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New rules for subclass 485 Post-Study work visas

The Australian Government has introduced legislation in the form of the Migration Amendment (Temporary Graduate Visas) Regulations 2020, to allow holders of a subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visas to apply offshore and more importantly a pathway for a second subclass 485 for applicants in regional areas.

The explanatory statement which accompanied the new legislation stated that the purpose of the new regulations was to encourage international students to study in regional Australia on a student visa and to continue living in regional Australia on a temporary graduate visa.

The subclass 485 post-study work visas amendments:

  • provide the Minister with a power to specify, in a legislative instrument, geographical areas in two categories – designated city or major regional centre and regional centre or other regional area – to facilitate incentives to live, study and work in regional Australia.
  • provide access to a second Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) 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 (Temporary Graduate) visa in the Post-Study Work stream, lived (and worked or studied, if relevant) only in a regional centre or other regional area for at least two years immediately before applying for the second visa. It is a condition of the second visa that the holder lives (and works or studies, if relevant) 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 (Temporary Graduate) 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 (Temporary Graduate) visa in the Post-Study Work stream and, while holding the first visa, they live (and work or study, if relevant) only in areas that are outside those cities for at least two years immediately before applying for the second visa. It is a condition of the second visa that the holder lives (and works or studies, if relevant) 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 two (2) Post-Study 485’s can only be applied for.

This is a great initiative and will allow graduates to gain that all important experience so they can have a pathway to remain in Australia.

At FC Lawyers we have helped hundreds of graduates achieve their goals. 

Don’t hesitate to contact our team for a consultation to begin your migration application for the post-study work visas. 

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