The New Subclass 485 Visa Concessions and What You Need to Know About Them
A long-awaited change to Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visas is about to come into effect.
In November 2021 the then Minister for Immigration, Alex Hawke announced major changes to Temporary Graduate visas to reward holders who remained onshore during the pandemic and address labour shortages in the Australian economy.
Some of the changes relating to visa periods have already been implemented. Other concessions are yet to commence. From 1 July 2022, the following amendments are expected:
- Allowing current and former subclass 485 visa holders whose visas expired on or after 1 February 2020 to apply for a replacement 485 visa.
- For 485 visa applications in the Graduate Work stream, temporarily removing the requirement to undergo a provisional skills assessment and nominate a Skilled occupation. The legislative amendment which facilitates this change has now been published. This article provides an overview of the amendment.
Generally speaking, overseas students who graduated with a qualification lower than a bachelor’s degree in Australia (e.g. Diploma), may be eligible for a 485 visa in the Graduate Work stream. They are required to nominate an occupation on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List.
The qualification must be consistent with the requirements of the nominated occupation by level and course content. For example, a person who graduated from a Certificate IV in commercial cookery combined with a Diploma of Hospitality, can apply for a 485 visa by nominating the Chef occupation. Applicants must apply to have their qualifications assessed as suitable for the occupation by a relevant assessing authority. In the case of Chefs, it is Trades Recognition Australia (TRA).
The concession which is about to come into effect, temporarily removes the requirement to nominate a Skilled occupation. 485 visa applicants in the Graduate Work stream will not be required to undergo a skills assessment either.
The concession applies to visa applications lodged between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023. They include the possibility to extend this period at the Department's discretion.
According to the Department of Home Affairs, removing these requirements will encourage more international vocational education and training (VET) graduates to stay and work in Australia for a longer period. It will also open up the visa stream to a broader range of graduates with diploma and trade qualifications that are not closely related to occupations on the skilled occupation list.
The duration of the concession may be extended, should Australia's labour shortages not improve by 30 June 2023.
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Elan Rysher is a Registered Migration Agent and Qualified Student Counsellor. He is the main Writer for ImmiUpdates and the founder of Rysher Migration. Elan has many years of experience working in immigration, finance and health. Being a former migrant himself, Elan is passionate about helping others fulfil their Australian dream.
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