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Temporary Graduate Visa

The Temporary Graduate Visa is a work visa used by international students as a means to accumulating Australian work experience after they have finished their studies in Australia. A lot of international students transition from this visa to a skilled migrant visa.

There are two streams to the visa, being the:

1. Post Study Work Stream; and

2. Graduate Work Stream.

The eligibility criteria are different for each stream but there are some common criteria.

Common Criteria

For both streams, the main applicant must:

1. be under 50;

2. provide evidence that they have competent English, usually by providing IELTS Results with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.0 in each individual band of the test. Other English language tests are also acceptable if the applicant achieves an equivalent score, on for example, the OET test, the PTE Academic Test, the TOEFL iBT Test or the CAE test. Certain passport holders are exempt from providing evidence of English language ability;

3. meet the 2 year “Australian Study Requirement” (see below) and have completed their Australian educational qualification within 6 months of applying for the visa. Your course completion date is the date you were notified of your results, not the date of your graduation.

Australian Study Requirement

To meet the Australian Study Requirement:

1. you must complete a degree (including Masters, graduate diplomas and PhD’s), diploma or trade qualification;

2. your course must be registered on Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS);

3. your course must have comprised at least 92 weeks of study;

4. your course must take at least 16 months of study in Australia from the beginning of the course till completion; and

5. all course instruction in your course must have been in English.

You can count more than one course you have completed in Australia as long as the combined length of your study in Australia was at least in 92 weeks.

If were granted exemptions due to overseas studies, this must be calculated for when working out whether you have studied in Australia for 92 weeks. 

Eligibility Criteria: Graduate Work Stream

The extra eligibility criteria that apply are that you:

1. can count studies at the diploma level or higher, and also Certificate III courses in trade occupations, to satisfy the Australian Study Requirement. This would include diplomas, advanced diplomas, bachelor degrees, graduate diplomas, masters, and PhDs;

2. must select a “nominated occupation” which is contained on the “Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List” that matches your educational qualifications. Please see: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00850

3. must have studied a course that is “closely related” to your nominated occupation; and

4. must pass a “skills assessment” in your “nominated occupation”. The skills assessment must be lodged prior to your visa application, though need not be completed at the time of lodgement. Each occupation has a separate assessing body for Temporary Graduate Visas. You can make your Graduate Work stream application prior to the skills assessment being finalised, though to be granted your visa, the skills assessment must be finalised and you must obtain a positive result.

Eligibility Criteria: Post-Study Work Stream

The extra eligibility criteria that apply are that you:

1. need to complete studies at a Bachelor Level or higher (e.g. Masters or Doctorate) to be eligible under this stream; and

2. can only be granted a visa under this stream if you were granted your first student visa on or after 5 November 2011.

You do not need to nominate an occupation under this stream or complete a skills assessment.

How long does the visa last?

Graduate Work Stream visas are valid for 18 months from the date you are granted the visa.

Post-Study Work Stream visas will have a validity period that will vary according to what sort of qualification you have completed in Australia. If you completed a:

1. Bachelor’s Degree (with or without honours), Masters by coursework or Masters (Extends), the visa will be valid for 2 years;

2. Masters by Research, the visa will be valid for 3 years;

3. Doctorate, the visa will be valid for 4 years.

Other important information

You should note that:

1. you must be in Australia when you make the application and you must have held an eligible student visa within the 6 month period prior to lodgement;

2. when you make the application, you will be granted a Bridging Visa which will allow you to stay in Australia lawfully until a decision is made on your application;

3. you must apply for the visa within 6 months of completion of your course(s);

4. whilst on a Temporary Graduate Visa, you will have unrestricted work rights;

5. you must maintain private health insurance that is appropriate to the visa whilst the visa is valid. Overseas Student Health Cover is not appropriate insurance for the Temporary Graduate Visa.

Contact Us

Our experienced immigration lawyers have handled many successful applications for a Temporary Graduate Visa. We will ensure your application is given the best prospects of success.

We offer all our prospective clients an initial meeting, during which we will thoroughly explain the law surrounding this visa to you and inform you of the process moving forward.

To organize a initial consultation with us, please contact one of our experienced immigration lawyers on (02) 9590 3987.