1st of July Graduate Visa Updates

Amendments to the Migration legislation have commenced on the 1st of July 2022.  Most of the changes are favourable to temporary visa holders who are currently in Australia especially for current Student Visa or Graduate Visa holders. 

This article focuses on the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) updates, and examples are provided below to showcase how the changes apply in different scenarios.

  1. Graduate Work stream: Skills list and skills assessment no longer required

Before the 1st of July 2022, one of the key requirements when applying for the Graduate Work stream was to nominate an occupation on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and provide a skills assessment for the applicant’s associated nominated occupation.  These are no longer required for Graduate Visa applications under the Graduate Work stream lodged from the 1st of July 2022 until the 30th of June 2023.  This means that the course you have completed or will complete within the prescribed time does not need to lead to a role listed on MLTSSL.

Students who have completed Diploma in Mental Health or Diploma/Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management or Diploma in Remedial Massage can be eligible for the Graduate Visa Graduate Work stream if the application was lodged between 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023.  Note that this is not an exhaustive list but are just a few examples.   The courses should be CRICOS registered and should be at least 92 weeks’ duration.  The applicant should also satisfy all the Graduate Visa Graduate Work stream criteria.

Student visa holders taking up trade qualifications leading to a role on MLTSSL continue to be eligible to apply for the Graduate Visa Graduate Work stream.  For example, students who completed a packaged course of Certificate III and Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery with Diploma of Hospitality Management can still apply for this visa.  However, a skills assessment for a Chef will no longer be required to be presented when applying for this visa.

  1. Post-Study Work stream: extension options

The Graduate Visa Post-Study Work stream is for students who completed a Bachelor’s degree level or higher in Australia who have applied for and have been granted their first student visa on or after 5 November 2011.   Before the 1st of July 2022, students are only allowed to have a Graduate Visa once as a primary visa holder.

From the 1st of July 2022, Graduate Visa holders who were affected by the pandemic and whose visa  was granted between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2022 can apply for another Graduate Visa under the Replacement stream.  A second Graduate Visa is available for Graduate Visa Post-Study Work stream holders, if they studied and lived in a regional centre or other regional area or a designated regional area while holding their current Graduate Visa for at least two years.  You can find the postcodes for the regional areas on the link below:


Moreover, a third Graduate Visa is also available for Graduate Visa holders under the Replacement stream with similar requirements as the second Graduate Visa Post-Study Work stream.  Note that applicants for this visa should declare that they intend to live only in a regional centre or other regional areas or a designated regional area.

Graduate Visas can be in effect for a duration of at least 18 months.  This has been temporarily increased to 2 years for the Graduate Work stream visa.  The first Graduate Visa Post-Study Work stream is in effect between 2-4 years from the date of visa grant depending on the applicant’s qualification. The second and third Graduate Visa Post-Study Work stream can be issued for a duration of 1-2 years depending on the applicant’s location.

Here’s an example.  If you completed a Master’s degree (2-year course duration) in an education provider in Warrnambool, you will be eligible for the Graduate Visa Post-Study Work stream.  If you continue to live and work in Warrnambool while holding your visa, you can be eligible for a second Graduate Visa Post-Study Work stream.

The Migration legislation changes all the time, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand how these changes apply to your own unique circumstance.  It is suggested that you seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent or an Immigration Lawyer to see how if you can use these changes to your advantage.