Staying in Australia after graduation

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I have completed my course, but I’m keen on staying in Australia after graduation! Help!


At Immigration Experts Australia, we often get students that are nearing completion of their course and have made the decision that Australia is going to be their new home. They often want to know their options, so we are going to address some options that may be available. Just always remember that everybody’s circumstance is different and these options may not be available to you.

457/ 121/856 Employer Nominated Scheme

These visa’s enable an Australian approved business, sponsor foreign employees. If a student is able to gain employment and be offered sponsorship, these are the visa’s that would be available. Subclass 457 and 856 are both onshore visas, whilst subclass 121 is an offshore visa (subclass 457 may also be applied for offshore). Processing times for these visas are the quickest in all of the migration program.

These are the documents and requirements to qualify for the ENS:

  • Need an “approved” sponsor willing to employ the employee
  • Must be offered a position in the nominated occupation
  • Must be paid a base salary of $49,330 (more for ICT)
  • Must have competent English
  • Completed health and police checks
  • Must have 457 health insurance
  • Must have a positive skills assessment

Graduate Skilled Visa subclass 485

This visa allows students to stay for 18months to gain experience or improve their English. Generally, students who don’t qualify for the General Skilled Migration Scheme, opt for this visa.

These are the requirements for this visa:

  • is under 50 years of age
  • in the last six months has completed an eligible qualification(s) as a result of at least two years study in Australia
  • has the skills, attributes and qualifications that meet the Australian standard for an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).

Independent Skilled Visa subclass 885

This is a permanent residency option for students that have completed their course in the last six months in Australia AND are holders of certain termporary visas. There is a points test that each applicant must qualify. However, you do not require sponsorship for this visa.

These are the documents and criteria for this visa:

  • an overseas student or former overseas student
  • a holder of a Skilled – Graduate (subclass 485) visa or Skilled – Recognised Graduate (subclass 476) visa
  • a holder of a Trade Skills Training (subclass 471) visa.
  • Must be under 50
  • Competent English
  • Occupation is on the Skilled occupation list
  • Meet the Australian study requirement within the last 6 months
  • A positive skills assessment
  • Health and medical checks

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