Australia reverts Temporary Graduate 485 Visa stay limit

Government adjusts post-study stay period, leaving international graduates in limbo

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In a sudden and unexpected move, the Australian government has quietly rolled back the extended stay period for the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) Graduate Work stream, returning it to the previous 18-month limit. The changes, which have taken international students by surprise, were not officially announced, sparking concerns and confusion among those affected.

The Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) is a crucial pathway for international graduates to gain valuable work experience in Australia after completing their studies. Initially, due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian government had temporarily extended the stay period to 24 months for applications lodged on or before September 2, 2023.

This extension was seen as a lifeline for many international graduates seeking to secure job opportunities and contribute to the Australian workforce during a tumultuous period.

However, without any prior notice or official statement, the government has reverted the stay period to the standard 18 months, leaving graduates who had planned their careers based on the extended period in a state of uncertainty.

This move is part of a series of steps taken by the Australian government in recent times to adjust its visa policies, particularly in response to the ongoing impact of the pandemic. Notably, the 408 visa, commonly referred to as the “Covid visa,” was abolished in a bid to streamline the visa system and reduce administrative complexities.

The changes to the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) Graduate Work stream appear to be part of a broader strategy to recalibrate the immigration landscape in Australia.

As the impact of this rollback becomes evident, it is likely to prompt discussions within the international education sector and among stakeholders about the need for clearer and more predictable visa policies.

There is another provisions for applying for a second Post Study Work stream visa.  However, to do this, one must live, work and/or study in a regional area while holding their first post-study work visa and that visa must have been granted on the basis of a degree or higher from an Australian institution located in a regional area.

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