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Two Year Study Requirement

Staying in Australia after completing a course of study here is every student’s dream. This can be a complicated process- but Yeste simplifies it for you!

This information pertains to overseas students in Australia, who are applying for Australian permanent residence under the Graduate Skilled Program. Such students who have completed their qualification/s after undertaking a course of study of minimum 2 years in Australia will obtain extra points for skilled migration. They may then be eligible for a Temporary Graduate Visa.

Who can apply under this route?

The primary applicant under this pathway must have undertaken a minimum of at least TWO years of full-time study while physically in Australia. The studies should have led to the award of a degree, diploma or trade qualification by the Australian educational institution. 

He or she must be aged between 18 and 50, and should have a minimum overall General IELTS score of 6, with a minimum of 5 in each module of IELTS (or equivalent in another specified test of English language ability). 

Note that the application for this visa must be lodged within 6 months of completing the Australian qualification.

What are the points awarded for the study undertaken?

You will receive extra points for your studies, as per the following mandate: 

  • 5 points for meeting the 2 year study requirement

  • 5 additional points if you complete 2 years of study in a regional area

  • 5 additional points if you complete a professional year in Australia

Can I apply for a Temporary visa first?

Yes, as a student you will be eligible to apply for a Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 visa, which can last between 18 months and 4 years depending on the type of qualification completed. You will get full work rights and can accumulate further points for working in Australia. This will boost your score in the Points test.

Is there any other benefit that comes from having studied in Australia?

Qualifications from Australian institutions are more recognised for skills assessment- which is mandatory for applying for Skilled Migration. Also, please consider that advanced qualifications such as bachelor degrees score higher than diplomas. Diplomas and trade qualifications will fetch 10 points on the Points Test, while bachelor degrees give you 15 points, and doctorates give you 20 points.

Could you tell me a bit more about this visa subclass?

There are two possible streams under this visa:

1. The Graduate work stream applies to international students who have completed their graduation in a stream related to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL): Schedule 1. Such applicants must have completed a trade qualification, diploma or degree. A visa in this stream is granted for 18 months.

2. The Post-Study work stream applies to international students who complete their graduation with an eligible qualification. Eligible qualifications include Australian bachelor degree (including honours), masters by coursework degree, masters (extended) degree, masters by research degree or doctoral degree, provided they meet the other eligibility requirements.

Note that this stream is only available to students who applied for and were granted their first student visa (including subclasses 573 and 574 only) to Australia after 5 November 2011. A visa in this stream is granted for up to four years, depending on the applicant's qualification.

Sounds good! What else should I know about this?

For the 2 year study requirement, the main points to be noted are as follows:

Qualification: You must qualify with a degree, diploma or trade qualification. Masters, graduate diplomas and PhDs are equivalent to degrees and can also be considered towards the 2 year study requirement. You can also combine two or three courses leading to the award of qualifying degrees or diplomas that meet the criteria. You should have completed your studies while on a qualifying student visa.

Duration of Course: From the beginning of the course till completion, the course must take at least 16 months of study in Australia

Non-qualifying courses: Please note that English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) Sector, Schools Sector and Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector students are not eligible. If you are among such students, you can be eligible if you subsequently complete an eligible qualification on a qualifying student visa.

CRICOS List: The courses you take up must be on the approved list of courses for international students (CRICOS). In case your course or educational institution is deregistered prior to completion of your studies, some issues can occur, so you must change to a new registered educational institution.

Two Academic Years:  According to the CRICOS registration of the courses, this is defined as being at least 92 weeks in duration. Students who have academic exemptions for overseas studies can get the calculated period of credited study reduced, however after the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) the duration must be 92 weeks.

Medium of Instruction: It is mandatory that all instruction must be in English. In the case of translation/interpreting qualifications, it is possible that there can be issues with this requirement.

Compliance with Visa Conditions: To count towards the 2-year study requirement, your course should comply with visa conditions. This could be a problem if you are studying on a visa with restricted study rights, hence make sure all the necessary conditions are fulfilled.

Health Insurance Requirement: You will need to provide evidence that you have adequate coverage under health insurance in Australia, from the time you lodge your subclass 485 visa application until the time a decision is made on the application. If you hold a valid student visa with an Overseas Student Health Cover at the time of application, and it expires during the visa processing period, you will have issues. You will have to arrange for non-OHSC cover from an insurance provider so that you are covered at all times.

How is the time frame calculated?

Students who wish to apply for a Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 visa must apply within 6 months of completion of their study qualification. Please note that:

The completion date that is considered is the date you are notified of your final results. It is NOT your graduation date (typically colleges have the graduation date many months after you complete studies).

For most students, the student visa will expire within a few weeks or months of completion of your studies. You must apply for a further visa before your student visa expires and this is usually a very short time frame.

Even if it has been more than 6 months from the date you completed your studies, you can still claim points for Australian study.

Can I include family members in my visa application?

Yes, you are permitted to include your partner (married or de facto), your own or your partner’s dependent children, and other dependent relatives in your visa application. Such secondary applicants can work and study on the subclass 485 visa.

Is there any restriction on the type of work I can do?

There are no work restrictions on this visa, and you may choose to work or study in any field.