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March 1, 2021

New rules for subclass 485 post-study visa holders

The Australian Government has introduced legislation in the form of the Migration Amendment (Temporary Graduate Visas) Regulations 2020 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L01639/Explanatory%20Statement/Text

To allow holders of a subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visas to apply offshore and introduced an important pathway for a second subclass 485 visa for applicants in regional areas.

The main objective of the new regulations is to encourage international students to study in regional Australia on a student visa and then to continue living in regional Australia on a temporary graduate visa.

The amendments are as followed:

  • Provide the Minister with a power to specify geographical areas in two categories – designated city or major regional centreand regional centre or other regional area – to facilitate incentives to live, study and work in regional Australia.
  • Provide access to a second Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream, valid for two years, for applicants who studied for their Australian qualification in a regional centre or other regional area, and who, while holding the first Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream, lived/worked/studied only in a regional centre or other regional area for at least two years immediately prior to applying for the second visa. It is a condition of the second visa that the holder only in a regional centre or other regional area. This condition also applies to family members of the primary holder who are granted a Subclass 485 visa.

 

  • Provide that other eligible applicants in a designated regional area can be granted a second Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream, valid for one year. The practical effect is that applicants are eligible if they study anywhere other than Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane for the Australian qualification that leads to the grant of the first Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream and, while holding the first visa, they live only in areas that are outside those cities for at least two years immediately prior to applying for the second visa. It is a condition of the second visa that the holder lives only in a designated regional area, which in practice means areas outside Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. This condition also applies to family members of the primary holder who are granted a Subclass 485 visa.

 

It is important to note that visa holders may move within designated regional areas or other regional areas, or within designated city or major regional areas on their first Post-Study 485 visa, but the requirements of the second Post-Study 482 prevent visa holders from moving between these categories, that is from a regional area to a designated city, while holding that visa. Any move between the categories on the first Post-Study 485 may affect eligibility for the two year Post-Study 485.

It is also important to note that a maximum of 2 Post-Study 485 visas can only be applied for.

More information on this visa can be found here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/temporary-graduate-485

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