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Working in Australia after graduating? Here's what you need to know

3 minute read
An international students in a workplace strategy meeting

You’ve made it through your final year of study and decided to stay in Australia to begin your career. There’s a few important things you need to sort out.

One of the first steps to starting your career in Australia is to apply for a Graduate 485 visa. This visa is a great way to stay temporarily in Australia after your graduation while you get the experience you need for a permanent work visa.

To help get you started, we’ve broken down the basics of the 485 visa.

What’s a Graduate 485 visa? If you’ve just graduated, a 485 visa allows you to begin working in Australia.

There are two different types of Temporary Graduate visas:

1. Post-Study Work stream visa

If you have graduated from an eligible Australian tertiary institution in the last six months, this visa allows you (and your family) to live, work, study and travel in Australia for two to four years.

So, if you’ve completed a bachelor degree you could be eligible for two years, if you’ve finished your master’s degree you could be up for two to three years, and if you’ve graduated from a doctorate you could get up to four years.

However, you won’t be eligible for this visa if you applied for your first student visa before 5 November 2011.

2. Graduate Work stream visa

If you’ve graduated from an eligible Aussie tertiary institution in the past six months, the Graduate Work stream visa allows you (along with your family) to live, work, study and travel in Australia for 18 months.

However, there are a few requirements that you’ll need to meet to be eligible for this one.

The field in which you specialise must be classified as ‘in demand’ on the skilled occupation list and the work you’ll be doing must be closely related to your qualification. For example, a journalism graduate wouldn’t be eligible if they took up a job as a butcher (because true journos generally mince words, not meat).

For further details regarding the qualifying criteria required for this visa, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs website.

The good news? You’ll be eligible for this visa even if you applied for your first student visa before 5 November 2011.

Regardless of what visa you apply for, don’t forget for you’ll still need your compliant health insurance. If you're looking to apply for a 485 visa after you have finished your current studies, check out the range of health covers offered by nib.

If you are looking to continue your studies even further, check out our Facts about postgraduate study article, where we cover off kicking off your next degree.

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