Extension of the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) Post Study Work Rights & Increase to International Student Working Hours
The Australian Federal Government has announced that as of 1 July 2023 international higher education graduates with eligible qualifications will be granted an additional two years of post-study work rights.
Following consideration of the Post-Study Work Rights Working Group Report, the Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil announced that this two-year extension of post-study work rights is available for international graduates with select degrees that are in areas of verified skill shortage, such as health, engineering, IT, and education among others.
The extension is in addition to the existing additional one to two years of work rights for eligible students who study, live and work in regional areas.
Post-study work rights for eligible graduates will be increased from:
- Two years to four years for eligible Bachelor degrees
- Three years to five years for eligible Masters degrees
- Four years to six years for all doctoral qualifications.
Increase to international students working hours
In addition, as of 1 July 2023, all international students will be permitted to work up to 48 hours per fortnight, an increase from the 40 hours per fortnight cap (temporarily relaxed), which will be reinstated on 1 July 2023.
Eligibility for Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) Visa Extension
You will be eligible for this extension if:
- you meet all the eligibility criteria for the Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485), and
- your qualification is on the list of eligible qualifications mentioned above.
In addition, one of the following must also apply:
- You hold a current Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) on 1 July 2023, or
- You will have lodged an application for a Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) by 1 July 2023, or
- You will lodge an application for a Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) after 1 July 2023.
If your Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) expires before 1 July 2023
If your Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) expires before 1 July 2023 and you do not hold an eligible qualification, you cannot apply for this extension.
In this instance, you will be granted a two-year Temporary Activity Australian Government Endorsed Events (COVID-19 Pandemic Event) visa (subclass 408). To be eligible for this 2-year Subclass 408 visa, you must be working in Australia or have an offer of employment.
Importantly the application for this visa must be made before the Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) expires or 28 days after its expiry.
You are also eligible for a two-year Temporary Activity Australian Government Endorsed Events (COVID-19 Pandemic event) visa (subclass 408) if:
- You were granted a Temporary Graduate visa (Post-Study Work stream) before 15 December 2021, and
- The visa took effect on or after 1 February 2020, and
- You were in Australia for a period of time that your visa was in effect between 1 February 2020 and 15 December 2021, and
- You hold an eligible qualification.
It is important to also note that if you apply for a SC408 Pandemic Event visa, you will not be eligible to then apply separately for an extended SC485 visa. As such, you should seek migration advice before proceeding with an application.
The Department of Home Affairs will be releasing more information on the above as 1 July 2023 approaches and our office will continue to provide updates as they become available.
Further information and assistance