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Australia to announce concessions for 485 visa holders abroad ‘in the coming weeks’

485 visa update
Here’s a 485 visa update from Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke — the government could announce visa concessions for work visa holders soon. Source: William West/AFP

Here’s some welcome news for international students looking for 485 visa updates. Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke said the Australian government is considering visa flexibilities for existing 485 visa holders in the coming weeks, reported SBS Punjabi. The Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) is a temporary visa that allows international students in Australia to live, study and work in the country after finishing their studies. Depending on the stream, 485 visa holders could stay in the country for up to 18 months and four years and gain invaluable work experience.

Currently, international students who are locked out of Australia cannot extend, freeze or reapply for the visa. They can, however, still apply for a temporary graduate visa even if they are affected by travel restrictions.

Many international graduates have pleaded with the federal government to freeze or extend their 485 visas, reported The Sydney Morning Herald. International graduates are worried about losing a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain invaluable work experience in the country as time runs down on their visas.

Hawke on September 30 signalled that the government would be announcing some visa concessions for existing 485 visa holders stuck offshore “in the coming weeks,” said the portal.

Responding to a query raised by SBS Punjabi during a virtual press conference, Hawke said the government is “very conscious” of this issue.

“As I’ve said in the beginning of the pandemic, every visa announcement we’ve made has sought to give people leniency, to give them flexibility and to give them opportunities to take advantage of what has happened to them.

“So, sometimes for a person offshore, they may want a refund. For some people offshore, they might want an extension of their visa,” Hawke told SBS Punjabi. “Some people might change their plans. We’re working on how to make sure we accommodate everything that’s happened to people through no fault of their own.”

Hawke reportedly said he was working closely with the education minister on developing these plans. “The temporary graduate visa holders do a lot of good in Australia and we’re very conscious of that. We just have to be careful about the quarantine arrangements,” he said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the resumption of skilled migration is an important part of Australia’s economic plan, adding that “we have a very high motivation to see this result.”  

485 visa update

The latest 485 visa update by Hawke could signal the light at the end of the tunnel for international graduates. Source: William West/AFP

485 visa update: What to know 

According to the Department of Home Affairs, eligibility for the 485 visa include:

  • be under 50 
  • hold an eligible visa
  • have held a student visa in the last six months
  • have a qualification relevant to an occupation on the skilled occupation list
  • have applied for a skills assessment in your nominated occupation on the skilled occupation list
  • provide evidence of adequate health insurance for all applicants when you apply
  • provide evidence you have applied for an Australian Federal Police (AFP) check when you apply
  • provide evidence of the required level of English with the application

Find more details about eligibility requirements and the application process here.