Understanding the Basics of a 485 Visa

The Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) is a popular choice for international students who have completed their studies in Australia. This visa allows graduates to stay and work in the country for a specified period. However, meeting the basic eligibility criteria is the first step to obtaining this visa.

To be eligible for a 485 visa, you generally need to:

  • Be under 35 years old (exceptions apply)
  • Hold a valid Australian visa
  • Have completed at least two academic years of study in Australia, leading to a CRICOS-registered qualification.
  • Choose the right visa stream based on your qualifications and work experience
  • Provide essential documentation to support your application

Understanding the Australian Study Requirement

To meet the Australian study requirement, your qualification must:

  • Be a bachelor’s degree, diploma, advanced diploma, or trade qualification.
  • Be completed at an Australian educational institution in Australia.
  • Be taught in English.
  • Be registered on CRICOS.
  • Be undertaken while holding a student visa.

Key points to remember:

  • Two academic years equals 92 weeks of study contributing to one or more qualifications.
  • Only successfully completed study counts.
  • Credit for prior learning can reduce the study period, but it cannot be used if earned in a non-CRICOS registered course or overseas.
  • You must complete a minimum of 16 months of study in Australia.
  • Overlapping qualifications can be used, but the study period cannot be counted twice.
  • Study outside Australia is allowed, but you must complete at least two academic years in Australia within 16 months.

Evidence to Support Your Australian Study Requirement

To demonstrate that you’ve met the Australian study requirement, you must provide the following certified documents:

  • Completion letter from your education provider: This letter should clearly state:

    • Course start and end dates
    • Whether you undertook any distance learning
    • Date of course completion
    • Campus location where you studied
    • Whether you studied full-time or part-time
    • Language of instruction
    • If applicable, confirmation that any credit you received towards the qualification was for study undertaken in Australia and can be counted towards the Australian study requirement.
  • Certified copies of your course transcripts.

Important: All documents must be certified by a qualified person authorized to certify documents for Australian visa applications. By providing this evidence, you can demonstrate that you’ve fulfilled the necessary study criteria for your 485 visa application.

Course Completion Date

You must apply for your subclass 485 visa within six months of completing your course.

Your course completion date is the day you finished all academic requirements for your degree, diploma, or trade qualification. You should have received written confirmation of this date via:

  • Letter
  • Newspaper publication
  • Online publication
  • විද්යුත් තැපෑල
  • Noticeboard at your educational institution

Important: Your course completion date is different from your graduation date. Graduation is when you receive your qualification, which may be later.

Demonstrate Your Skills and Qualifications

To qualify for this visa stream, you must:

  • Choose an occupation: Select an occupation listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
  • Hold relevant qualifications: Possess an associate degree, diploma, or trade qualification closely matching your chosen occupation.
  • Get a skills assessment: A relevant assessing authority must confirm that your skills align with your nominated occupation.


  • You cannot change your nominated occupation after submitting your visa application.
  • Your qualifications must directly relate to your chosen occupation.
  • A valid skills assessment is required. If you don’t have one, you must provide evidence that you’ve applied for one.
  • Skills assessments are valid for a maximum of three years (unless specified otherwise).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Australian Study Requirement

Q: Can I use English language courses to meet the Australian study requirement? A: No, English language proficiency courses cannot be used to fulfill the Australian study requirement.

Q: What if I failed some subjects during my course? A: Only successfully completed subjects count towards the two academic years. Failed subjects are not included.

Q: Can I use credit for prior learning (RPL) to meet the Australian study requirement? A: Yes, credit for prior learning can reduce the required study period, but it must be from a CRICOS-registered course completed in Australia.

Q: What if my course involved study overseas? A: You can still meet the requirement if you complete at least two academic years within 16 months in Australia.

Q: How do I prove that I met the Australian study requirement? A: You will need to provide a certified copy of your completion letter and academic transcripts to demonstrate the course start and end dates, location of study, and whether you studied full-time or part-time.

Q: When is the course completion date? A: The course completion date is when you first met the academic requirements for the qualification, not necessarily the date of the graduation ceremony.

Next Steps

If you believe you meet the basic eligibility criteria, including the Australian study requirement, the next step is to determine the suitable 485 visa stream. There are several options, each with its own requirements. We can delve deeper into these streams, including the popular Post-Study Work and Graduate Work streams, to help you make an informed decision.

Need expert guidance? Book an appointment with Ames Group at www.amesgroup.com.au to ensure a smooth visa application process. Their immigration experts can provide tailored advice and support.

මතක තබා ගන්න: Immigration laws can change. Always consult the Department of Home Affairs website or seek professional advice for the latest updates.