485 Visa Requirements: A Guide To Making An Application For 485 Temporary Graduate Visa [Update 2021]

485 Visa - Nilesh Nandan Immigration Lawyer

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485 Visa Refusal – Rules Are Unforgiving!

It is important to make sure that you provide all the 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 over again in relation to subclass 485 requirement – 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 your application.

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Other Reasons Why 485 Visas Are Refused

There other mains reason why your 485 visa will be refused is that you have failed to 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.

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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.

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FAQ: 485 visa English language requirement at the time of application


“Hi, i want to ask some questions about applying to temporary resident 485 visa.

currently I’m holding a student visa 500 and i just graduated from my degree. However my student visa is going to expire in the end of next month.

I know i can submit my application without ielts test, but someone told me that if you don’t submit ielts test they are going to reject your visa. Can i submit my ielts test after i submitted my application? due to the current pandemic i can’t book ielts test in the near future. The earliest test is available in the end of next month, which i’m not sure that the result will come out before my student visa expired.

I’ve been living in English speaking countries for more than 5 years and i don’t need ielts test when i applied for master degree here. i don’t know if this informations is relevant for this case.

Thank you.”


Unfortunately, pursuant to Migration Regulation 485.212, application for 485 visas must be accompanied with the English results reaching the minimum requirement. Attaching the IELTS result late may result in your visa application being refused.

The fact that you have been living in English speaking countries is not relevant. Unless you have a passport from a limited number of countries, you will need to satisfy the language requirement.

Depending on the circumstances of your individual case, you could consider lodging an application for sc 600 visa first so you have enough time to obtain the required English result.

I hope this clarifies your very important question. If you get it wrong you could forever deny yourself the opportunity of attaining any 485 visa which is quite a treasured visa for most international students choosing to study in Australia.

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Your Experience?

Please share your comments with me.

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

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?

  • Hi Nilesh, I lodged 485 visa application last month, but have only attached the evidence now, can the visa still be granted? Thankyou

  • Hi Nilesh,hope you are doing great,i applied for 485 visa by myseld which application came as invalid as i applied couple of hours later after my visa expiry.
    now i am on bridging visa C and have applied for E visa as well as visitor visa to stay till covid restriction gets over,So my question is what if my visitor visa is not issued,i do not want to go to pretection visa,what other options do i have now to get TR back again.my 28 days of becoming student has also passed
    So i just need a light on my matter,what will happen next,are yoy able handle my matter without going on protection visa please.Your help will be appreciated

  • Hi Nilesh ! My query is i have finished my studies in 10 jan 2020 and aftr that i went to USA and unable to return to Australia due to covid. My student visa expired on 15 march and my 6 mnths are over already so as new guidelines by govt regarding post study work. Am i eligible for 485 visa??

  • Hello. I am planning on applying to the Post-Graduate work stream visa 485. I recently graduated in a CRICOS registered college in Australia. I meet all the requirements to apply for the visa. And given the new regulations, I am able to apply to the 485 visa from where I am currently (Peru). As I said, I meet the requirements for applying visa 485, but when I scheduled the TOEFL iBT in a test center, it was cancelled and it is only available in my location as the Toefl IBT Special Home Edition. As I am on a time limit, because I have only until October 2020 to be eligible to apply for the 485 visa, I took the exam and was planning on submitting those results to my application. My question is that if I submit my application with this exam’s results it will likely be accepted. And in case those results are not accepted, am I going to be denied the visa or I am going to be given a chance to take another exam, probably when the COVID-19 outbreak has mitigated and test centres reopen? My main concern is not to lose the 1650AUD I will invest in my visa application. I am currently in Peru. My visa 500 expired 30 June 2020, but I am still within the 6 month limit until October 2020 to apply to my PSWS 485 visa.

  • Hi,
    My current student visa is expiring on the 17th Sept and as per visa 485 requirement, I need a valid english requirement from IELTS, PTE, etc. But due to the lockdown held in Victoria, I was only able to get hold of the PTE test date on the 24th. Can I lodge my application and provide my test results after which probably would be at the end of the month assuming that the results comes after 3 days of the test date.

  • I am an international student in Melbourne; used 5 years to gain success in my PhD studies and the certificate just received. I need to apply for a post study visa as my student visa expires in December, but three issues:
    1. booked last month for the IELTS test, but because of stage 4 restrictions, I don’t even know when the date will be rescheduled;
    2. I am very worried, can I receive the English exemption for the 5 years study?; and
    3. as time is not on my side, can I apply without the English but show the English booking?
    – Insurance ready
    -AFP certificate ready
    – PhD Testamur ready
    * the main problem is whether for studying in Australia, the English requirement will be waved

  • I am an international student in Melbourne; used 5 years to gain success in my PhD studies and the certificate just received. I need to apply for a post study visa as my student visa expires in December, but three issues:
    1. booked last month for the IELTS test, but because of stage 4 restrictions, I don’t even know when the date will be rescheduled;
    2. I am very worried, can I receive the English exemption for the 5 years study?; and
    3. as time is not on my side, can I apply without the English but show the English booking?
    – Insurance ready
    -AFP certificate ready
    – PhD Testamur ready
    * the main problem is whether for studying in Australia for 5 years, the English requirement can be waved

    • There are exemptions and relaxations of the rules in place because of covid-19 complications.

      You should get some specific advice about what is exempted and what is not exempted.

      You might also be able to lodge a visitor visa for a very short period of time whilst you can get your ducks in a row. This is a last ditch option but I have used it successfully recently.

      I strongly recommend you get advice about your specific circumstances from a qualified practitioner.

      I hope this helps.

  • Hi Nilesh,
    i am currently a bachelor student in Melbourne. I want to apply for a Temporary Graduate visa (Subclass 485). I have IELTS result that meets the minimum score requirement, but it was issued on APRIL 2017. Will this IELTS test be a problem if I apply in December 2020 or January 2021

  • Hi Nilesh, I am applying for a 485 visa, I was just wondering if it is classified as a migration visor or a visitor visor (I am filling out form 1221 question 34) thank you

  • Hi Nilesh, I am applying for the 485 visa offshore as part of the covid 19 concession. I was just wondering for the health insurance, is it okay for the start date to be 2 months from now? I am still in my home country and the estimated time for the visa to be processed is about 2 months.

  • Hi Nitesh, I am on 485 visa and it will be finished Aug 2021 and I have completed Master of NURSING International from University of Woolongong in July 2019. I am living in NEWCASTLE for last 4 years. Could to guide me am I able to extend my 485 visa one more year or it just for students who are finishing stidy this year or next year those living or studying in regional area.
    I am very thankful for this act.
    Kind regards
    Harmanpreet Kaur

  • I was on student visa studying as enrolled nurse I then applied for 485 visa and was refused so have appealed with AAt I have been working as an enrolled nurse since March in aged care and offered permanent position and my brother has agreed to sponsor me on 491 visa but I have 48 bar want are my options as I’m unable to travel back to uk with COVID and if I I was to travel back could I apply straight away for a different visa ?

  • Hi Nilesh,
    I finished MIT and got my completion letter on 13 November 2020. My student visa is expiring in March 2021.
    Is it a problem if I apply for 485 (TR) after 2 months of getting the completion letter.
    Please suggest🙏

    • Hi Nilesh
      I am to apply for my TR on March 2021 and my ielts expires on 21st April 2021. I just wanted to know whether I have to take another ielts test or not? Thank you in advance

  • Hi Nilesh
    I am to apply for my TR on March 2021 and my ielts expires on 21st April 2021. I just wanted to know whether I have to take another ielts test or not? Thank you in advance

  • Dear Nilesh Sir,

    Hope you are doing well. My question is i have done master of professional accounting in Sydney. I started this course in March 2019, did 2 semester from Federation university and then completed other two semester from MIT institute. I got my completion letter on 6th November 2020 whereas my student visa is expiring in May 2021. So is it Ok if lodge 485 visa in April end or May first week.

    Kindly advise.
    Thanks & Regards,

  • Hi Nilesh,
    Please help!
    I finished my Master since August and i still not pass with the ielts test. I got overall 5.5 so it means so closed, so i can use this score to log in 485 visa.

    thanks in advance.

  • Hi nilesh,
    This is Rochana I would like to know that how long does Pte valid for to apply for 485 visa mine is expired on 17 January 2021. Can I still apply from that one.
    Thanks in advance

  • Hi Nilesh,
    I’ve been asked to upload my Overseas Police Clearance (already have an AFP done) for the 485 visa (student visa expiring on March). Is this a document that I can add after lodging my visa?! I might also get my course transcripts only on March (already have the completion certificate) and don’t wanna delay the lodgement.

  • Hi Nalish hope you are doi g well. I’m currently live in Melbourne and i apply my 485 visa. i want to add my spouse and child also, but problem is my spouse dependent visa reject 1st time. Can she apply 485 visa?

  • As we know there has been changes in PTE equivalent to IELTS according to new updated score PTE 46 is equal to IELTS 6. So In this case if someone have got PTE 49 can they apply for 485?

  • Hey
    I am a postgraduate student in Australia. I am currently perusing last semester of my degree course. I need to apply for 485 visa after this. I have my score card of IELTS with 6.5 bands. Its date is 28 july 2018 so can I apply with that, I will be applying my visa before the end of june 2021.

    Will the Ielts score be valid?

    Do they consider it valid for 3 years?

    I know if we want to take admission they only consider it valid for two years. Is it same when we apply for 485 or its 3 years.

    Will I have to appear for that again.

    Please guide me.

  • I have dome masters in mechanical engg and after my studies i applied for 485 but i applied for graduate work study instead of post work study and they have granted me 18 months tr on 16 feb 2021. I was unaware about this fact at the time of lodging my visa. Technically I am eligible for post work study, what should i do to get 2 years post study work instead of graduate work study?

  • Hi, I am on a Post study 485 visa in Melbourne. This visa is due to expire on 12 April 2021. Can I apply for an extension under the Covit 19 Concession because I was affected by the Lockdown and economic downturn in Melbourne.? I managed to get a job 2 months ago. What other visa can i apply to extend my stay. Thank you

  • Hi Nilesh I have a question if you can answer.
    My course is going to be finished in July so i wanna to ask when is a deadline to apply for 485 visa??? I’m currently stuck outside of Australia so are there any reliefs when applying for this type of Visa such as lodging the visa application later when i will get exemption or when borders will be opened?what if i will be granted my 485visa but i still cannot come back to Australia?what’s my options in this case?
    Looking forward to hearing from you
    Thanks in advance

  • Hi Nilesh my name is Mallika I’m applying for 485 and when I do so it asks me for my insurance end date while my insurance is open ended. Please help. Thank you!!

  • Hi, I am currently in the process of applying for 485 but the application is not moving forward.. I had a previous refusal due to re-entry ban and therefore was refused a student visa but I departed within time… and did not do anything illegal. However I am back in Australia and completed my masters so now applying for TR… what are the options since immi account is not letting me proceed with the application due to the previous refusal??? Please help

    • Thank you for bringing this question to me in this forum.

      I am surprised that you are not able to proceed further in the immiaccount if in fact you hold a substantive visa and there has not been any visa cancellation action in relation to your most recent entry and stay in Australia.

      I would contact for departments to understand why you are not able to see further in your immiaccount.

      There appears to be more to your story then has been disclosed above. Before contacting the department yourself you may wish to get some advice and discuss your immigration history in more detail with an immigration lawyer.

  • Hi, I have completed MIT in 2020. Now i have to apply for TR. As i have completed masters so which 484 visa is there for me.
    Graduate work stream or post study work stream?

    One more question, i appeared in ielts exam on 7 April 2018 and expiring on april 2021. But i am going to apply for my TR before 15 March 2021. Is my IELTS test valid ?

  • Hi Nilesh,
    Please I need your advice..
    I am an international student and have recently graduated my “2 years” course. However, when I checked on CRICOS the course duration was 89 weeks (only 3 weeks short from the 92 weeks requirement).
    Does this mean that I am not eligible to apply for the 485 – Temporary Graduate Visa?
    Hoping to hear from you soon… Please help!

    • You’ll need to make sure that you meet the 2-year rule!

      If your own calculation is correct than you have a problem which you need to get some advice about quickly …as you suffer the risk of being refused any application you make for a subclass 485 graduate skilled temporary visa.

  • Hi, I am applying for my Visa 485. I booked my PTE test on 20th March 2021 but my visa is expiring on 12th March 2021. I completed application on Immi account but there is no option to upload PTE exam result later. Please guide me upload my result on my application. Thank you.

    • Thank you for contacting me.

      Reg 485.212 requires the Applicant to achieve satisfactory English results specified in the relevant instrument before the time of application.

      This means you need to achieve the PTE results before the time of lodging your application.

      Given you have booked an exam to be undertaken after lodging your visa application, your 485 visa application should be refused according to the Regulations.

      However, the MIA and the immigration website both have suggested a concession applies if COVID-19 has disrupted access to services.

      The concession suggests that you may still meet this time of application criteria if you provide evidence that you were unable to book a test where the testing centre is closed, and you subsequently sat that exam and passed it to the required level.

      We note this concession is at odds with Migration Regulations 485.212. Immigration policy here appears to be one step ahead of the law.

      Should you wish to get specific advice about your circumstances from me, you can book in a consultation with me here.


      Nilesh Nandan
      Immigration Lawyer

  • Hi my name is Biren
    My wife is a nursing student in Darwin, she just finished her study.
    I have confusion which should I chose
    1) 485- TR graduate visa- graduate work stream
    2) 485 – TR graduate visa – post-study work stream or
    3) 485- TR graduate visa – pOst-study work stream extension
    Can you please help me.

  • Hi. I’m an international student. I have intermitted my studies from 2020 T2 to 2021 T1 due to covid-19, then applied for visa and enrolled in the university hoping that I’ll get my visa before the starting date. University started on March and currently I’m studying online and still didn’t get my visa. Will this delay effect on applying Post study working visa as it requires 92 weeks of study requirement. Is there any way of covering the missing time period? Should I continue or apply for intermission again? Looking forward to hearing from you
    Thanks in advance

  • Hi am Obie, am applying for my 485 visa today but my high commission have not sent in my new passport i have tried reaching them but it seems they are not ready yet. Can i proceed with my old passport. Urgent reply sir.

    • Yes. Try it!
      You’ve got nothing to lose.
      (I’m assuming you meet all of the other requirements of getting a valid application in for a 485 as well as the application criteria required at the time of application and at the time of decision).

      If you would like me to make the 485 visa application for you then please do let me know.

      Best regards
      Nilesh Nandan

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