Graduate Skill Visa (485): everything you need to know – Part 1

The Post Graduate Skill Visa (485), allows international students graduated from an Australian institute and CRICOS course, to live, work and travel in the country between 2 to 4 years. Applying for this visa is not complicated, but you need to be aware of specific details and requirements, as you can only apply for it once in your life, and in a short period of time (between the 6 months you finish your studies).

This is a very important step for a student, as you can stay in Australia to grow as a professional, and for some others, this implies the opportunity to apply for future other visas. As we understand the student concerns, we have been talking with Sally Jackson, from Crossing Borders Immigration Law Practice, who works as an immigration agent very close to our team. She will help us clarify some of the most common questions international students have about the visa. Have a look at the top 6 questions and answers we receive from students about the Post Graduate Skill Visa (485)!

Sally, who can apply for the 485 Graduate Skill Visa?

You are eligible to apply for a 485 visa up to 6 months after the end of your student visa so it is important to know when your student visa will/has expired. You must also apply within 6 months of your course completion date.
The 485 visa has two streams – post study work and graduate work stream.
If you are a recent graduate within 6 months of finishing your studies (course completion date).

What do students need to present for the application?

Documents required on the application:

Both streams:
– English test results *
– Australian police clearance certificate *
– Health insurance *
– Qualification certificates and proof of study
– Medical

Graduate work stream:
– Skills assessment *

The above documents that have an * must be provided at the time of application. Failure to do so may result in the refusal of your visa. You may provide evidence of having applied for your Australian police clearance certificate and skills assessment if you are short of time and must quickly apply.
Qualification related documents do not need to provide at the time of application, but it must be stressed that you must be sure to apply for the 485 visa only after the official completion date as provided by the educational institute. Should you apply for your 485 visa and later provide a completion letter from the education institute that quotes that your completion date occurred after you lodged your application, your application may be refused.
You must have health insurance at the time of application and it must cover you for your period of stay in Australia. If you are covered by Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) at the time of application and you are on a study visa, you are still eligible to apply. If however, you are no longer on a student visa, OSHC is not acceptable. You will need to produce evidence that you are enrolled with adequate health insurance at the time of application and that it will be maintained through the course of your stay in Australia.

Do I need to apply straight after I finish my studies, or can I apply after my student visa has finished?

You are eligible to apply for a 485 visa up to 6 months after the end of your student visa so it is important to know when your student visa will/has expired. You must also apply within 6 months of your course completion date.
Please note that you must be on your student visa, another substantive visa or bridging visa A and B at the time of application.

Do I need to apply from Australia? Or can I apply from my country?

You must be in Australia but not in immigration clearance when you apply, and at time of visa grant. Subsequent entrants can be in or outside Australia when they apply and on visa grant.

If I apply from Australia, I am able to travel to visit some family while I am waiting for the response?

You can depart and revisit Australia if you have a valid substantive visa that you can leave and return. If you were issued with a Bridging Visa A after lodging your application, you will need to apply for a Bridging Visa B to enable you to leave and return back to Australia.

Talking about the gap between my student visa and the graduate visa, what will be my visa condition during that time?

You most likely will be on a BVA, which is linked to your Student visa, this means that if you have completed your studies, and your BVA is in effect you will have full permission to work/study. You will need to maintain your health insurance.

+++We would advise you speak to a registered migration agent/lawyer before you embark on lodging a 485 visa application.+++


These are the usual questions students have about the Post Graduate Skill Visa (485). What do you think about it? Is there anything else you would like to know? Have a look at our next article with further information! Check our post Graduate Skill Visa Part 2.

Please remember to contact us at for further information and support! We are happy to help you plan your stay in Australia!

Also, if you would like some specific advice on immigration services, get in contact with Sally at or visit her website here.

See you in Australia mate! 🙂



An Argentina passionate about travelling, cooking, interested in sustainability and always learning new things. After having travelled and lived in Australia, she is now studying a master's degree in Sydney and sharing her experience with all those who want to come!

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