Many international students become worried at the prospect of their visas expiring. Leaving Australia can be overwhelming and scary, especially if you have been calling it home for the last several years.
If your 485 visa is about to expire, make sure you have plans for what you want to do next and where you want it to happen. Don’t worry; you will not automatically be deported once your visa expires, and the Australian government gives you options to consider.
What Is Visa 485?
The Temporary Graduate Visa, also known as the 485 Visa, is an Australian visa that is provided to people who have already finished their studies or have recently graduated from their international studies in Australia but would like to extend their stay in Australia to get more experience in the industry that is associated with their course.
With this visa, international students are provided with up to two to four years to stay in Australia, work there, and travel after carefully reviewing their qualifications.
The level of your Australian study condition will dictate the length of your visa:
- Bachelor’s degree (including honours): The visa is valid for 2 years
- Masters by research and Masters by coursework: The visa is valid for 3 years
- Extended masters: The visa is valid for 3 years
- Doctoral degree: The visa is valid for 4 years
Note that for British National Overseas and Hong Kong passport holders, the visa can be for up to 5 years.
The 485 Visa is classified into the Post-Study Work Stream and the Graduate Work Stream. The Post-Study Work Stream is offered and intended for international students who have already finished their postgraduate, undergraduate, or doctoral studies in any of Australia’s educational institutions or universities.
On the other hand, the Graduate Work Stream is still for international students who have completed the necessary education for the Skilled Occupation List, or SOL. Accountants, Engineers, Medical Practitioners, Nurses, and Social Workers are included, to name a few.
The application fee for the Temporary Graduate Visa has a minimum cost of AUD 1,730 (~$1,145), with a processing time of 52 days to 8 months.
Requirements For Applying For A 485 TR Visa
Like all visas, Australia has set specific parameters that international students need to meet to approve of them and issued this visa. To apply and possibly be approved for the 485 visas, you must:
- be below 50 years old
- have an eligible visa
- have previously applied and been approved for a student visa on or after November 5, 2011
- held a student visa in the last six months
- has a recent qualification or degree in a CRICOS registered course
- be able to provide proof or documentation of sufficient health insurance
- be able to provide proof or documentation that you meet the required level of English proficiency
- be able to provide proof or documentation that you have applied for an AFP check
Options You Can Consider After Your 485 TR Visa Expires
The 485 TR Visa is only a one-time, temporary visa. Once it expires, there is no option to extend it except for Temporary Graduate visa holders under the Graduate Work Stream.
International students from this stream are eligible for a 6-month visa extension, but only if the recently expired visa was granted or approved on or after December 1, 2021.
But what can you do if your 485 TR Visa doesn’t fall into this stream? The good news is that the Australian government recommends what you can do after your visa expires.
Explore And Apply For Other Visas
If you plan to stay in Australia indefinitely or make it your permanent home, then you can explore the other visa options the country can grant you. Some of these visas that you can apply for after your 485 TR expires are:
Skilled Permanent Visa (Subclass 189)
This visa is meant to let workers who meet the Australian government’s qualifications and skill levels in high-demand industries migrate to the country without an employer’s sponsorship.
Given that you’ve finished your studies in Australia, you are automatically qualified to join the country’s workforce, so this visa suits you. Note, though, that you need to pass the Skilled Permanent Visa Points-tested Stream and earn a minimum of 65 points to become eligible for this visa.
If you are married, or in a de facto relationship, you and your partner can talk about the possibility of sponsoring your stay in Australia. The drawback here is you’ll be entirely dependent on your partner’s visa while in the country.
Employer-Sponsored Visa (Subclass 186)
This visa is similar to the skilled permanent visa, except you’ll need an Australian employer to sponsor your application.
The Direct Entry Stream is the most common route for the employer-sponsored visa. Before applying, you need to have current employment in any of the stipulated skilled occupations in Australia. You should also have three years of relevant and related work experience. There are instances where you’d need to take a skills assessment to confirm your qualification and knowledge.
This is one of the most popular options to extend your stay in Australia because many 485 TR visa holders need a few more weeks or months to enjoy the country. This is a good visa if you plan on eventually going home.
Study And Further Your Australian Education
Another way to extend your stay in Australia once your 485 TR visa expires is to continue your education at any Australian university or institution. Enrolling in another program or a new course makes you eligible for the Student Visa (Subclass 500). Once granted, you can extend your stay in the country for another five years.
The last option many internationals take as the worst recommendation is to return to their home country. You can certainly come back to Australia but with another type of visa.
Be proactive and make decisions even before your visa expires. Understand that you have many options to consider, and there will always be one that will fit your needs and even meet your expectations.
If you see Australia as your home moving forward, be confident about the possibilities and what you can do. Don’t let an expired 485 TR visa stop you from enjoying the life and many benefits of the Land Down Under.