Graduate visa in Australia

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Graduate student

After you finish your studies in Australia you have two choices. Go back to your home country or stay in Australia to continue studying and maybe apply for a scholarship, find a job or to stay permanently. 

If you decided to stay but you still need to make up your mind about your purpose of staying in the country, your best option is to get a Post Graduate Visa. It has a lot of features that you may find beneficial for you to accomplish your purposes.

To find out if this is the best visa option for you, you need to be aware of its requirements, benefits and how convenient it would be for you to apply.

What are the Graduate visa streams?

485 Graduate Visa is only available for international students that have completed a minimum of two full study years. This visa has two streams: The post study work visa and the Graduate work visa. You have to think really carefully about which one is the most beneficial for you.

Once you apply you can’t change your application for the other visa. Also keep in mind that this is once in a lifetime opportunity. You can’t apply twice so take advantage of this opportunity and make the most out of it.

Post-Study Work Visa

With this visa you can stay between 2 to 4 years, and if you hold a Hong Kong passport you can stay up to 5 years. The visa duration depends on the study degree you already completed.

For example, with the competition of a bachelor’s degree you will be granted with a 2 years visa. With a Master with a 3 years visa.

Finally, with a Doctorate, you will be granted with a 4-year visa. Also, with this visa you have the rights to live, study and work in Australia after finishing your studies.

It is for international students who graduate with a higher education degree from an Australian education provider. This is regardless of your field of study.

This stream is only available to students who applied for and received their first student visa to Australia from November 5, 2011

Group of coworkers in Australia

Graduate Work Visa

On the other hand, the graduate visa is only valid for 18 months. Take into consideration that It is only for international students with an eligible qualification. Those who graduated with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the Specialized Occupation List.

What are the differences between a Post-study work visa and a Graduate work visa?

Basically, what varies is the duration of the visa. With a Post study-work visa you can stay up to 5 years and with a Graduate visa you can stay up to 18 months.

Also, what varies is the education requirement. The Post-study work stream is for international students who graduated with a higher education degree. Whereas, the graduate work stream is for international students that graduated with skills related to the Skilled Occupation List.

On the other hand, the application for both streams is really similar. You will need the same documentation and you can apply online through your ImmiAccount, or with a paper form.

For more information regarding the requirements and how to apply to the Post Study Work Visa or the Graduate Study Work Visa you can visit the government website. They keep updating their website with the latest information.

International students under a post graduate visa

What are the Post Graduate visa requirements?

If you already have a Student visa it is easy to apply to this Graduate Visa. Take into consideration that these are the requirements for the application:

  • To be less than 50 years old
  • Already be holding an eligible visa
  • Meet an English proficiency requirement
  • Have already completed a minimum of 2-year studies

For you to take into consideration, the English requirements for a Graduate visa may be valid by completing one of the following

  • Pearson
  • Cambridge
  • Occupational English test

Or by holding a passport from other English-speaking countries such as USA, Canada, Ireland, UK or New Zealand.

How much time do I have to wait to have my visa?

The processing time is from 4 to 5 months, so it is relatively low. Keep in mind that you need to apply at least 6 months beforehand in case something unexpected happens.

However, it is common that the Post-study work visa processes faster than the Graduate work visa. You can also get a Bridging Visa while you wait for this visa to be processed.

What benefits do I have with a Post graduate visa?

You can work full-time

With this visa you have the right to work in Australia full time. This is amazing taking into consideration that with the student visa you are only allowed to work part time.

It is not mandatory for you to have a job to apply to this visa. That is why this visa is the best option for you to keep looking for a job if you didn’t with your student visa, as you have the time and the permission.

Professional year

There exists a program that is called The professional Year. It is for international students that have already completed their studies but they want to develop their skills. This applies for graduates from accounting, engineering and computer science.

In this program you have the chance to keep training and acquire more knowledge with classroom theory. But also, you will have the practice from a paid or unpaid internship.

You can apply if you already hold your graduate Visa. It is an excellent opportunity if you want to gain experience and a possibility to find a permanent job in Australia.

Also, if your plan is to stay permanently in Australia, you will gain 5 points in skilled migration by completing this course

Student happy with her Visa approval

Your family will be covered

In your application you may include family members such as spouse, partner or dependent children. On the other hand, if for example you want a visa for your parents for them to live in Australia as well, you will need a totally different visa type.

You can Improve your chances to permanent migration

It is the best way to have more chances to apply to an extended or permanent stay in Australia. This is because during this time you can get a job. With a job it is more probable to get a sponsored visa in the pathway to permanent residency.

Also, as mentioned before if you choose to apply for the professional year program, you will have more possibilities to be eligible for the permanent residency.

As it sums up points in skilled migration. Another thing that gives you extra points is living in Regional areas. Which you can do as with this visa you are allowed to live anywhere in Australia.

Are there any changes affecting this visa after Covid-19?

According to a spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs the Government wants the impact of Covid-19 for international students to be as little as possible. For this reason, students that are stuck overseas will have facilities to apply for the post-graduate visa.

To receive updates regarding Covid-19 in Australia, don’t forget to follow the Australian Government website.

Remember that whatever decision you take regarding your future, a Graduate visa is something to take into consideration. Think about all the benefits it has for you, pros and cons. and if it covers your needs.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below.

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