Visas for International Students

If you are currently in Australia and

  • have an Australian qualification (Trade Certificate, Diploma or University degree), gained as a result of the equivalent of 2 years full-time study at an educational institution in Australia
  • are less than 50 years old
  • hold an eligible student visa
  • have an IELTS score of at least 6.0 in all four components, and
  • have applied to have your skills assessed in an occupation listed on the current SOL that is closely related to your studies,

you may be eligible for one of the following three visas:

You may also be eligible for a Skilled Graduate Visa - Subclass 485This is a TEMPORARY (or "PROVISIONAL") visa leading to a Permanent visa, which is available to you if you don't qualify for any of the other Visas. It gives you 18 months to meet the requirements for a permanent visa. Click for details., for which you can apply at any time.

Click on any of the visa titles above for further information.

Some international students currently in Australia may feel frustrated because they have invested a substantial amount of money, time and effort in several years of study in Australia, in the hope of settling here on completion of their studies, only to find that they can only apply for the Skilled Graduate Visa - Subclass 485, which allows them to stay in Australia for a further 18 months with full work rights, but without a pathway to permanent residence.

If you have arrived in Australia after 5 November 2011 you will have a second option: you will be able to apply for the new Post-Study Work Visa, which allows you to stay and work in Australia

  • for 2 years, if you have gained a Bachelor or Master degree in Australia,
  • for 3 years, if you have gained a Master by Research degree in Australia,
  • for 4 years, if you have gained a Doctorate degree in Australia.

To be eligible for a Subclass 485 visa, allowing an 18-month stay in Australia, you need to be able to nominate an occupation listed in the SOL current at the time of your application.

To be eligible for a Post-Study Work Visa, the only requirements are that you have a completed a Bachelor, Master or Doctorate degree in Australia and that you have an IELTS score of 6 in all components: you will not be required to nominate an occupation on the SOL.

Nevertheless, if you are one of these students, you might like to know that there may be other pathways to Permanent Residence, including -

  • Employer Sponsorship, and
  • Further Studies.

If you are considering applying for a Subclass 485 Visa or a Post-Study Work Visa and want to explore whether you can gain Permanent Residence in another way, send us an email with an explanatory note and with your Curriculum Vitae or Resumé as an attachment. Or call AMES on 61 8 8410 6262 to make an appointment.