From Student Visa to Permanent Residency (PR)

If you have already spent some time in Australia as a student visa holder, there are many options for you to extend your stay temporarily or, hopefully, permanently.

Studying in Australia

Studying in Australia is considered an excellent opportunity for self-improvement and good education among many students worldwide. Every year, thousands of international students are granted their student visas and can travel to Australia to begin or continue their education. While this is a significant opportunity, it will inevitably lead to their departure from Australia after 1 to 5 years (depending on the visa).

As a student who was fortunate enough to be accepted for a student visa, it might be a hard thing to give up on all the things you accomplished during the time of your stay. You might have gained a lot of useful experience and are ready to enter the workforce. You might have met your future partner here and intend to marry them in Australia. However, all of that will come to an end if you don’t apply for a visa extension. That is what we are here to help you with.

If you have already spent some time in Australia as a student visa holder, there are many options for you to extend your stay temporarily or, hopefully, permanently.

Today, we will provide you with adequate information regarding all the options available for you after you have completed your education in Australia and the criteria that need to be met to lodge a new visa subclass.

So, without further ado, let’s get started by presenting the options.

Temporary Graduate Visa Subclass 485

Visa 485 is for international students who have successfully done their courses.

With this visa, applicants can travel freely anywhere, work and study in Australia and bring immediate family members to Australia.

This visa can present many opportunities. As 485 visa holders are allowed to work and study full time, you will be able to find a full-time job, and after one year of Australian work experience, you will receive five points for any of the skilled visas, which will be discussed later in this post. Also, you may be lucky and be sponsored by your employee for a temporary or even a permanent employer-sponsored visa.

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There are two possible Visa Subclass 485 streams, depending on what the applicant has studied.

The visa Subclass 484 fee is AU $1,680 for the main applicant.

Post-Study Work Stream Visa

If an applicant has completed a higher education degree in Australia in any field, they will be eligible to apply for this stream. The post-study work stream visa can last between 2 and 4 years. The visa validity will depend on the qualification:

  • two years for Bachelor Degree, Bachelor Degree with Honours, Masters by coursework, or masters (extended) Degree
  • three years for Masters by Research Degree
  • four years for a PhD

 You will qualify for this visa if you:

  • provide adequate evidence of your health insurance
  • pass the health, character and English test

Graduate Work Stream Visa:

This visa is for students who have completed an eligible degree, trade qualification, or diploma in Australia. Not all the trade qualifications and diplomas can make you eligible to apply for this visa, though. To be eligible, your qualifications and skills must be closely related to an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List. So, it is of paramount importance to contact us or a Registered Migration Agent before you choose a course. Please bear in mind, Education Agents cannot and must not provide any migration assistance

To be deemed eligible for the graduate work stream visa:

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• you must complete a CRICOS-registered course

• your course had to be in English

• you must be under 50 years old

• you must have had a student visa in the past six months

• your qualification must be relevant to one of the skills on the list (MLTSSL)

• you need to do a skills assessment 

• you need to pass the health, character and English test

Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189

Visa 189 is for workers with essential skills. A skilled independent visa requires no nominations or invitations by any state or territory. If you have no relative or employer to sponsor you, this might be a good option. To obtain permanent residency, the applicant must have a positive skills assessment in an occupation listed on the MLTSSL.(

The minimum score required to be invited to apply for this visa is 65. However, the result may vary depending on your profession. Take a look at this chart to be more familiar with the way your score is calculated. (source)

In order to apply for the Skilled Independent Visa, you must:

• be between 18 and 45

• prove you have competent English

• submit an expression of interest (EOI)

• pass the health and character test

• choose a profession from on the MLTSSL and have a relevant skills assessment

• be invited to apply for the visa

The Skilled Independent Visa costs AU $4,115.

Skilled Nominated Visa Subclass 190

Visa subclass 190 is for skilled applicants who are nominated by a state or a territory in Australia. Once nominated by a state or a territory, you will receive five additional points. After being accepted for the Skilled Nominated Visa, the applicant can live and work in Australia with no restrictions, enrol in the universal healthcare program (Medicare), bring eligible relatives with them, and apply for Australian citizenship. Also, upon receiving the visa, you will be supposed to live in the state or territory by which you were nominated for at least two years.

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For an applicant to be considered eligible for this visa, they must:

• be between 18 and 45

• be nominated by an Australian state or territory after the submission of an EOI

• have a relevant skills assessment in one of the professions on the list (MLTSSL+STSOL)

• score a minimum of 65 points

• pass the health, character and English test

• have a positive skills assessment

The cost of the skilled nominated visa is AU $4,115.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa 491

Visa 491 is similar to 190 in that they both require a State or a Territory Nomination. An eligible family member can also nominate you. However, the significant difference is that unlike visa subclass 190, the subclass 491 is NOT a permanent visa.

This visa is valid for five years only, but you may be eligible to apply for PR (visa subclass 191) after three years if you:

  • have held a visa subclass 491 or 494 for at least three years.
  • have complied with the condition of that visa (living in a regional area for the whole period).
  • have had earnings of $53,900 per year for three years of those five years.

If you have a spouse or a partner who meet these criteria, they can be the main applicant for the permanent residence visa.

The visa Subclass 494 fee is AU $4,115 for the main applicant.

Well, that was all for today! If you need more information about any of the previously mentioned visa subclasses,

please see this link:

We always recommend you consult a Registered Migration Agent to assess your eligibility and choose the safest and best way. We will always be happy to help you reach your goals, so please feel free to contact us!

You need to have in mind that this isn’t a government website. The sole purpose of this article is to provide relevant information regarding a few visa options after graduation from an Australian institution. If you need any professional assistance, you should contact us NOW and get a consultation!


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