Temporary Graduate Visa, The Most Common Mistakes Students Must Avoid

As an international student studying in Australia, there are chances you can stay temporarily in Australia after completing your courses.

As an international student studying in Australia, there are chances you can stay temporarily in Australia after completing your courses. One way to do so is to apply for the temporary graduate visa subclass 485. However, many temporary graduate visa applicants get shocked when their visa application is refused. In this article, we discuss the most common mistakes students must avoid when applying for a temporary graduate visa.

Selecting the wrong stream

The temporary graduate visa has two streams. The graduate work stream and the post-study work stream. Before applying for a temporary graduate visa, make sure to carefully check the requirements for each stream so that you can select the right one. Needless to mention that if you choose the wrong stream, your visa application will be denied.

Not providing the required documents

Applying to study in any Australian university necessitates providing a certain set of documents. Depending on your specific situation, you might also need to provide extra information/documents. If you think you will not be able to submit all documents before meeting the deadline, you are highly recommended to ask for some additional time. Please remember that not providing all the documents within the set time limit will result in visa refusal. Make sure that an education provider, the institution/university where you studied, provides you with a completion letter that includes the following:

  • The date when you met the course requirements
  • The dates when you began and completed your courses
  • Details related to courses completed through distance-learning
  • Language of the courses you completed
  • Whether you studied as a full-time or part-time student
  • The location of your campus
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Not meeting the Australian study requirements

To be eligible for the temporary graduate visa 485, every applicant should meet the study requirements in Australia. The Australian study requirements include completing a degree, a trade course qualification, or a diploma. The courses you completed will not count if they:

  • Were not held in English
  • Were not registered on CRICOS
  • Were completed in less than 16 calendar months
  • Were completed in less than two academic years (92 weeks)
  • Were completed while you didn’t have a student visa

Your visa application will not be granted if any of the above-mentioned requirements are not met. Also, you must provide evidence that you were physically present in Australia for at least 16 calendar months during which you attended your classes. While lodging your visa, pay special attention to the dates you enter regarding course commencement as well as course completion. Your course commencement date, as the name suggests, is the first day of your course. Similarly, your course completion date is the day on which you got the results of your final exam, not the day when you received your degree.

Some of the courses registered on CRICOS may last less than two academic years. If you have taken other courses that had the above-mentioned features, you still have a chance to meet the study requirements if the total duration of all the courses you took is equal to 92 weeks.

Not taking the deadline seriously

You must apply for a graduate visa within six months of completing your degree. Normally, there is some time interval between the date students complete their courses and the time they get their award. Many students mistakenly take their award receiving date for their course completion date. As noted above, your course completion date is when you receive your final course results, not the date when you received your award. When applying for a graduate visa, you need to be very specific regarding the dates on which you began and completed your courses. Providing the wrong course completion date will end in visa refusal. 

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Not meeting health insurance requirements

Another piece of evidence you should provide is related to health insurance arrangements. As the main applicant, you must provide the required documents that you and your dependants have made all the arrangements for health insurance in Australia as demanded by the department. You might have a student visa when you lodge your application. In this case, you should declare that you have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). When your student visa ceases, you should arrange for a new health insurance plan so that you are eligible to apply for a temporary graduate visa. Your health insurance provider can guide you in this regard. In case your visa application is approved, you should meet visa condition 8501. Visa condition 8501 requires the holder/s to maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance during their residency in Australia. If this is overlooked, a visa cancellation is highly probable.

Issues related to the AFP check

It is obligatory to provide an Australian Federal Police check within 12 months of applying for a temporary graduate visa. An AFP check is required from you as the main applicant and the over 16 dependants you want to take to Australia with you. You should provide the payment receipt, the AFP receipt number, and a copy of your request for the AFP check. When a temporary graduate visa is rejected due to an AFP check problem, one of the following is usually the case.

  • The applicant failed to provide evidence that they, and their dependents, who were over 16 at the time of application lodgement, have requested an AFP check within 12 months of applying for the visa.
  • The applicant applied for the wrong type of AFP check. The applicants should specify the purpose of the AFP check they demand. There are several codes among which they should select the right one. The right code for a temporary graduate visa is code 33.
  • The applicant provided an outdated AFP check. As mentioned above, the AFP check should be requested within 12 months of lodging the application. Providing AFP checks related to earlier dates, 13 months or more, will result in a visa refusal.
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Not meeting the English language requirements

Temporary graduate visa applicants must show a good command of the English language unless they have a passport or come from one of the following countries:

  • Irland
  • New Zealand
  • The USA
  • Canada
  • The UK

Applicants from other countries must provide one of the following language certificates:

IELTS: an overall score of 6 or higher

TOEFL iBT: an overall score of 64 or higher

PTE: a minimum score of 50

CAE: an overall score of 169 or higher

OET: A grade B in all skills

Those who obtain one of these language certificates should apply within three years. Otherwise, their language certificate will expire, and they need to retake the test. Not including your language test result at the time of visa lodgement may result in visa refusal.


When applying for a temporary graduate visa, students should be doubly cautious in the visa lodgement process and the information they provide. This article discussed the most common mistakes applicants make when applying. Avoiding the mistakes pointed out above will enhance the prospects of getting the temporary graduate visa subclass 485. If you still have further inquiries regarding a temporary graduate visa, you can contact us and tell us more about your problem.


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