Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visas – Second Regional visas & COVID concession offshore applications

The department have announced two new and exciting changes to the Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visas to assist with certain difficulties during COVID19. Firstly, applicants will now be eligible to apply offshore where previously the applicant would need to be onshore to make a valid visa application. Secondly, the department have implemented new legislation that allows specified Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visa holders in the Post Study stream to apply for a second Temporary Graduate visa.

1. COVID concession for offshore applications

This new piece of legislation is relatively straightforward and as the heading implies – Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visa applicants who would usually have to apply onshore now have the opportunity to apply for this visa while they are offshore. Eligible prospective subclass 485 visa applicants can make their visa application outside Australia during the concession period and be granted the visa while they are outside Australia.

Concession Period Commenced: 1 February 2020

Another vital requirement when applying for the Temporary Graduate Visa is that the applicant has held an eligible student visa in the six months prior to applying for the Temporary Graduate Visa. New legislation introduced removes this requirement for an applicant who is applying outside of Australia during the concession period. If the Minister is satisfied that you were unable to apply for the Temporary Graduate Visa because you were outside Australia during all or part of the period commencing on 1 February 2020 to 19 September 2020 and therefore were unable to hold an eligible student visa, then the applicant will still be eligible to apply.

2. Second Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visa

Another exciting piece of legislation that has been introduced allows certain Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visa holders to apply for a second Temporary Graduate Visa. Prior to this new legislation, Temporary Graduate Visa were not eligible to apply for an additional Temporary Graduate Visa once their current one had expired.

The new eligibility criteria is essentially broken into two types of Temporary Graduate Visa holders dependent on where the applicant lived, worked and studied during their time in Australia prior to graduation. The location of where you lived, worked and studied will determine the length of your second Temporary Graduate Visa. The validity period of the second visa will either be one or two years as per the below criteria.

1 Year Second Post Study 485 Visa:

Those who have graduated, held a Post Study Work 485 and only lived, worked and studied in a designated city or major regional area will be eligible for the grant of a subsequent one year Post Study Work 485 Visa.

Designated city or major regional centre means Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Canberra, Geelong and Hobart.

2 Year Second Post Study 485 Visa:

Those who have graduated, held a Post Study Work 485 and only lived, worked and studied in a designated regional centre or other regional area will be eligible for the grant of a second two year Post Study Work 485

Designated regional centre or other regional area means all other areas of regional Australia apart from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Canberra, Geelong and Hobart (ie the areas listed in the definition of a designated city or major regional centre).

If you have any questions or would like more information on the above, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team