years)

Australian citizenship by grant

You may be eligible for Australian citizenship by residence after four years of continuous residence on a qualifying visa and after 12 months of permanent residence. This is also known as citizenship by grant.


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