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Changes to the Temporary Graduates (485) Visa Program

by | May 28, 2024 | Migration

From 1 July 2024 the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) will be undergoing some major changes. These include:

  1. Renaming the visa streams
  2. Reduction in age limit and visa length

These changes were initially outlined in the government’s 2023 Migration Strategy.

  1. Renaming the visa streams

The Temporary Graduate Visa is split into two visa streams. These streams will be renamed as follows:

  1. Post-Vocational Education Work stream (former Graduate Work Stream)


  1. Post-Higher Education Work steam (former Post-Study Work stream

The change in names is designed to better align the stream names with the education criteria needed to qualify for them.

Students who hold a trade qualification, diploma or associate degree at the end of their study in Australia should apply for the Post-Vocational Education Work stream. These students must continue to show that their qualifications are closely related to an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List.

If the last qualification obtained in Australia by a student was a bachelor degree (or higher) then they are eligible to apply for the Post-Higher Education Work stream.

  1. Reduction in age limit and visa length

As part of the changes to the Temporary Graduate Visa, the Department of Home Affairs will reduce the age limit in some instances and also reduce the visa grant period. We have outlined the changes below for the two streams.

Post-Vocational Education Work stream

The maximum age at the time of lodgement will be 35 years. This is being reduced from 50 years of age. Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders will still be eligible if they are under 50 years of age.

The maximum stay period will remain 18 months from the day the visa is granted.

Post-Higher Education Work steam

The below table represents the current age limit and visa length together with those that will come into effect on 1 July.

QualificationCurrentFrom 1 JulyCurrentFrom 1 July
AgeVisa Length

(exemptions below)

Bachelor degree50 years35 years2 years2 years
Master (by course-work)50 years35 years3 years2 years
Masters (by research)50 years50 years3 years3 years
Doctorial degree (PhD)50 years50 years4 years3 years










Exceptions to visa length:

  • Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders: 5 years.
  • Indian passport holders:
    • Bachelor degree (including honours): 2 years
    • Bachelor degree (with first class honours in STEM, including ICT): 3 years
    • Masters (coursework, extended and research): 3 years
    • Doctoral degrees (PhD): 4 years.

As can be seen from the table above, the changes impact masters (by course-work) students significantly with the maximum age reduced to 35 years and the maximum visa duration dropping 1 year to a total of 2 years.

To avoid the impacts of the age and visa length changes, we recommend the following students lodge Temporary Graduate Visas, by 1 July:

  • Bachelor degree students over 35 years old
  • All Masters by course-work students
  • All Doctorial degree (PhD) students
  • Applicant for the Graduate Work Stream who are over 35 years old.

Prior to applying for a Temporary Graduate Visa, students in the above stream are should seek individual advice to confirm they meet the other visa criteria.

Please reach out to Nevett Ford Lawyers by phone at 03 9614 7111 or by email at melbourne@nevettford.com.au to speak to one of our experienced immigration lawyers about lodging your Temporary Graduate Visa before 1 July.