Australia Post-Study Work Visa: A Complete Guide for International Students

Learn how international students can secure a post-study work visa in Australia after completing their education. Explore different types of visas, eligibility criteria, application process, and more.

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Created time
Apr 25, 2023 08:53 AM
Australia is ranked as one of the top five destinations for higher studies globally, with more than 800,000 international students enrolling into Australian universities every year. Australia offers unparalleled work and research opportunities for students post completion of their education. A significant number of jobs are available in the streams of science and technology, engineering, health care, human resources, business management and other domains. The students passing out of Australian universities choose to stay back and work in Australia as they get to work and prosper in a land of creativity, independent thinking and innovation. However, international students need a post-study work visa to live, work or look for a job in Australia.
The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs is the central policy agency that addresses immigration and visa concerns. In this blog, we will provide comprehensive information on the eligibility criteria for obtaining an Australian post-study work visa, different types of work visa, duration of stay, application process and requirements, as defined by the Government of Australia.

Types of Post-Study Work Visa in Australia

The Australian post-study work visa (PSWV) permits international students to work or look for a job after completing a Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral or skilled vocational course. The visa sanctions the international students to work in Australia for 18 months to 4 years, depending on the type of work visa. The below table summarizes the three categories of post-study work visas.
Visa Type
Qualifying Age
Duration of Stay
Cost of Visa
Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) - Post-Study Work Stream
Recent graduates from Australian education institutions (Bachelor's, Master's, PhD)
Under 50 years
2 to 4 years
Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) - Graduate Work Stream
Recent graduates with qualifications outlined under Skilled Occupations List (SOL)
Under 50 years
18 months
Skilled Recognised Graduate Visa (Subclass 476)
Engineering graduates
Under 31 years
18 months

1. Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485)

The Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) is divided into two categories: Post-Study Work Stream and Graduate Work Stream. Basic eligibility criteria have to be met to procure any of these visas, which are outlined below.
Basic Eligibility Requirements and Key Points to Note
  • The qualifying age of the students applying for this visa must be below 50 years.
  • The candidates must apply for this visa no later than 6 months after completing their studies and must have held a valid student visa in the last 6 months.
  • The students affected by Covid-19 can now apply for Temporary Graduate Visa outside Australia if they have held a valid student visa in the last 12 months.
  • The qualifying degree must be a registered course with CRICOS.
  • International students from non-native English speaking countries need to prove their English language proficiency by submitting a valid test score of any of these English aptitude tests: TOEFL iBT, IELTS, PTE Academic, OET or Cambridge C1 Advanced Test.
  • The processing time for this visa is 9-10 months.
  • The Temporary Graduate Visa allows the students to bring their dependents to the country.
  • The students must meet the health requirements as outlined by the Department of Home Affairs.
  • One must meet the character requirements for visas by passing the character test. The applicant will not pass the character test if he/she has a past criminal record or has been detained at the immigration for a particular reason or offence.
  • This is a temporary visa with which the students can live and work in Australia after completing their studies for the duration as specified.
  • The visa cost for the primary visa applicant is AUD1,680.
  • The students can travel to and fro from Australia to other countries until the visa is valid.
  • This visa is not extendable. Students have to look out for other options for work visas once the visa validity period has concluded.
Post-Study Work Stream
The Post-Study Work Stream visa is for all international students who have recently graduated from a recognized university of Australia in any stream. This is the most commonly used visa to live and work in Australia. The students who have met the Australian Study Requirements and holding either a Bachelor’s, Masters or a Doctoral degree can apply for this visa.
  • The international students who have completed their Bachelor’s, Bachelor’s with Honours, Master’s, Master’s with research or PhD programs are eligible to apply for this visa.
  • The course duration of the degree program must be a minimum of 2 years.
  • The validity of the Post-Study Work visa depends on the degree that one holds – Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree is valid for 2 years. Master’s with Research degree offers up to 3 years, and a Doctoral degree makes one eligible for a tenure of 4 years.
  • The students must meet all the BASIC ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS outlined in the above section to apply for the Post-Study Work Stream visa.
Graduate Work Stream
The Graduate Work Stream visa is granted to international students who have recently graduated with qualifications and skills pertinent to specific occupations listed under the Skills Occupational List (SOL). The applicants who hold a degree, diploma, vocational training or trade certificate can apply for this visa, provided they meet the Australian Study Requirements.
  • All students who have skills and qualifications of vocational occupations that
  • Australia needs and are listed under Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills are eligible to apply for Graduate Work Stream Visa.
  • The students should hold a relevant degree, diploma or certificate pertinent to the occupation.
  • The students have to get their skills assessed as suitable for the occupation by a relevant assessing authority.
  • The visa is granted for 18 months.
  • If the duration of the study period does not meet the 2-year academic component, the students can combine two separate courses or diplomas to fulfil the Australian Study Requirements.
  • The students must meet all other BASIC ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA given in the above section to procure the Graduate Work Stream visa.

2. Skilled Recognized Graduate Visa (Subclass 476)

The Skilled Recognized Graduate Visa (Subclass 476) is granted exclusively for recent engineering graduates. With this visa, international students can live, study, travel and work in Australia for 18 months.
Basic Eligibility Requirements and Key Points to Note:
  • The students must be below 31 years of age.
  • The applicants should have completed engineering degrees from a recognized educational institution in Australia over the last 2 years.
  • The applicant should not be a previous primary visa holder of a Skilled Recognized Graduate Visa or Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 476 or 485).
  • The students should meet the character and health requirements as explained in the basic eligibility requirements above.
  • If the duration of the study period does not meet the 2-year academic component, the students can combine two separate courses or diplomas to fulfil the Australian Study Requirements.
  • International students coming from non-native English speaking countries must submit English language proficiency test scores.
  • The processing time for Skilled-Recognized Graduate is between 14 to 17 months.
  • The cost of the visa for the primary visa applicant is AUD410.
  • Family members or dependents are allowed.

How to Apply (Application Process)

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Follow the below step-by-step guidelines to apply for a post-study work visa in Australia.
  • Post-completion of your education, complete the following steps:
  1. Get a valid passport. Renew your passport if it is due for renewal Verify if you fulfil all the visa conditions and requirements. Complete your health exams and character test. Organise a skills assessment test.
  • Get all your documents in order. Details of the required documents are explained in the next section.
  • Apply for the visa by following the below steps:
  1. Create an ImmiAccount. Visit Immi Account for more details. Attach all the required documents. Process visa applications of family members/dependents simultaneously. Pay the visa application fee. You must pay the application charge for yourself and your family members in total. Choose the visa type carefully and enter all the details accurately.
  • The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs requires you and your dependents to stay in Australia when relaying the visa outcome decision. The visa can be granted outside Australia if you are out of the country due to the Covid-19 situation.

Documents Required for Visa Application

  • Passport
  • Proof of Education (Graduation Certificates)
  • English Proficiency Test Completion Certificate
  • Health check-up Certificate
  • Proof of adequate Health Insurance coverage
  • Character test document
  • Proof of Skills Assessment application if you fall under Skilled Occupation List (SOL).
  • All the required documents of your family members (dependents)
For detailed information on immigration and post-study work visa regulations, please visit the official website of the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.


The Post-Study Work Visa (PSWV) in Australia allows international students to live, study, travel and work in Australia. The applicants must meet all the requirements to qualify for visa application as per the Government of Australia Department of Home Affairs regulations. In this article, we have provided detailed information and explanation of the visa types, eligibility requirements, application process and documents required for application.
In November 2019, the Australian Government granted 1-2 years additional extension of the PSWV in some of the major cities and regional centres to boost its economy and diversity in their local provinces. The Hong Kong passport holders have an additional 5-year duration on their visas. Other international students must make alternative work visa arrangements before the PSWV expires, as this visa cannot be extended.

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