Applying For the Subclass 485 Skilled Graduate Temporary Visa – Timing is the Key


The subclass 458 Graduate temporary visa is a visa that allows international students 18 months in Australia to get 10 points for 12-months Australian work experience points to go towards satisfying the applicable general skilled migration points score and gaining permanent residence. The following points highlight 3 of the key issues that may cost an applicant the opportunity to be granted this visa. However, good organization and up-to-date immigration advice is the key to a successful subclass 485 application.

The 6-month Time Limit to Apply – Many myths and falsehoods circulate about this rule. The 6 months begins when you have met the requirements for the award of the certificate, diploma or degree you have been studying for. This means the date you are notified of your results (e.g. handed results in person, by post, on a bulletin board or by your results are made available on the internet – examples only).

It is not 6-months from the ceremony or date you were ‘conferred’ or awarded your certificate, diploma or degree nor is it 6 months from when your last course finishes. It is 6-months from notification of your results. This is because at once notified of your results, the skills assessment process can begin.

Again, it is essential to calculate this date accurately because if an application is not lodged with in the time frame, you will fail to satisfy a primary criterion for the grant of the visa and be refused.

English – From 27 October 2008 an IELTS test result (or equivalent) showing the necessary score for your occupation must be provided with the application (either 6 or 5 across all 4 bands depending on your nominated occupation). The supply of a receipt for the booking of an IELTS test is no longer acceptable. If an IELTS result is not provided with the application, you will fail to meet the English criteria and be refused the visa.

The issue is, of course, everybody that has tried to book an IETLS place recently realises the waiting list can be up to 3 months long to sit the exam. Remember you only have 6-months from completion of your course (i.e. notification of results).

Let’s say you have left it 4 months since notified of your results before you booked your IELTS place, you probably won’t sit the exam and get the results for another 3-4 months. In this case, 7-8 months have passed, this will mean you are outside the 6-months time limit and you have lost your opportunity to work in Australia to gain the additional points to achieve permanent residence.

The Skills Assessment – A skills assessment should be undertaken as soon as is possible after notification of your results. This is because you cannot guarantee that you will get a positive assessment in the occupation that you nominated and may find that you are in fact assessed positively in another occupational category: For example Engineers Australia do not consider you an Engineer but they do decide you are an Engineering technologist.

The issue is that if you have already lodged your application, the Government has recently indicated that they will not continue the policy of allowing applicant’s to amend the application by changing the nominated occupation.

This strategic and timing error could lead to your application being refused. Therefore, preparation and timeliness is all important.

Conclusion – Students should prepare well in advance of the completion of their studies to lodge their application. They should get expert advice from an immigration lawyer or experienced migration agent at least on whether they satisfy the criteria for the grant of the visa and also if they even need to make the temporary application first or can and should apply directly for permanent residence.

IELTS should be undertaken before studies are completed and a skills assessment should be lodged as soon as possible after being notified of the results. This means that results on both the IELTS and skills assessment should be received well before the application has to be lodged and you and your advisers can respond accordingly: for example, re-sit the IELTS if you fail or appeal or amend your skills assessment or your visa application if necessary.

This is not a simple visa and we do not recommend students applying on their own without immigration advice and assistance, particularly due to the fact that if your subclass 485 visa application is refused, it may be you have lost the benefit of your years of study in Australia and your chance at gaining Australian permanent residence.

A well prepared and accurate application is the key.

, Stewart Coulson ,