How Long Is The Graduate Visa In Australia

How long is the Graduate visa in Australia? This is a question that many people with an interest in moving to Australia want answering. The Australian graduate visa is the best option for international students who are looking to stay in Australia for a more extended period of time once their qualifications have been completed. But just how long does it last?Visas: a confusing topic, even for those who are somewhat familiar with them. So much information, so many terms — it can be hard to make sense of what someone is saying. All you want to know is how long is the graduate visa in Australia. Well, the quick answer is three years. This article will go into more details about this and why it’s the case.

How Long Is The Graduate Visa In Australia

There are a lot of misconceptions about working in Australia after you have obtained your Graduate Visa. Some people even believe that they cannot work until the visa is approved, which is simply not true. It is important to note that after you have been approved for a Graduate Visa, your delay in obtaining a visa should not prevent you from traveling to Australia. If this is your first time to Australia and you are currently waiting for a visa, it would be advantageous if you can get a few time onshore before the other one expires.

This visa allows migrant students who have completed at least 2 years of study in Australia to live and work in the country for between 18 months and 4 years.

Visa streams

There are three streams for the Subclass 485 visa:

  • Graduate work

For students who have completed at least 2 years of study in Australia, and who nominate an occupation on one of the Australian Skilled Occupation Lists. The study undertaken must be closely related to the nominated occupation.

Length of stay
Subclass 485 visas granted under the Graduate work stream are valid for 18 months

  • Post-study work and the Second post-study work

This stream allows international students who have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher at an Australian higher education institution to remain in Australia for up to 4 years. Applicants for this stream do not need to nominate an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).

Length of stay
Subclass 485 visas granted under the Post-study work stream are valid for between 18 months and 4 years, depending on the applicant’s qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or taught master’s degree – 2 years 
  • Research based master’s degree – 3 years 
  • PhD – 4 years

Application conditions

Unlike most General Skilled Migration visas, applications are not by invitation only, and applicants do not need to submit an Expression of Interest for this visa. However, there are some conditions applicants must meet in order to apply. Applicants must:

  • be older than 18 and less than 50 years of age when they apply 
  • meet general Skilled Migration basic requirements, including English language, health, and character checks 
  • meet the 2 year study requirement (see below)
  • Have a recent qualification in a CRICOS-registered course 
  • have held a student visa in the last 6 months 


Family members can be included with this visa. Your children can be added up until a decision is made on your application. No other family members can be added to your application during this period.  

You can include the following family members in your visa application:

  • your partner 
  • your or your partner’s dependent child 
  • your or your partner’s dependent relative


This visa allows you and your dependants to:

  • temporarily live and work in Australia 
  • study in Australia 
  • travel in and out of Australia while the visa is valid

2 year study requirement

In order to meet the requirements for this visa applicants have studied for, and been awarded, a qualification in Australia over the course of 2 years or more. The full requirements are as follows:

  • Applicants must have received a recognised diploma, trade qualification or degree (such as a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD) from an Australian educational institution. 
  • The course studied must be registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) 
  • The qualification must have been received within the 6 months leading up to the application 
  • The course must have taken at least 92 weeks of of study time, and must have taken place over at least 16 months 
  • The course must have been taught in English 
  • The student must have had a valid Australian student visa for the duration of their studies

Further Information, help, and advice has over twenty years of experience helping people immigrate to countries all over the World. If you feel that you can pass the points test and wish to immigrate to Australia, fill out our free assessment form and one of our representatives will contact you shortly.

For more information and advice on Australian immigration law and Australian visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at

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