485 Visa Requirements: A Guide To Making An Application For 485 Temporary Graduate Visa

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If you are sick of searching websites, and simply want to get on with it, book a chat with me. I’ll help you get your graduate visa.

This article, shares a few traps, Read on to learn more about where you could go horribly wrong!

485 Visa Rules Are Unforgiving!

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

Remember to upload the documents to your online IMMI account immediately when lodging the 485 visa application.

The “2-Year” Rule

There is one problem that comes up over and over again in relation to the subclass 485 application.

Do 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 lodged within the 6 months window allowed for lodgement of this visa. Be careful here. You need to lodge within 6 months of course completion.

The “2-Year” Rule Explained

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 must be understood.

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

“92 CRICOS” weeks 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.

English Language Tests and Police Clearances

Some other reasons why your 485 visa could be refused are 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 at the time of your 485 visa application.

Upload At The Time of Lodgement

Not doing so, risks a 485 visa refusal!

Firstly, be aware 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.

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.


If the Department refuses your 485 visa then you may have limited options, especially if you do not hold a substantive Visa.

Depending on when you lodged your application and when you receive your 485 visa refusal, you might forever be prohibited from getting any 485 visa granted.

You will need to determine whether you can make a further application while you are inside Australia and if so, what sort of application that could be. You will also need to decide whether or not to exit Australia to make your next visa application from outside Australia.

You may be subject to what is known as the “section 48 problem“. If you have this problem then you might be able to lodge a protection visa or a partner visa or a subclass 491 visa or a subclass 494 visa or subclass 190 visa or perhaps a medical treatment visa. Get some advice about this problem if you get a refusal!

If you feel the decision you have received is incorrect, then there is an opportunity to apply for review of your 485 visa refusal decision, at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. You’ll need to make an application for appeal within 21 days and you will need to be physically present in Australia.

If your visa application is invalid it is as if no application was made and if an earlier visa has since expired, you could be unlawfully present in Australia. Note that a bridging visa will only be granted to you if you make a valid application for your 485 visa and you were and are onshore at the relevant times.

2-Year Rule Case Study

Let’s consider this question from a visitor/client recently:

485-Case-Study-MyVisa By 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 of 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 a consultation with me.

FAQ: English language requirement

Your question:

“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, applications for 485 visas must be accompanied by 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 an 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.

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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