International Students

International Student Brochure 2012

Australian employers require you to have the legal right to work in Australia. Some specify Australian citizenship and/or permanent residency (PR) status. If you do not have your PR, it’s important to check on the eligibility requirements of individual employers.

It has now become easier for you, as a graduating international student, to test out the Australian workplace and establish whether you really do want to work in Australia. Since its introduction in September 2007, the Skilled – Graduate (Temporary) visa (subclass 485) has become popular with both students and employers.

To be eligible to apply for most visas under the Australian Government’s General Skilled Migration (GSM) program, you need 12 months’ post-qualification work experience and/or a high level of English language ability.

Temporary work visa for skilled graduates

The Skilled – Graduate (Temporary) visa (subclass 485) allows overseas students who are unable to pass the points test for a permanent GSM visa at the completion of their studies to remain in Australia for 18 months to gain skilled work experience or improve their English skills. There are no restrictions on work or study with this visa, so you are free to do any of the following during the period of stay:

  • work
  • travel
  • study to improve your English skills
  • complete a Professional Year Program (PYP).*

Apart from professional legal fees, the visa application fee is $230 (as at September 2009).

It allows you to obtain relevant work experience or undertake a PYP so you can accumulate 10 Australian work experience points after 12 months of work, before you can apply for a GSM visa. The 12 months’ experience need to be in your nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation (e.g. a closely related occupation would be if you had nominated ‘accountant’ as your skilled occupation, but you have been employed as an ‘internal auditor’).

The PYP must be undertaken with an approved partner of the Australian Government’s registered program providers.

Who is this visa for?

This visa is for overseas students who:

  • are under 45 years of age
  • hold an eligible student visa or have held one in the last six months
  • have met the two-year study requirement in the past six months
  • nominate a 50 or 60 point occupation from the Skilled Occupation list
  • have applied to have your skills assessed for your nominated skilled occupation
  • have competent English, or vocational English in the case of an applicant who has applied to have their skills assessed in a trade qualification.

For further details of other eligibility requirements, see

For more information about the PYP, see

Other visas you can apply for if you are currently in Australia are outlined below.

* This is an Australian government initiative specifically designed for Skilled – Graduate (Temporary) visa (subclass 485) holders. The PYP is a 44-week program offered by approved industry providers. It includes workshops, skills training and a professional internship placement. The PYP is recognised by the Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC) and on successful completion of the program participants may be eligible to be awarded 10 GSM points. The PYP is available to IT, Engineering and Accounting graduates.

Visas & Processes, FAQs, Migration Lawyers & Agents

Further Resources

Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship
Immigration New Zealand
Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA)