International students who study at university in Australia can stay on afterwards to get work experience after completing their studies. A temporary graduate (subclass 485) visa allows recently graduated international students to gain valuable work experience aimed at helping develop the skills graduates gained during their studies and also makes them more employable upon return to their home country.
However, applicants need to meet a number of eligibility requirements to be granted the temporary graduate visa. If the visa is granted, temporary graduate visa holders are responsible for finding their own employment. Many international students make a decision to apply for the temporary graduate visa upon completion of their studies. Graduates can apply for this visa up to six months after completion of their studies.
‘There is no guarantee that, on the basis of having previously held a student visa, the applicant will meet the requirements to be granted a temporary graduate visa,’ said a spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). ‘Any decision to apply for a temporary graduate visa is an entirely separate process to a student visa application. Depending on their individual circumstances, applicants may be eligible to apply for a temporary graduate visa through either the graduate work stream or the post-study work stream,’ the spokesman explained.
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The temporary graduate visa allows recent graduates to spend time in Australia to gain practical work experience to accompany their Australian qualification(s). There are no restrictions on the type of employment that the temporary graduate visa holder may choose to undertake. However, the spokesman said it is important to note that finding a job is the responsibility of the temporary graduate visa holder. ‘The Australian government is not responsible for arranging employment but there are many organisations which offer assistance in job seeking, including through the Australian Government’s JobSearch website,’ the spokesman pointed out.
To apply for a visa a student needs to have gained a qualification in the past six months such as Bachelor or Masters Degree or a Doctoral Degree in English and have a completion letter from the higher education institution where they studied. Submission of a thesis, or completion of exams, is not sufficient. The course must have been at least two academic years (92 weeks) long and lawfully completed at an Australian educational institution in Australia. English language proficiency courses or enabling programs cannot be used to meet the Australian study requirement.