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  • Writer's pictureElan Rysher

Understanding the Changes to Temporary Graduate Visas

The Australian Government announced changes to Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visas in the Migration Strategy. The Department of Home Affairs has now released additional information on what to expect in 2024.

The changes to Subclass 485 visas will have a significant impact on international students and skilled migrants. In this article, we explore what we know of the changes, the expected implementation date and aspects that remain unclear.


Graduate Work stream

The Graduate Work stream will be renamed to the Post-Vocational Education Work stream.


The maximum age for Post-Vocational Education Work stream applicants will reduce to 35 years of age (currently up to 50 years). The age limit for Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders will remain at 50 years.


Applicants must hold an associate degree, diploma or trade qualification, closely related to their nominated occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).


Applicants with a degree level qualification or higher will no longer be eligible for this stream. If an applicant holds one of these qualifications, they must apply through the Post-Higher Education Work stream.


Applicants may continue to stay for up to 18 months. Hong Kong or British National Overseas passport holders may be able to stay for up to 5 years.


Post-Study Work stream

The Post-Study Work stream will be renamed to the Post-Higher Education Work stream.


The maximum eligible age for Post-Higher Education Work stream applicants will reduce to 35 years of age or under. Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders will continue to be eligible provided they are under 50 years of age.



Stay periods will change to the following:

  • Bachelor degree (including honours) – up to 2 years

  • Masters (coursework and extended) – up to 2 years

  • Masters (research) and doctoral degree (PhD) – up to 3 years.

  • Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders may be able to stay for up to 5 years.

Stay periods for Indian nationals, as agreed in the Australian Indian – Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA), remain as:

  • Bachelor degree (including honours) – up to 2 years

  • Bachelor degree (with first class honours in STEM, including ICT) – up to 3 years

  • Masters (coursework, extended and research) – up to 3 years

  • Doctoral degrees (PhD) – up to 4 years.


Second Post-Study Work stream

The Second Post-Study Work stream will be renamed the Second Post-Higher Education Work stream. There are no other changes to this stream.


Replacement stream

The Replacement stream will cease.


When will this happen?

The sc485 changes should take effect from 1 July 2024, subject to the passage of legislative amendments.


Our take

How the proposed changes will be implemented depends on legislation amendments which are yet to be published.


The age limit reduction means that Student (subclass 500) visa holders who will be 36-49 years old at graduation will no longer be eligible for a sc485 visas.


Overseas students often use the temporary graduate visa as a stepping stone towards skilled or employer-sponsored visas. Individuals who are considering studying in Australia should be aware that the Temporary Graduate visa will be an option only if they are 35 years old or younger when they complete their course.


Grandfathering Arrangements

The Department has not given details of any grandfathering arrangements in their announcement.


Grandfathering arrangements are special provisions that allow certain individuals to maintain their eligibility or status under previous rules, even after new regulations or requirements are introduced.


Essentially, individuals who were eligible for a visa or a specific condition under the old rules may be "grandfathered in," meaning they can maintain their eligibility or conditions despite changes in the law. This is often done to ensure fairness and minimize disruption for those who were already in the visa system or had made plans based on the previous regulations.


In the past, the Department did provide grandfathering arrangements in similar circumstances. If grandfathering arrangements are included in the sc485 changes, they could allow current overseas students who will be +36 years old at graduation to apply for sc485 visas, in spite of the age limit. It remains to be seen whether they are included in the legislation amendments.


Stay tuned for more updates on the implementation of the Migration Strategy. Subscribe to the next ImmiUpdate below.


For more information please Contact Us or email elan@ryshermigration.com.au


Elan Rysher is a Registered Migration Agent and Qualified Student Counsellor. He is the main Writer for ImmiUpdates and the founder of Rysher Migration. Being a former migrant himself, Elan is passionate about helping others fulfil their Australian dream.

 

Information (or the lack of it) contained in ImmiUpdates should not be relied on as immigration assistance or advice. ImmiUpdates expressly disclaim any liability, arising at law, in equity or otherwise, for any information published or not published in past, the present or future editions of the blog. People seeking immigration assistance should seek advice from a registered migration agent and those seeking legal advice should consult a lawyer. The copyright in the newsletter belongs to Rysher Migration Services and no part of the blog is to be reproduced by any means without the written consent of Rysher Migration Services.




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