How to be eligible for Post Study Work Visa after Completion of Studies in Australia

Various eligibility requirements dictate if you are eligible for the graduate visa (Subclass 485). Find out what they are.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for a post-study work permit, foreign students must:

  •  Graduate with an ‘acceptable qualification,’ i.e. one of the following: A Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, or a PhD degree. Have at least two years of academic study or above Bachelor’s level in Australia (that is, at the Bachelors, Masters or PhD level).
  • Students must have at least two years of academic study in Australia in order to be eligible for a post-graduate work visa. You can be awarded a single degree or multiple degrees, but the cumulative length of your study must be at least two academic years. For example, You must complete a Master’s degree that is two years in length to fulfil this requirement, or you may complete a Master’s degree in one year, followed by another Master’s degree in one year, and you may also be exempt. Note, only studies completed at and above the Bachelor’s level i.e. at the Bachelor’s, Masters or PhD level) and which lead to an eligible degree (i.e. Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD level) would be considered to be needed under the post-study work stream of the Australian study.
  • You need to be less than 50 years of age if you wish to apply for this visa. Your studies in Australia need to be done while you are on a valid visa that allows you to study in Australia, such as a valid student visa.

One example to explain exclusion to how eligibility works is as follows: If you did a Graduate Diploma in Engineering, which advanced to a Master’s degree in Engineering, you could use both the duration of the Diploma and the duration of the Master’s degree to fulfil the criteria of the Australian study. However, if you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering followed only by a Graduate Diploma in Engineering then only the time to complete the Bachelor’s Degree course would be considered for the study criteria and not the time spent in the Graduate Diploma as it did not contribute to an eligible qualification.

Points to remember about the length of the study in Australia

Only the normal length of the course is considered when measuring the ‘two academic years of study.’ If you take longer to complete the course, you will only be credited with the normal length. If the normal length of the program is 1.5 years and you take 2 years to successfully graduate, you can only get credit for 1.5 years. Subjects in which you have failed will not be accepted and a credit will be granted only where you have successfully passed.

Finally, only courses registered with CRICOS (Commonwealth Registry of Institutions and Course for Overseas Students) and completed at qualifying universities or educational providers in Australia that are approved to offer such degrees will be considered. At the end of this article, a list of Australian universities registered with CRICOS is given.

What is the duration of the work permit that is granted?

The duration of the work permit will depend of the type of degree you complete:

Degree Graduated FromEligible Duration
Bachelor’s Degree2 years
Masters by coursework degree2 years
Masters by research degree3 years
Doctoral Degree(PhD)4 years