New Australia visa options for graduating international students

Eligible international students graduating from Australian universities with Bachelor's, Master's and/or Doctoral degrees will soon be able to obtain an Australian visa allowing them to work in the country. DIAC has yet to announce when the new Australia visa route will become available, saying only that it will be 'early 2013'.

The new visa option will be included in the existing Temporary Skilled Graduate - subclass 485 visa - which currently only permits international students graduating with skills and qualifications which are in demand to obtain a visa.

The Temporary Skilled Graduate stream will be renamed the Temporary Graduate stream and will be open to all international students who first lodged their student visa application after 5, November, 2011. The existing Temporary Skilled Graduate stream will remain open for all applicants who do not meet this requirement.

Requirements for the both the existing and new visa streams include studying on a registered course in Australia for at least two academic years in no less than 16 calendar months. Applicants must be graduating or have graduated from an Australian education institution with a Bachelor's, Master's and/or Doctoral degree.

DIAC have confirmed that eligible applicants will not be required to nominate a skilled occupation or complete a skilled assessment but that the new arrangement does 'not provide a pathway to permanent residence'.

The visa entitles the holder to live and work in Australia for two years after graduating if their course of study was either a Bachelor's degree or a Master's by coursework or Master's extended degree. This period will be extended to three or four years if applicants have graduated with a Master's by research degree or a Doctorate degree.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.