The graduate skilled visa has now been extended so that graduates can stay in Australia for up to four years (previously the visa was only for 18 months).
- Allows graduates from Australian institutions to stay here for up to four years to gain work experience.
- Is used where someone has recently gained Australian qualifications but has not yet secured enough work experience to be eligible for a skilled visa.
- Converts to permanent residency once the required work experience has been gained.
- Must be lodged within 6 months of graduation, and to lodge you need to have a skills assessment done first, which effectively means you should start the process as soon as possible after you graduate.
The updated visa, which came into effect on March 21 2013, means health insurance requirements are now different, prompting insurers to release a statement clarifying several details.
The Migration Place confirms:
- As per 457 requirements, a signed letter from a health provider is needed for the 485 visa.
- The old existing Short Stay Education Cover is no longer adequate for the DIAC to accept for temporary graduate visas.
- New Visitor’s Cover products need to be looked for people seeking both 485 and 457 visas.
- There is no official obligation to buy health insurance for the length of a 485 visa stay upfront (this only applies under overseas student health cover).
- The DIAC has said every application is assessed on merit, meaning the upfront payment may be required in some cases – although this is not an official ruling across all applications.
- People who had already applied for a temporary graduate visa when the changes were introduced should contact the DIAC to check the progress of their application.
Many graduates miss the 6 month window so see a registered migration lawyer as soon as you graduate so you can start setting up the application. As always, timing is everything in migration law, and it is important to lodge ASAP before the rules are changed (yet again).
Zeke Bentley is the Principal migration lawyer at The Migration Place and he has over a decade of experience as a registered migration lawyer (MARN 0213707). If you are studying in Australia, the you should contact us to discuss your options in the lead up to your graduation, so we can start setting everything up for you.