April 29, 2024

Tightening the Screws on the Temporary Graduate Visa Programme

485 visa new rules 2024

By Alex Kaufman

The Australian Government’s recent Migration Strategy portended significant changes to the Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa programme, impacting international graduates seeking work experience under the 485 visa new rules 2024.

According to Home Affairs, these changes aim to better align graduates with Australia’s skills needs. The Department has all but confirmed its intention to implement the changes on 1 July 2024, following the publication of the proposal on 24 April 2024.

Key Changes:

  • Stream Renames:Both Graduate Work and Post-Study Work streams will be renamed to reflect the level of education: Post-Vocational Education Work and Post-Higher Education Work streams, respectively.
  • Age Limit Reduction:The maximum eligibility age for both streams reduces to 35 years old (except for Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders who remain eligible up to 50).
  • Focus on Vocational Skills:The Post-Vocational Education Work stream now prioritises applicants with qualifications (associate degrees, diplomas, trade certifications) directly related to Australia’s Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). This stream is no longer open to those with bachelor’s degrees or higher, who must apply through the Post-Higher Education Work stream.
  • Post-Study Work Stream Adjustments:The two-year extension for select degrees is eliminated. Standard stay periods are introduced, ranging from two to three years depending on the qualification level. Exceptions remain for Indian nationals under the AI-ECTA.
  • Replacement Stream Closure:The Replacement stream is being discontinued.


These changes signal a shift in Australia’s temporary graduate visa landscape. The focus is on attracting graduates with vocational qualifications that align with in-demand skills. This will almost certainly create challenges for international students pursuing higher education pathways but opens opportunities for those with trade or diploma qualifications. It’s crucial for prospective applicants to carefully consider their eligibility under the revised streams.

Going Forward:

The updated visa structure, particularly under the 485 visa new rules 2024, aims to create a more targeted approach to attracting skilled graduates who can contribute to Australia’s workforce needs. It’s important to stay updated on the latest developments and explore alternative visa options if necessary. The best way to forge a path through a rapidly changing visa landscape is with the help of a qualified Immigration Professional. Contact one of Longton Migration’s Immigration Lawyers or Agents for a confidential assessment today.


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