Changes to Australia's Graduate Visa Subclass 485 (March 2024 Update)

updated on 08 April 2024

The landscape of Australian immigration is ever-evolving, and the latest series of proposed changes to the Subclass 485 Graduate Visa signifies a significant shift in policy. The proposed changes were flagged in the Migration Strategy Report 2023 and the Second addendum to the 11th edition of The Administration of the Immigration and Citizenship Programs paper.

These alterations are poised to impact international students and graduates seeking to extend their stay in Australia. In this blog post, we'll dive deep into what these changes entail and how they might affect you.

1. Simplification and Streamlining of Visa Processes

The Australian Government has initiated steps to simplify the graduate visa process to enhance the applicant experience.

This simplification is also intended to speed up the transition from student visas to graduate visas.

Furthermore, the government is strengthening the pathway from graduate to temporary skilled visas.

This development is particularly crucial, as it gives employers more clarity regarding a graduate’s ongoing work rights and their routes to permanent residence.

2. Renaming and Restructuring Visa Streams

The Temporary Graduate Visa (TGV) 's ‘Post-Study Work’ and ‘Graduate Work’ streams are undergoing a rebranding in an attempt to simplify the visa streams. 

The new names, 'Post Higher Education Work' and 'Post-Vocational Education Work', are expected to be more descriptive and user-friendly for applicants.

Moreover, the TGV's ‘Replacement Stream’ and the Subclass 476 Skilled Recognised Graduate visa were abolished in January 2024.

3. Modification of Post-Study Work Rights

A pivotal change in the policy is the shortening of post-study work rights.

The initial duration of the Temporary Graduate Visa will be reduced, and extensions of post-study work rights will no longer be generally available.

This change addresses the issue of graduates becoming 'permanently temporary' in Australia. Extensions will now only be accessible to those who have studied in regional areas.

4: Age Limitation of 35 Years

The age limitation of a 485 visa is currently at a maximum of 50. That is set to change to 35. 

This change is due to take place within the next three months. 

5: Maximum Length of Visa Reduced

Certain degrees were given an additional two years if their CRICOS course was on the extension list

We expect this two-year extension will end within the next three months.

6: English Test Requirements

The test score required for a Temporary Graduate visa will increase from an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score (or equivalent) of 6.0 to 6.5.

We expect this change to take place within the next three months.

7: Transferring From a Graduate Visa Back To a Student Visa is Restricted

The Government will restrict Temporary Graduate visa holders from transferring back to student visas while onshore.

We expect this change to take place by the end of the year.

8: Faster Processing Times

Currently, processing times for a Post Study Graduate Visa are between 49 and 120 days for 90% of applications.

This will be reduced to a maximum of 21 days.

We are still determining if this change will come into effect this year.


While these proposed changes may pose new challenges for international graduates in Australia, they also open up streamlined pathways for those seeking to transition into skilled roles.

Current and prospective students must stay informed and plan their educational and professional journeys in Australia accordingly.

About Rocket & Ash Immigration Law

At Rocket & Ash Immigration Law, we specialise in helping partners, graduates, and professionals navigate the complexities of Australian immigration law. Our expertise in visa applications ensures that you receive tailored advice and support throughout your immigration journey.

If you require assistance with your Subclass 485 graduate visa application or have any other immigration-related queries, our experienced team can help.

Please book a free 15 minute chat with our team if you have further questions.    

Written by Ines Jusufspahic, LPN: 5511366

This article does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. For up-to-date information, please consult an immigration professional.

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