So, you’ve been in Australia as an international student and now you’ve graduated. What do you do now? Can you stay in Australia? Do you need another visa? All these questions are valid and often arise once international students have graduated, if not earlier.
Once an international student graduates, they are able to stay in Australia for 18 months to four years, depending on their qualification. In order to stay, they need a Graduate Temporary Skilled Visa (subclass 485).
There are two types of Temporary Graduate Visa. These are the Post-Study Work Stream Visa and the Graduate Work Stream Visa.
To be eligible for these visas, the graduate’s qualification must be in a field which is in demand. The eligible occupations are listed on the Skilled Occupation List. Work must be sought in a field that is the same as, or closely related to, the subject in which the qualification was gained. For example, if a graduate has a bachelor’s degree in commerce, they cannot work as a tradesman.
Post-Study Work Stream Visa
This visa allows graduates and their family to live, work, travel and study in Australia for between two and four years if they have graduated from an Australian education institution within the past six months.
The length of their stay depends on their qualification level. Those with a bachelor degree (including honours) can stay for two years. If they have a master's degree they can stay for two or three years and holders of a doctorate can stay for four years.
However, if the qualification is below that of a bachelor degree (eg: certificate III, diploma or graduate diploma), graduates do not qualify for this visa.
Graduate Work Stream Visa
This visa allows graduates and their family to live, work, travel and study in Australia for 18 months if they graduated from an Australian education institution within the past six months.
Unlike the Post-Study Work Stream Visa, they are eligible for this visa even if their qualification is below that of a bachelor degree, eg: a diploma or trade-level certificate.
To qualify for a Graduate Work Stream visa graduates must pass a skills assessment in an occupation on the Skilled Occupations List.
In order to qualify for either these Temporary Graduate Visas, applicants must:
- be under 50
- be in good health
- be competent in English (an IELTS score of 6 or a passport from an English-speaking country).
There may be other options available to you, depending on your circumstances.
If you would like to learn more about staying in Australia after graduation, contact the Visa Solutions Australia team on 1800 828 008.