485 Visa For Australia: A Guide For Students – Avoid Or Appeal 485 Visa Refusal

485 Visa - Nilesh Nandan Immigration Lawyer


485 Visa Refusal: FAQs On This Page

  • 485 Visa Refusal – Rules Are Unforgiving!
  • Refusal Of 485 Visas
  • Other Reasons Why 485 Visas Are Refused
  • What Is Meant By 2 Years Study Requirement?
  • Failure To Upload At The Time Of The 485 Visa Lodgment
  • 2 Year Rule Case Study
  • Your Experience

485 Visa Refusal – Rules Are Unforgiving!

It is important to make sure that you provide all required documents at the time of your 485 Visa application.

Remember to upload the documents to your online IMMI account immediately when lodging the application.

Refusal Of 485 Visas

There are two problems that come up over and and over again in relation to subclass 485 graduate skilled temporary visa applications.

The first is whether you meet the two-year study requirement. Have you studied the right courses for the right length of time and have you actually completed the course, not just completed your final submission for the course?

The second is whether you have actually been confirmed as of the date you make you application.

Other Reasons Why 485 Visas Are Refused

There other mains reason why your 485 visa will be refused is because you have failed meet the English Language test evidence requirement at the time of application or you have failed to meet the requirement to provide evidence of your police check.

What Is Meant By 2 Years Study Requirement?

The first step is to note that CRICOS is the Authority for “evaluating” the duration of a “course”.

The 2 year “study” can include study for one or more courses you successfully complete.

The study must total “2 years”. But this “2 year” concept is misleading, if not meaningless.

What you must do is calculate whether you’ve completed the equivalent of 92 weeks of study in total.

“92 CRICOS” weeks really has nothing to do with “2 years” study in Australia, DOES IT?

If you successfully completed Course A which CRICOS evaluates for all students as being 46 weeks of study, and you have failed 2 subjects, and it took you 18 months, then the CRICOS evaluation is still 46 weeks.

So you’ve met only 50% (46/92) of the 92 week study requirement. This means what?

Well, you’ll need to stay enrolled and on a student visa (re-apply possibly) and successfully complete another one or more CRICOS course(s) – (Course B or Course B and Course C).

The additional CRICOS course(s) you should complete must add up to the shortfall (46 weeks) in my example above.

Failure To Upload At The Time Of The 485 Visa Lodgment

Well, the DHA will probably refuse your application.

Firstly, most 485 visa applicants are unaware that evidence of health insurance and evidence of an application for an AFP certificate within 12 months of the application date must be provided at the time of lodgement, or a refusal will result.

Secondly, remember that you must provide (among other things) the following documents to the Department:

* Evidence of English Language Ability;
* Evidence that you meet the Australian Study Requirement; and
* A valid Skills Assessment from a Skills Assessing Authority

….depending on the stream you are applying for. A skills assessment is not normally required for the “post study work stream” of the 485 visa but is required for the “graduate work” stream of the 485 visa.

Here is a snippet of the 485 English language test requirement if you don’t hold an eligible passport (which gets you exempted from the test requirement). It tells you what scores your will need for IELTS and PTE tests etc…

English Language Test For 485 Visa
(English Language Test For 485 Visa).

If the Department refuses your visa then you may have limited options in terms of what further visas you are able to lodge onshore.

If your visa application is invalid it is as if no application was made and if your visa has since expired, you could be unlawful. Note that a bridging visa will only be granted to you if you make a valid application and you are onshore at the relevant times.

2 Year Rule Case Study

485 Visa, case study, Nilesh Nandan Immigration Lawyer

The starting point is to note that two (2) academic years of study is a measure of the amount of study successfully completed, not the length of time taken to complete the study.

You cannot extend one year of study or 1 1/2 years of study into 2 years study in order to satisfy the 2 year rule.

For example, if you enrol in less than 100% of a full-time load and, as a consequence, you take two (2) years to complete a course with a registered duration of 78 weeks, then you have not completed 2 academic years of study. 

In this case you have completed only 1.5 academic years of study – you have extended the duration of your studies but not the amount of study undertaken.

It all comes down to the “registered duration” of your course.

In simple terms: you cannot artificially extend your study in order to satisfy the Australian study requirements. If your course is registered for 1 year full-time study, it will be counted as 1 year. 

In considering whether the 2 academic years requirement has been met, case officers will consider the standard duration of your course as registered on CRICOS.

What other questions do you have about your 485 graduate skilled visa application?

Let me know what questions you have in the comments section below or book in a consultation with me.

Your Experience?

Please share your comments with me.

I’d love to know more about your experience with applying for this visa subclass!

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Nilesh Nandan is Australia's most sought after immigration lawyer for visa refusals and visa cancellations. Appeal your visa or get help to relodge your Australian visa application or citizenship application.
  • My name is Bikram singh And my visa sub class is 485 and i applied my wife visa on 4th December 2019 and I already send requested documents and it is still taking time . I just want to know How long it will take for visa

    • I can understand how frustrating this must be for you both to be waiting until the 485 dependent partner visa is granted.

      I would have expected that the decision would already have been made in relation to your application by now.

      You have little choice but to simply wait and make sure that you properly monitor the contact details which you have provided to the department.

      Here is a link to where you can check processing times published by the department. Unfortunately this tool is only of limited use. At best it is a guess!


  • I appeared in Ielts after lodging the application for 485 visa on 31st January 2020 but Not yet received a response from the department. I know it’s going to be refused. What options am I left with? Someone please help me as I am in big touble 🙁

    • Yes, unfortunately your subclass 485 visa application is likely to be refused because of 485.212 of the Migration Regulations. This rule applies to things that must be done (test result held) at the time of the application.

      Solution: If you still hold a substantive visa, and you are still within the 6-month period since you completed your course, you may be able to withdraw and re-lodge a fresh subclass 485 visa application.

      Feel free to book a 10 minute free chat if you’d like to discuss: https://myvisa.com.au/services/

  • Thank you Nilesh for responding. I am on Bridging A visa now and cannot withdraw and relodge my 485 application since more than 6 months have passed from my course completion date. Is there possibility that I can apply for student visa again while awaiting decision on my 485 application?

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