New post-study work visa for international students in Australia

THE government’s game-changing new graduate visa is slated to integrate more international students into the Australian workforce, but raises a few questions of its own – including a new application fee that will cost graduates four times more than it did previously. 

Starting this year, Australia’s international students will be entitled to a two-year work permit upon graduation.

But while the Skilled Graduate (Temporary) Visa allows international graduates to remain in Australia for 18 months after completing their studies, graduates now need to fork out almost four times more just to apply.

As of January 1, 2013, the cost of the provisional visa application has increased from $315 to $1250.

Under the recommendations of the Knight Review in 2011, the visa will be renamed the Temporary Graduate Visa and split into two pathways: the Graduate Work Stream and Post-Study Work Stream.

While the first stream retains the criteria of its parent visa, the Post-Study Work Stream allows eligible graduates to stay and work in Australia for various lengths of time.

Graduates of a Bachelor degree, Masters by Coursework or Masters (Extended) can apply for a two-year visa, while Masters (Research) and Doctoral graduates will have up to four years.

Students enrolled in diplomas, graduate diplomas or English Language Intensive Courses can also apply for the permit if their courses count toward the completion of a degree.

To be eligible for entry, applicants must be in Australia and under 50 years of age. They must meet appropriate health and character requirements, and score at least 6 in each band of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Most importantly, students must have attained a degree-level qualification from an accredited Australian institution within six months of their application. Those courses must be taught in English over at least two academic years (92 weeks) and be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

A notable issue with the new stream is that existing visa holders will be left out in the cold.

The Post-Study Work Stream is unavailable to students who applied for their first visa before November 5, 2011, regardless of extensions. Students who applied after November 5, 2011 were assessed under the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirements, which determines whether a student is commencing a temporary stay in Australia.

Applicants undertaking courses on other visas that allow concurrent study will also not be eligible for the new stream.

Moreover, the Post-Study Work Stream does not require applicants to undergo skills assessments or nominate an occupation on the Skilled Occupations List.

This allows students who commenced their course in 2012 to remain in Australia after graduation, regardless of their eligibility for listed occupations. However, students who enrolled in 2011 or earlier are still restricted to the arrangements outlined in the Skilled Graduate (Temporary) Visa.

In response to the changes, Acacia Immigration Australia is petitioning for the government to modify the requirements for the Post-Study Work Stream.

“Why should students who commenced studies earlier be punished, particularly if they have completed the course they have come to Australia to study?” Acacia chief executive Mark Webster said in the petition to Immigration Minister Christ Bowen.

“The PSWV should be open to all students, regardless of when they commenced their studies,” Mr Weber wrote.

More to come…

The visa changes are expected to take place in early 2013. See the Australian Government’s announcement for more information on the policy

There are 27 comments

  1. gishan

    sir, i want to do a bachelors degree. i’m from srilanka. i want to do 1st year in srilanka, and after that transer for 2nd and 3rd years. so then i will be in australia for 2 years. if i do that can i have PSW?

  2. Vhinz

    If you happen to fall in love with the place, and many do, you may be able to extend your visa for an additional 12 months if you are prepared to take on a minimum of 3 months employment in regional areas undertaking seasonal harvest work and present proof of this when you apply for your 2nd year extension.

    working holiday visa Australia

  3. mandeep singh

    Sir I want to do MBA from QUT brisbane, the length of my course is 1.5 years. Will I eligible for post study work visa after completing my 18 months degree

  4. sukhpreet kaur

    Hlo sir,…sir i got overall 5 speaking i got 4 bands..nd in other three module i got 5.5 bands..can i apply for australia..i have completed my bacholer degree…and now i want to get admission in post graduatediploma in australia..sir please give me suggestions..

  5. mohd. rizwan

    I have pass my bacholar degree this year and get addmission in post graduation in australia. How i can apply…..please call me on 7696136113 and give me suggestions

  6. Dushani Weerasinghe

    Dear Sir,
    I am have got 6.0 for total brand in IELTS, but got only 5.0 for writing. Am i eligible for Post Study Working VISA

  7. jayshri charpe

    I got 5 band overall speaking 5.5 n other three 5 .so I want diploma course in Australia .if it is possible plz give me information.

  8. Cole


    I’ve read somewhere there are some kinds of visas for PhD students study in Australia in their early stage that let them apply PR vía. Could you please let me know is that right and if so how can they apply this visa.

    Thank you and best regards.

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