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March 9, 2020

Read: Australian Study Requirement – Part I

Read: Australian Study Requirement – Part II

The Australian Study Requirement (ASR) is a requirement that an applicant must fulfil for the application of a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) or if fulfilled, can be used to gain 5 points for an application for a general skilled migration visa. The general skilled migration (GSM) visas include:

  • Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
  • Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

When using the ASR for another 5 points for the above visas, it is used under the categories:

  • Australian educational qualifications
  • Study in regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area qualifications
  • Partner skill qualifications

The important elements to the ASR are:

  • The applicant has completed at least 2 academic years of study in Australia
  • The applicant must have at been physically in Australia for 16 calendar months whilst studying
  • The applicant has completed one or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications for award by an Australian educational institution
  • The academic course(s) are CRICOS registered
  • All instruction was conducted in English
  • Was undertaken in Australia on a visa that allows the applicant to study

Course completion date

When applying for the Temporary Graduate 485 visa, there are additional concerns relating to the ASR that must be addressed; the applicant must apply within 6 months of their completing the course. This is a requirement that is often overlooked. With regard to this requirement, it is integral that one understands what the critical course completion date is.

Read: Temporary Graduate 485 Visa: You MUST Apply Within 6 Months

This date is also important when applying for other GSM visas as the critical course completion date affects one’s skills assessment as one’s length of experience is calculated post qualification.


The course must:

  • Be registered with CRICOS
  • Have been studied in an Australian educational institute, in Australia
  • Result an eligible degree, diploma or trade qualification

Learn more about:

  • Courses not eligible
  • No less than 16 calendar months
  • Two academic years of study
  • Nested/packaged programmes
  • Changing courses
  • Changing institutions
  • Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

When applying for the Post Study work stream, the eligible qualifications are:

  • An Australian Bachelor Degree (including Honours)
  • A Masters by Coursework Degree
  • A Masters Extended Degree
  • A Masters by Research Degree or
  • A Doctoral Degree.

Nested courses, or courses that move into an eligible qualification, are accepted for the Post Study Work stream if the study that contributes to the completion of an eligible qualification..

For example, applicants who undertake a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma course which is nested in a Bachelor or Masters Degree, are eligible for the Post Study Work stream, provided they ultimately complete an eligible qualification.

When applying for the Graduate Work Stream, the eligible qualifications are:

  • A degree
  • A diploma and
  • A trade qualification

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

Must be in English

An Australian qualification itself can be accepted as evidence that the course was in English unless the qualification included foreign language courses/units. If the foreign language component of the qualification is incidental to the award of the qualification, applicants are considered to meet the requirement. An example of this is where an overseas student studies one or two foreign languages as a first year subject only. As part of the evidence on fulfiling the ASR, one must provide their academic transcript. A good way to measure if you fulfil requirements is if no more than 10% of all your studies was in a language other than English.

Interpreting and translating courses

Students who complete advanced qualifications (Advanced Diploma and Bachelor and Masters degrees) in interpreting and translating in Australia may be required to take on courses that are conducting in languages other than English. In such situations, applicants must submit evidence that taking on courses that were instructed in languages other than English was integral to their translating and/or interpreting skills rather than a qualification in a language other than English.

If it can be established that the qualification relates to the skills of translating and/or interpreting with English being a key aspect of the qualification, the applicant can be considered as satisfying this requirement.

In establishing whether a course is an advanced qualification in Interpreting and/or Translating, the following criteria should be applied:

  • The minimum entrance requirement is an average IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6 in each of the four components of the test and
  • The resulting qualification is at the NAATI Professional Level

Study must have been undertaken in Australia

There are visas other than the Student visa (subclass 500) than allow study. For example, the Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) allows for 4 months of study. If an applicant has undertaken a course that was 6 months of study despite the condition of only being able to study for 4 months, that study cannot be included in calculating ASR as it would have been illegal.

Online study

Other than RPL (see previous article linked above), overseas students may undertake up to 25% of the course online. Overseas students still must have been been physically in Australian and have been able to attend classes otherwise.

An applicant who took advantage of the ability to study online so that they could travel outside of Australia would not have been physically in Australia and able to attend classes and such time would not be counted in the calculation of the ASR. Since the pandemic began there are now some concessions to this usual criteria (see below).

COVID-19 Concessions – Australian Study Requirement and Online Study

Normally, with the exception of RPL, it is intended that study be undertaken on campus in Australia and overseas students can study up to 25% of their course online, visa applicants must have been physically present in Australia for study to count towards meeting the Australian study requirement.

The requirements that overseas students can study up to 25% of their course online and visa applicants must have been physically present in Australia for study to count towards meeting the Australian study requirement will not be applied to COVID-19 impacted Subclass 485 visa applicants.

Subclass 485 visa applicants who were studying offshore on an Australian visa authorising the applicant to study and not permitted to travel to Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic will be allowed an unlimited amount of offshore online study to count towards the Australian study requirement. This flexibility will remain in place as long as COVID-19 impacts remain.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment and the national regulators, the Australian Skills Quality Authority and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, are taking a flexible approach to online learning in order to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Distance education

Distance education cannot be counted in the calculation of the AST as it is defeats the purpose of the ASR being that an overseas student has had time in Australia to integrate.

Overseas study

An applicant who has undertaken some study overseas as part of an exchange program may not be able to use their time outside Australia to fulfil their two year ASR requirement. If however, despite the overseas study, the applicant has still managed to completed at least 2 academic years of study in no less than 16 calendar months, they are still able to meet the ASR. For example, an applicant who undertook a 3 year, 6 semester Bachelor degree in the following pattern would have completed 2 academic years study in Australia:

  • Semester 1 overseas
  • Semester 2 in Australia
  • Semester 3 in Australia
  • Semester 4 in Australia
  • Semester 5 overseas
  • Semester 6 in Australia

Calculating if you have met the ASR for the Temporary Graduate 485 visa or in applying for a GSM visa can be different and especially complicated if you have changed courses multiple times or have studied on different visas.

We highly recommend that you call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists. It is especially more critical when dealing with the 6 month timeline with applying for the Temporary Graduate 485 visa.Jee Eun Han

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