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BIG CHANGES! 485 Visa Australia (2024 Update)

The Department released its long-awaited migration strategy on 11 December 2023. Let's look at the proposed changes to the 485 visa that could be implemented this year.

There will be significant changes to the 485 visas, making them more targeted towards international graduates with skills required by Australian employers. 

These changes include: 

  1. TGV streams will be re-named 'Post-higher Education Work' and 'Post-Vocational Education Work' streams. 

  2. Reducing the length of stay for international graduates: -Bachelor & Master's Degree: 2 years -Master by Coursework & PhD: 3 years 

  3. Preventing holders of TGV from moving back onto student visas while onshore

  4. Restricting the stay of international graduates without skills in demand from remaining in Australia. 

  5. Reducing the age eligibility from 50 to 35 years – targeting early career professionals. 

  6. Increasing English language proficiency requirements for TGV from IELTS 6 to IELTS 6.5. 

  7. Decreasing the English language test validity window for a TGV from 3 years to 1 year. 

  8. 476 visas and Replacement Streams are to be abolished. 

  9. TGV extensions for students studying in regional areas will remain between 1 and 2 years, depending on their location. No other TGV extensions, such as 2-years, are based on qualifications. 

So far, the Department has implemented one of these changes: no other 485 visa extensions other than the regional ones.

The extended post-study work rights for international graduates commenced on 1 July 2023, providing graduates with degrees in select areas of verified skill shortage for an additional two years on their Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485).

The extension has been reconsidered given Australia's changed economic environment and additional considerations identified in the Migration Strategy. As such, international higher education graduates can no longer apply for the extension from mid-2024.

International graduates with an Australian qualification that meets the Australian study requirement remain eligible for the existing Temporary Graduate (Post-Study Work stream) visa.

The Department wants the 485 visa holders to progress towards one of the Skills In Demand Visas that will be introduced soon.

new three-tiered system of visa pathways, known as the Skills in Demand Visa, will replace the subclass 482 (TSS) visa: 

Tier 1 – Specialist Skills Pathway: The specialist skills visa pathway will not have an occupational list and will have a median processing turnaround of 7 days. Trades occupations, machinery operators, drivers, and labourers will be excluded from this visa class. There will be 3,000 places allocated per year. This pathway is designed for those with a 'Specialist Skills Threshold' earning over $135,000 per year. (Engineering Managers, Cyber Specialists, Software Engineers and skillsets not picked up in occupational definitions

Tier 2 – Core Skills Pathway: The CSP is expected to provide the majority of visas for the program. Trades workers must apply under this visa based on a 'Core Skills Occupation List' developed by Jobs and Skills Australia. The visa's 'Core Skills Threshold' will be $70,000 to be indexed annually. (Nurses and Teachers

Tier 3—Essential Skills Pathway: Details of the essential skills visa pathway are yet to be finalized. This visa will involve union oversight, be capped, and be restricted to specific sectors—care and Support. To date, the aged care and disability sectors have been mentioned. The 'essential skills' visa is for those earning under $70,000. 

 What we know so far about these visas:

  • Visas will be granted for up to 4 years 

  • Visa holders can change employers more easily and provide clear pathways to permanent residency. 

  • The 'TSMIT 'will be indexed annually 

  • A public register of approved sponsors, including the number of sponsored migrants and occupations. 

  • Periods of employment with any approved employer will count towards permanent residence requirements. 

  • Temporary skilled migrants will also be enabled to apply for permanent residence through self-nominated independent pathways, such as a reformed points test. 

  • The visa will allow for a 4-year stay for all streams with a median processing time of 21 days. 

  • Visa holders will have 180 days to find a new sponsor AND can work during this period. 

There will be pathways available for 485 visa holders as long as they are eligible for one of the 3 Skills in Demand visas. With 485 visa holders, it is always recommended that they work in their nominated or closely related occupation to have options to stay long-term or apply for permanent visas in the future.

If you are eligible to apply for a 485 visa or already hold one, contact us to discuss your future options. We offer a free consultation for the 485 visa.


The information shared by Nationwide Migration and Education on social media and blogs is for general informational purposes only. (The information is accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change.) It is not legal or immigration advice and should not be relied upon as such.

If you need immigration advice specific to your circumstances, please book a consultation with our Registered Migration Agent.

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