Study and Stay in Australia on the 485 Temporary Graduate visa

International Students in Australia

Australia has been hit with a boom of international students taking advantage of the Australian 485 visa and its privilege to stay in Australia for an extended term of up to 4 years once they have graduated.

The Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa offers international students the right to come and study in Australia, with the opportunity of an extended stay of up to 2 years once the studies have been completed – with the stay reaching 4 years for those doing some higher degrees.

In March 50,000 international students were in Australia on the 485 visa, a staggering rise of 16,000 in one year. While studying, the students are capped under visa policy and can work no more than 20 hours per week of semesters. But “post-graduation” the visa loses all its restrictions, and the international graduates can stay with no employment related time or occupation restrictions, giving them full working rights.

The visa was revised in 2013, a revision that gave longer stays after graduation and less restrictions on post-graduation employment. In 2016 the I-graduate International Student Satisfaction survey, an initiative partly funded by the Department of Education and Training, found that the ability to work freely after graduation was of more importance to international students than being able to complete part-time work during study.

Last year, 350 000 international students were enrolled into Australian Universities, an increase of more than 100 000 in 3 years. This inflation of international students, and the gap between enrolling and graduating, is indicative of the number of international graduates we are to see entering into the Australian workforce in years to come.

And while this boom which has seen the number of temporary visa graduates double since 2015, has caused political parties such as Labor to question the government’s ongoing dedication to the integrity of Australian migration, and future job opportunism for Australian graduates.

The Vice- Chancellor of the Australian National University, Professor Brian Schmidt disagrees, telling the ABC that he believes the 485 visa offers international students the chance to study with “flexibility” and “incentives” including travel and financial benefits. He believes it is a program that gives back and allows highly trained individuals to add to the Australian economy.

“They’re not displacing other work, they’re actually very high value people that are hard to attract.”
And while the visa allows for avenues to residency, most graduates return to their home countries once the extended stay period is over. So why do they choose to study in Australia? The 2016 i-graduate survey found that Australia’s reputation on providing quality education, educational institutes and qualifications were the big draw cards for those considering studying abroad.

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Category: Migration News
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