The post study work stream (PSWS) visa (subclass 485) is a fantastic opportunity for international students who have recently graduated from an Australian university to extend their stay to work in the country for a period of time. While there are a few requirements that you must meet to be eligible for this type of visa, the effort can be well worth the experience of working abroad.

Initially, it is important to understand the basic requirements for being eligible for a Post Study Work Stream visa;

  • You must be under the age of 50
  • You must have graduated within 6 months of making your application
  • Your course of study must be at least 2 years long at the level of Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate level
  • The course of study must be listed as a CIRCOS course of study

After having met these requirements, you can then move on to the balance of the factors that are taken into consideration before a Post Study Work Stream Visa is granted. These include;

  • English language requirement – you must be able to show that you are proficient in the use of the English language. People holding passports from countries whose first language is English, will be able to show proficiency via their passport. If you do not hold a passport from the U.K. Ireland U.S. Canada or New Zealand, other options will be available for you.
  • Health Insurance – you will need to show that you have adequate health insurance that can be presented and used in Australia
  • Medical Examination – you will be required to show that you are of good health
  • Police Check – you and anyone accompanying you will need to be background checked for the application process
  • Time Limits – You must have graduated or held a student visa for Australia within 6 months of your application
  • Bridging Visa – It is possible you can be granted a bridging visa to allow you to stay in the country while you await your Post Study Work Stream Visa

The length of time your Post Study Work Stream Visa will allow you to stay in the country is between 2-4 years, depending upon the type of diploma you hold. If you graduated with a Bachelor’s degree, you will be permitted to remain for an additional 2 years. If you graduated with a Master’s degree, your time frame will be up to 3 years and if you graduated with a Doctorate degree the maximum is 4 years. However, if you hold a passport from Hong Kong you may be eligible to stay for up to 5 additional years past your graduation.

Also, keep in mind that the Post Study Work stream is slightly different from the Graduate Work stream in that the Graduate Work Stream requires you to select a particular occupation that is related to your area of study. In addition, with the Graduate Work Stream, you must also take a skills test evidencing that you have the necessary skills to perform the work you intend to do.  With this visa you may stay in Australia for up to 18 months. If you hold a passport from Hong Kong, you may remain for up to 5 years. Unlike the Graduate Work Stream, the occupation nexus and skills test is not required with a Post Study Work Stream Visa.

If you are hoping to share this experience with your family, you can do that too. If you have a spouse, de facto partner or dependent children or step-children under the age of 23, you may make an application for them to join you. For them to be granted an accompanying visa you will be required to show;

  1. Evidence of the relationship
  2. Dependency of the children you claim

Keep in mind that it is important to plan ahead. If you believe you will be wanting to stay in Australia to work beyond your graduation, it is important to keep in mind that it takes time for the Post Study Work Stream Visa to be approved. The average time it takes is about 4 months. Within 4 months approximately 75% of the visa applications are reviewed and accepted or denied. However, it can take longer with up to 90% being completed within 5 months. Hence, be sure to complete and submit your application with all of the pertinent timelines in mind.

If you find yourself in need of assistance with this, or any other legal issue, please contact the law offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.