Is your Australian Student Visa Expiring? Check out common visa options

What Options Do You Have If Your Student Visa Is About To Expire?

Although your visa may be about to expire there are options available to allow you to stay in Australia. It is important to explore all your options and to speak to someone that can give you the best advice specifically for your situation.

The most common options are:

  1. Apply a new Student Visa
  2. Move to a New visa


Apply for a new student visa

You will need a new student visa if:

  • you cannot complete your course before the visa expiry date, or
  • you have submitted your postgraduate research thesis, or
  • you are going to commence a new course of study.

As an international student, you must hold a valid student visa while studying in Australia.  


If you plan to extend your studies beyond the date your visa will expire you will need a new student visa.


If your student visa has expired within the previous 28 days, you’re still able to apply for a new student visa. This application will normally result in a Bridging visa being granted.


If you have finished your studies

When your studies in Australia come to an end, you have a range of options. Most institutions will provide you with information about your options once you have graduated, as well as advice on returning home, migrating and gaining employment. You might choose to do one of the following:


You might choose to do one of the following:

  • Complete further studies
  • Return to your home country
  • Apply for permanent residency
  • Extend your stay in Australia


Extend your stay in Australia

Visit the Extending Your Stay section of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for more information.

If you don’t intend on completing further studies, you may wish to extend your time in Australia to work or travel. While you will no longer receive a student visa, there are a range of other temporary visa options that you can apply for.

You may wish to extend your stay for the following reasons:

  • Travel: Many students decide to take a break when they finish their studies before they return home or start looking for a full-time job. Australia is a large, beautiful and diverse country — if you want to spend some time exploring the country, a Tourist Visa is a good option that will let you stay in the country for a period of up to three, six or 12 months. If you wish to work in order to fund your travels, you will need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa (see below).
  • Attend your graduation ceremony: Those wishing to stay in Australia to attend their Australian graduation ceremony are also able to apply for a Tourist Visa from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to extend their stay. 
  • Take a working holiday: People aged between 18 and 30 from approved countries are able to apply for a Working Holiday Visa.
  • Continue working for your current employer: If you wish to stay working with your current employer and they are willing to sponsor you either temporarily or permanently through the Employer Nomination Scheme, you are able to live and work in Australia for as long as you work for that employer.
  • Gain professional work experience and develop professional skills: The Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) allows international students to remain in Australia after they complete their studies to travel, gain work experience or improve their English language skills.  


Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) 

A temporary visa that allows international students to live, study and work after you have finished your studies.

What will you be able to do on your 485 visa?

The 485 graduate Visa is quite flexible as it lets you work, study and travel temporarily in Australia after you have finished your studies.  

Do I need to have a job in Australia to apply for the 485 Visa?


Will my family be covered on my 485 Visa?

The visa will cover dependents of the main applicant who are in Australia at the time you apply. Family members outside Australia may also apply once your 485 Temporary Working Visa has been granted. These members must also have compliant health cover. 


What are the differences between the two study streams?

Graduate Work stream – for international students with an eligible qualification who graduate with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL). 

Post-Study Work stream – Please note that this stream is only available for student who received their first student via on, or after 5th November 2011. This stream is available to  international students who graduate with a higher education degree from an Australian education provider, regardless of their field of study.

How long will it take for my visa to be processed?

The current processing time for a Temporary Graduate Visa is approximately 1-4 months but it will depend on what work stream you are applying for, as well as your country of origin (on average, Post-study work stream applications are granted faster than the graduate work stream). Having compliant health insurance is one way to ensure your visa is processed smoothly. You are able to live and work fulltime in Australia on a bridging visa (Bridging Visa A or B) while waiting for the decision.

Processing Time
  • 25% of applications: 9 months
  • 50% of applications: 10 months
  • 75% of applications: 10 months
  • 90% of applications: 12 months


Need help with getting Australian Visas or Visa Appealing?


Email: [email protected]

Tel:  +61 (07) 3876 4000



We will help you by exploring visa options and securing applications. We will assess the eligibility of the application for a partner visa, and provide you with detailed advice on your chances of success. If you would like to discuss your visa options and evaluate the pathway to permanent residency, please make an enquiry or book a consultation to get expert advice with one of our knowledgeable and experienced Migration Agents/Lawyers on 07 3876 4000 or email: [email protected]


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