Australia Makes Changes to the Subclass 485 and Subclass 500 Visas

The Australian Department of Home Affairs recently announced changes to the Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visa and the Student (Subclass 500) Visa.

From July 2023, eligible graduates can live and work in Australia for longer, and Subclass 500 visa holders can work more hours while studying.

Extension of post-study stay for eligible Subclass 485 visa holders

From 1 July 2023, Australia is extending the post-study stay for Subclass 485 visa holders who graduated from Australian higher education providers with eligible qualifications by two years:

  • From two years to four years for select Bachelor’s degrees
  • From three years to five years for select Master’s degrees
  • From four years to six years for all Doctoral degrees

The eligible qualifications are in areas such as science, medicine, healthcare, engineering, and technology, which were chosen to address the demand for specific qualifications in the Australian workforce.

The extension of the post-stay duration will also support businesses across Australia by increasing the availability of a well-trained and highly capable workforce. Furthermore, Australia hopes the extension will help rebuild the international education sector following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Increase in permitted working hours for Subclass 500 visa holders

In January 2022, the Australian Government temporarily relaxed a limitation on the number of hours Student Visa holders could work during their studies. This measurement allowed Student Visa holders to work unlimited hours to address workforce shortages.

On 30 June 2023, the temporary relaxation comes to an end. After this date, Australia will again cap work hours for international students. However, the number of hours will increase from 40 to 48 per fortnight for Student Visa holders and associated bridging visas.

The Government says this increase will enable international students to gain valuable work experience in Australia and contribute to Australia’s workforce needs.

The only exception to the new measurement is Student Visa holders already working in the aged care sector on 9 May 2023. These students can continue to work unrestricted hours in the aged care sector until 31 December 2023.

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