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February 6, 2020

General Skilled Migration (GSM) Visa and Temporary Graduate 485 Visa

Read: Australian Study Requirement – Part I

Read: Australian Study Requirement – Part II

The Australian Study Requirement (ASR) is a requirement that one has fulfilled after completing two years of academic study in Australia. If you meet the ASR, you would have 5 additional points if you were applying for a points tested General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa. Otherwise, it is a necessary requirement in applying for a Temporary Graduate 485 visa.

  • Has completed one or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications for award by an Australian educational institution
  • Course(s) are CRICOS registered
  • Completed in no less than 16 calendar months where the registered course duration is at least two academic years (92 weeks) of study
  • All instruction was conducted in English
  • Was undertaken in Australia on a visa that allows the applicant to study

Learn: Temporary Graduate 485 visa


The course must be registered with CRICOS, studied in an Australian educational institute, in Australia and must be an eligible degree, diploma or trade qualification.

Find: CRICOS directory

Trade qualification:

  • Australian trade qualification obtained as a result of completing an indentured apprenticeship or training contract that is required by a State or Territory industrial training legislation or a relevant Federal, State or Territory industrial award and involves part time formal training at a technical college or college of technical and further education, and employment within the meaning of an industrial award under a law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory or  a law of a State or Territory dealing with commercial or industrial training.
  • A qualification under the Australian Qualifications Framework of at least Certificate III for a skilled occupation in Major Group IV in ASCO – tradespersons and related workers
  • A qualification under the Australian Qualifications Framework of at least Certificate III for a skilled occupation in Major Group III in ANZSCO – technicians and trades workers

Find: ASCO – Major Group IV

Find: ANZSCO – Major Group III

Qualifications that are eligible differ for the two streams under the Temporary Graduate 485 visa which we will cover at the end of the article.

Courses not eligible

Periods of study that are undertaken to meet the entry requirements for an eligible diploma, degree or trade qualification cannot be used to count towards meeting the two year requirement. These include bridging courses, other prerequisite programs, non award courses and  ELICOS courses. For example, if a Certificate IV in Business is an entry requirement for a Diploma of Management, the Certificate IV course cannot be used to count towards meeting the ASR.

Periods of study in a Certificate IV and lower cannot be used to count towards the two year requirement. Other some circumstances, study in a Certificate IV course that is nested within a Diploma course may be used to count towards the two years.

No less than 16 calendar months

If a student over loads on their units or enrols to study over school breaks, they may be able to complete a course that is registered to take two academic years to complete in a shorter period of time. However in such a case, the actual period of study/actual time spent in an educational institute in Australia must meet a minimum of 16 calendar months.

Two academic years of study

The two academic years, or 92 weeks of study, on the other hand, is not based on actual time but on the registered duration of a course. To find out what the registered course duration is, CRICOS should be consulted. This way, a student cannot claim to have met the two years of academic study requirement through taking longer to complete a course that is meant to be completed in less than 92 weeks of study

In cases where the applicant intends to use multiple courses to meet the ASR, they must demonstrate that the multiple courses all count towards their award qualification or are packaged courses.  For example, the applicant has completed a Certificate IV in Business Management, and goes on to take a Diploma in Business Management that is registered to be 2 years (92 weeks) of academic study. However because of the applicant’s previous study for the Certificate IV, the applicant is given credits for a semester and only studies for 1.5 years to complete the diploma or degree. The applicant is taken to have fulfilled the ASR.

Although the Certificate IV course cannot be counted towards the ASR, because the applicant was given credits in his diploma or degree course, it is taken that those units in the diploma and degree course have been completed at the required level. Bear in mind that the registered duration for the credited units in the eligible course will be counted, as opposed to the registered duration for the units in his previous study.

This concept works for in other circumstances where the applicant is using multiple courses to meet the ASR requirement.

Nested/packaged programmes

If the education provider offers a “nested” or “packaged” program of study, where the completion of modular programs will not on its own, result in award an eligible qualification, but as a whole, will result in award in an eligible qualification, then the entire course of study may be used. For example, the course may, over the course of two academic years involve 4 modules, that on completion of each module, results in the awarding of Certificate II, III, IV and a diploma progressively, the course is a packaged course and may be used to meet the ASR.

Changing courses

If the applicant has enrolled in a course and decides to change their course, the time spent in the original course cannot be used if the original course resulted in no credits toward the subsequent course.

If however the applicant is granted credits for the original course, then that course is taken to have contributed towards their award qualification. For example, if the applicant has taken a Bachelor of Nursing and has changed to a Bachelor of Science, and have been given credits toward her Bachelor of Science from the study in the Bachelor of Nursing course, then the registered duration of the credited courses in the Bachelor of Science will count towards the ASR.

Although the Bachelor of Nursing is an eligible qualification, the applicant cannot count the registered duration of both the Bachelor of Nursing as well as the Bachelor of Science, as the registered duration of credits has already been counted for the Bachelor of Science.

Changing institutions

If the applicant has enrolled with and undertaken some study with an education provider, but later changes their education provider, they can only be count the period of study with the initial education provider for which their new education provider has given them credits for.

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

Any RPL for study undertaken overseas which has been accepted by an education provider and reduces the course duration to achieve a qualification is not eligible to be considered for any part of the Australian Study Requirement. Unlike with previous examples where credits count toward the ASR, RPL is for study taken overseas and as such, cannot count toward the minimum 16 months.

If a student took an eligible course that is registered to have a duration of 3 academic years with an Australian education provider, and the provider had accepted the student’s RPL for a reduced learning time by one academic year, the student is taken to have completed 3 academic years and 2 calendar years.

Temporary Graduate 485 visa

There are two streams under the 485 visa being:

Learn: Temporary Graduate 485 visa

Post Study Work stream

Eligible qualifications for the Post Study Work stream (AFQ level 7 and above) include:

  • Bachelor (at least 3 academic years or part time equivalent)
  • Bachelor with Honours
  • Master by Coursework
  • Master (extended)
  • Master by Research and/or
  • Doctoral degree

An applicant would also be considered to have met the two year academic requirement if the applicant has taken two unrelated Masters courses that which each a registered duration of one academic year.

Graduate Work stream

The applicant needs to have studied a course related to an occupation on the MLTSSL and obtain a positive skills assessment to make an application. The applicant will also have to meet the ASR and eligible qualifications are a diploma, degree or trade qualification as defined under the ASR.

Are you sure you have met this ASR for the 5 points for Australian study or to be able to lodge your 485 visa? We are here to help. Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists. Save time and money and book a Skype appointment if you like!


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