COVID-19 visa concessions for Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa

COVID-19 visa concessions for Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa


Which concessions apply to the Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa?

It has recently been announced that concessions are now available for Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa holders who have been impacted by the COVID-19 border closures.

The  Migration Regulations 1994 has been amended to help students who have been unable to return to Australia due to the border closures.  This is a welcome change as the amendments will allow for current students to study remotely and still be eligible to apply for the Subclass 485. The new changes will assist international students who have applied or will apply for the post-study visa and is designed to provide students with a pathway to maintain their eligibility for a Subclass 485 visa.The concessions also take into account that some graduates would have been offshore and unable to apply for the 485 visa. The amendments now allow students  to apply or be granted the visa outside of Australia which allows international students to have greater flexibility.

Before this amendment, applicants were required to be in Australia to apply for the subclass 485 visa and must have been on a student visa at least six months before applying. The amendments give international students an opportunity to obtain the visa with less stringent rules regarding when and where the visa application is applied for and approved.

These amendments allow for international students to apply for a visa to return to Australia and has the added benefit of the visa period beginning once you enter to Australia. The concessions are for those who were outside of Australian within the period of 1 February 2020 and ending on 19 September 2020 (concession period). The concessions will only be available for a limited period, so it is important for you to check with your Infinite Migration Australia specialist if you are eligible for a concession.


The summary of the amendments under the Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visas are:

  • Allowing applicants that made an offshore Subclass 485 visa application during a concession period can  be granted the visa in or outside of Australia and regardless of whether the concession period has ended
  • Applicants now have an additional 6 months to apply for the visa after completing their studies under the ASR (Australian Study requirement). This means applicants now have 12 months available immediately before making the application if it can be shown that the applicant was outside of Australia for any part between 1 February 2020 and ending on 19 September 2020. Additionally the applicants will need to show that the applicant was unable to apply within six months of satisfying the ASR because of that absence from Australia.
  • Applicants are no longer required to have held a student visa within the past 6 months before their application


What is the Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa?

This visa is very popular for students who have completed relevant courses in Australia. The visa is well sought after because it provides the opportunity for the holder to work and live in Australia for a substantial amount of time after the completion of their studies. This is a perfect opportunity to improve your English skills, gain relevant work experience and position yourself well for a move towards permanent residency visa.

Information regarding 485 can be read here.


Source: Department of Home Affairs

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