485 Temporary Graduate Visa

Temporary Graduate Visa provides recent graduates of Australian education institutions with full work rights for a period of between 18 months and 2 years. It is often referred to as a TR visa or a TGV by international students in Australia. It can be applied only for once unless your TR visa is in the post-study work stream and you have graduated from a regional educational institution and have been living in regional Australia on your first TR visa.

Common Criteria – 485 Visa

Age: You must be under 50 years of age.

English: You must have obtained specified results in a specified English test, or hold a passport issued by a prescribed nation.

Health Insurance: You must have adequate health insurance.

First Time Applicant: You must not have held a subclass 476 or 485 visa previously whether as a primary or secondary person, unless the regional concession applies.

Australian Study Requirement: You must have satisfied the Australian Study Requirement. This date does not equate to the date upon which the degree, diploma or trade qualification was formally conferred.

Within 6 Months: You must lodge an application for a TGV within 6 months of having satisfied the Australian Study Requirement

What is the Australian Study Requirement for 485 Visa?

Migration Regulations 1.15F stipulates that the Australian study requirement is satisfied if the person has completed 1 or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications at an Australian educational institution as a result of a registered course or courses that were:

  • Completed in a total of, at minimum, 16 calendar months; and
  • Completed as a result of a total of a minimum of 2 academic years; and
  • Taught in English; and
  • Undertaken whilst holding a visa authorising you to study.

Can I study 2 courses concurrently to satisfy the Australian Study Requirement for 485 Visa?

Yes, as long as the 2 courses were registered as being a total of 92 weeks in duration and completed for the award of the degrees.

For example, Paudel had concurrently studied and completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) at Holmes Institute, from July 2016 to March 2018. Some subjects were credited towards both courses, and as a result he completed the 2 courses in 78 weeks (16 calendar months). The Tribunal held that he satisfied the Australian Study Requirement.

What is the difference between calendar and academic years for TR Visa?

Calendar years = Period actually studied

Academic years = Enrollment period

A distinction must be calendar and academic years when assessing satisfaction of the Australian study requirement. Calendar years refer to the duration which you actually spent studying in Australia, whereas academic years relate to the length of the course as defined under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (“CRICOS”).

For example, you may enrol in a course that is listed as being at least 92 weeks in duration on the CRICOS. This course would meet the requirement in relation to academic years. If you were to obtain enough credits for prior learning and overloaded your enrollment to complete the course in less than 16 months, you would fail to meet the requirement in “calendar months”, irrespective of the CRICOS course length.

What happens if I choose the wrong occupation in the TR Visa application?

This error may be so critical and irreparable that it may not be able to be remedied. Considering the terms of the application form: ‘what is your nominated occupation?’, there would be very few acceptable excuses for mistakes. Incorrect advice or lack of legal advice when completing the application form will not amount to satisfactory reasons: Chen v MIAC [2011] FMCA 859; and Pavuluri v MIBP [2014] FCA 502.

You could argue that your mistake was a mere clerical or typographical error: for example, Pavuluri v MIBP [2014] FCA 502 at [49], but there is no guarantee that this would succeed on appeal. We refer to the Tribunal’s decisions in relation to such an error.

Singh (Migration) [2019] AATA 5586

Singh applied for a 485 visa in the nominated occupation of Lift Mechanic, accompanying evidence that he had applied for a skills assessment. This application resulted in an unfavourable outcome. He subsequently applied for skills assessment as an Electrical Engineering Technician which led to a positive result which was provided to the Department. The visa application was refused.

The applicant claimed to the Tribunal that he relied on a migration agent who had provided incorrect advice. The Tribunal was not satisfied on the evidence that the error was inadvertent and clerical, and the original decision by the Department was affirmed.

Lao (Migration) [2019] AATA 5587 

Lao applied for a 485 visa, nominating the occupation of ICT Business Analyst. She asserted that she had wanted to put her nominated occupation as ICT Sales Representative, but she had inadvertently hit ICT Business Analyst. She argued that it was a clerical error as the relevant occupations were one after the other in the drop-down box online and started with ICT in their titles.

The applicant provided evidence that she had applied for skills assessment for ICT Sales Representative on the same date on which the application was lodged. She also submitted that she studied a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in marketing, and was employed as an ICT Sales Representative. The Tribunal was satisfied on evidence that she had intended to apply for ICT Sales Representative and that it was an inadvertent error.

The Tribunal remitted the application for reconsideration with the direction that the applicant met the criteria in contention.

485 Visa – Post Study Work Stream

You may apply under this stream if you are a recent graduate who studied and completed academic courses at one of the following levels:

  • Bachelor Degree
  • Masters by Coursework Degree
  • Masters by Research Degree
  • Doctoral Degree

In this stream, the visa would be valid for 2 years.

Regional Concession

You may be eligible for a second TGV if you satisfy both of the following requirements:

  • During your student visa, you have undertaken tertiary study for the qualification while living in a regional area, and the study must have been undertaken at a campus located in a regional area.
  • During your first TGV, you had lived, worked and studied in regional areas for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately before applying for the second TGV.

You must declare in the application for your second TGV that you and any family member making a combined application with you intend to live only in a regional area.

Categories of Areas

You are ineligible for a second TGV if you have studied or lived in Category 1 area on your student visa.

  • Category 1: ‘Major Cities’ of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – No regional incentives.

If you have studied and lived in a Category 2 area on your student visa, you will be eligible for 1 additional year on a second TGV.

  • Category 2: ‘Cities and Major Regional Centres’ of Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle/ Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/ Illawarra, Geelong and Hobart

If you have studied and lived in a Category 3 area on your student visa, you will be eligible for 2 additional years on a second TGV.

  • Category 3: ‘Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas’

485 Visa – Graduate Work Stream

You can apply under this stream if you recently completed studies at one of the following levels:

  • Diploma
  • Certificate III or higher for a skilled occupation in Major Group 3 in ANZSCO
  • Indentured Apprenticeship
  • Training Contract

In this stream, the visa would be valid for 18 months.

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

You must nominate an occupation that is specified in the MLTSSL, and your nominated occupation must be closely related to the course(s) which you completed whilst holding the student visa.

Skills Assessment

You must have started the provisional skills assessment process for your nominated occupation, though the visa grant ultimately hinges on the outcome of said application. This means that if your provisional skills assessment is ultimately unsuccessful, your TR application will fail. Note that the procedures and prerequisites for your provisional skills assessment will depend on your nominated occupation.

485 Visa Fees

How much is it to apply for a TR visa as a single applicant?

$1,650 (plus surcharge)

How much is it to apply for TR visas with my partner?

$1,650 + $825 = $2,472 (plus surcharge)

How much is it to apply for a TR visa as a subsequent entrant?

$1,650 (plus surcharge)

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