Regional Changes to Temporary Graduate Visa Announced – Are You Eligible for a Second Visa?

This article was originally posted by Nicole Kirkwood, Director of Australian Visa and Immigration Experts (AVIE) and Registered Migration Agent (MARN: 0962323).

The Department of Home Affairs has announced proposed changes, whereby Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) holders in the post-study work stream who have graduated from a regional educational institution and have lived in regional Australia on their first Temporary Graduate visa (TVG) will be eligible for a second TGV. The change is in an effort to encourage international students to move to regional areas to study, live or work.

A recent announcement in late 2020 alerted to further regional changes to the subclass 485 visa. Nicole Kirkwood, Director of Australian Visa and Immigration Experts (AVIE), clarifies these changes and answers your FAQs about the subclass 485 visa.

Who is eligible for a second subclass 485 visa?

• You must have completed study from regional education provider

• You must hold a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) Post-Study Work stream

• You must have lived and worked or studied only in a designated regional area for two years continuously on your first Post-Study Work visa (subclass 485) immediately before applying for the second subclass 485 visa

• You and your family must be in Australia to apply (No COVID-19 concession)

When can you lodge a second subclass 485 visa?

From 20 January 2021, you can lodge a second Post-Study Work stream visa (subclass 485).

How much will it cost?

• Base charge primary applicant – $650

• Additional applicant > 18 years old – $325

• Additional applicant < 18 years old – $165

What if I hold an 18-month Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) that was granted on the basis of either: Advanced Diploma level study or below (or first study before 5 November 2011)?

Unfortunately, you are not eligible for an additional subclass 485 visa.

Who is eligible for a second two-year subclass 485 visa?

If you have graduated, held a Post-Study Work stream (subclass 485) visa, and only lived and worked or studied in a designated regional centre or other regional area, you may be eligible for second two-year Post Study Work stream (subclass 485) visa.

Does it have to be the same designated regional area?

No, you can live and work in a different designated regional area to which you studied.

What if I didn’t work in a regional area, but instead lived and undertook further study in the designated regional area? 

Yes, you may still be eligible for a second subclass 485 visa.

Who is eligible for a second one-year subclass 485 visa?

If you graduated, held a Post-Study Work stream (subclass 485) visa, and only lived and worked or studied in a designated city or major regional area, you may be eligible for the grant of a subsequent one-year Post-Study Work stream (subclass 485) visa.

Am I in a designated regional area

Designated city or major regional centre means Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Canberra, Geelong and Hobart.

Designated regional centre or other regional area means all other areas of regional Australia apart from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast.

Category 2 – May be eligible for an additional one-year subclass 485 visa

Category 3 – May be eligible for an additional two-year subclass 485 visa

Visit the Department of Home Affairs website to check if your postcode is eligible.

Student Webinar: Australian Visa Update for International Students

For more information on the Temporary Graduate visa, check out the Insider Guides Student Webinar with Nicole Kirkwood, covering:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on student visa applications
  • Student visa fee waivers
  • Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visa Eligibility
  • Offshore Student Visa (Subclass 500)
  • Post-study work rights
  • Where to find up to date information

Click here to watch this webinar

*The information shared in the above webinar was correct at time of recording and viewers should seek advice from a registered migration agent if further assistance is needed.