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Your Quick Guide of Applying Graduate Visas in Australia

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Here we have put together a short guide explaining some of the options open to you if you’re currently studying in Australia and living there after your education is something you’re considering. 

If you’re not planning to study in Australia but would like to live there for a while check out the Australian governments helpful Visa Finder on their website. It allows you to enter your nationality and proposed the length of stay to find out your options, whether you want to backpack, visit family or work on a farm. 

I’ve heard about new changes to Australian visas, will I be affected?

As you may have already heard, the government is getting rid of 457 visa which allowed many foreign workers into the country based on their skills. The country is tightening up their immigration laws and subsequently, 200 jobs that were previously listed on the 457 visa form as ‘desired’ are no longer present. (click here to have a look at the latest skilled migration occupation list)

At present the highest number of people on this kind of visa are from India, followed by China and England. It is worth noting that this new system will not come into place until 2018 and will also not affect anyone currently on the 457 visa. 

Australia is opting for temporary visas offered to people with three year’s work experience, aged under 45 and with a clean criminal record check. This change is to allow for more jobs to be available to Australian citizens. The new scheme will be called the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa programme and will have two streams: one providing a two-year visa and the other, a visa for up to four years. The biggest change is that the new programme will not provide a pathway toward permanent residency. It is also worth noting that English language requirements will be tightened up for all jobs too. 

Working in Australia temporarily after graduation

You can live in Australia for between 18 months and four years after graduating depending on what kind of qualification you have. First, you will need a Graduate Skilled Temporary (subclass 485) visa. To fit for this visa you must be under 50, be in good health and be competent in English (an IELTS score of 6 or a passport from an English-speaking country). Additionally, there is the Skilled – recognized graduate visa (subclass 476). This allows engineering graduates who are under 31 to gain 18 months of skilled work experience within Australia.

There are two types of Temporary Graduate Visa:

1. Post-Study Work Stream visa

This visa allows you and your family to live, work, travel and study in Australia for between two to four years if you have graduated from an Australian education institution within the past six months. If you have a bachelor degree you can stay for two years. If you have a master’s degree you can stay for two or three years. And if you have a doctorate you can stay for four years. 

However, if your qualification is below that of a bachelor degree (eg: certificate III, diploma or graduate diploma) you do not qualify for this visa. Also, you are not eligible for this visa if you applied for your first ever student visa before November 5, 2011.

2. Graduate Work Stream Visa

This visa allows you and your family to live, work, travel and study in Australia for 18 months if you have graduated from an Australian education institution within the past six months. Unlike the Post-Study Work Stream visa, you are eligible for this visa even if your qualification is below that of a bachelor degree – eg: a diploma or trade-level certificate, and even if you applied for your first ever student visa after November 5, 2011.

However, your qualification must be in a field which is in demand. Australia has a shortage of skilled workers in several fields including types of engineer, medic, scientist and teacher (click here to have a look at the latest skilled migration occupation list). To qualify for a Graduate Work Stream visa you must pass a skills assessment in an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List. 

You must find work in a field that is the same as, or closely related to, the subject in which you gained your qualification. For example, if you gained a bachelors degree in commerce, you cannot work as a tradesman such as programmer.

Can I stay longer after Post-Study Work Stream Visa?

Australian immigration is keen to offer permanent visas to people who can contribute long-term to the economy and country. Skilled migrants wishing to work in Australia will be assessed on a points-based system with points awarded for work experience, language proficiency and qualifications. You have to first submit an Expression of Interest for a Skilled visa, via the SkillSelect process. If this is accepted, you can begin application for a full visa. There are several kinds of permanent visa but the main ones for recent graduates are:  

1. Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190)

This points-tested permanent visa allows skilled workers who are nominated by a state (Tasmania and Darwin) or territory government agency to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident. As well as being nominated, you must be under 50 years old, work in a field on the Skilled Occupation List and obtain a Suitable Skills assessment for the occupation. 

2. Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189)

If you are not nominated by a state or territory government, you can still apply as an individual. Again, you must be under 50 years old, work in an SOL occupation (click here to have a look at the latest skilled migration occupation list) and obtain a Suitable Skills assessment. As with most Australian visas, your application will be judged on a points-based system, and you must obtain a certain number of points to be successful.

Contact us to find out more

International Student enquiries:
Phone: +60182414802
Email: info.my@exceleducation.com.au

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About Post Author
Michelle Phan
A freelance writer, graduated from Curtin University, specialises in commercial writing, love travel and enjoy walking on the beach, Michelle also feeds on Psychology and will give away just about anything to cuddle with furry felines.
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