Key Updates for International Graduates: Changes to 485 Graduate Stream Visas

The Graduate Subclass 485 visa is a popular option for international students who have completed their studies in Australia and wish to gain work experience in the country. It allows graduates to work temporarily in Australia after completing their studies, providing them with valuable opportunities to gain practical skills, enhance their employability, and explore pathways to permanent residency.


However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges, leading to the introduction of temporary concessions to support international graduates. With the gradual recovery from the pandemic and a shift towards a post-pandemic environment, the Australian Department of Home Affairs has decided to make significant changes to the Graduate Subclass 485 visas, aimed at reverting to pre-pandemic visa regulations, with most alterations taking effect from July 1, 2023. These updates primarily involve the removal of COVID concessions and introduce new requirements for international graduates. It is crucial for affected individuals to understand these changes to ensure compliance with the updated regulations.


The Key Changes for the 485 Graduate Work Stream


Starting July 1, 2023, the following changes will be implemented for the 485 Graduate work streams:


  • Occupation Nomination Requirement: Starting July 1, 2023, applicants must nominate an occupation from the specified list outlined in Schedule 1, Item 1229(3)(k) and (ka). Unless a new legislative instrument is introduced to extend the deadline, applicants must select an occupation from the current designated list.
  • Mandatory Skills Assessment: As per Schedule 2, Reg485.223, a skills assessment will be required for individuals applying for the 485 Graduate work stream. This assessment ensures that applicants possess the necessary qualifications and competencies for their chosen occupation. The requirements may vary depending on the occupation and the assessing authority responsible for conducting the skills assessment.


Positive Changes for the Post Study Work Stream:


  • Extended Work Rights: The Post Study work stream will offer an extension of work rights, allowing graduates to continue working in Australia for an additional two years. This extension provides valuable opportunities for graduates to gain work experience, contribute to the local economy, and explore career advancement options.


Benefits of the Post Study Work Stream Extension:


  • Skill Enhancement and Networking: The extension of work rights recognizes the importance of retaining skilled graduates in Australia. It enables international graduates to further develop their skills, build professional networks, and enhance their employability.
  • Pathways to Permanent Residency: The two-year extension provides an advantage for graduates who are considering pathways to permanent residency. It allows them to explore job opportunities and potentially fulfill the requirements for permanent residency in Australia.


For the further information of the recent changes, visit the official website of the Australian Department of Home Affairs: Temporary Graduate visa – Subclass 485 (



The recent changes announced by the Australian Department of Home Affairs regarding the Graduate Subclass 485 visas mark a shift towards post-pandemic visa regulations. As many COVID concessions expire on July 1, 2023, it is crucial for international graduates to familiarize themselves with the updated requirements, including occupation nomination and mandatory skills assessments for the Graduate work stream.


Additionally, the extension of work rights and the two-year extension for the Post Study work stream present significant opportunities for graduates. They can gain valuable work experience, contribute to the Australian workforce, and explore avenues for career growth. Our NB Migration Law experts are here to guide and support you through the complexities of visa applications. Contact us for personalized assistance tailored to your unique circumstances. Let us make your visa application journey reliable and stress-free.

Book a free consultation today and let us help you find a way forward.