We believe in always looking ahead to your next step in your migration journey. If you are a student and you want to stay in Australia, your best bet is the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). There are two streams under the 485 visa being the Graduate Work stream and Post Study work stream. We have covered which one is for you and the eligibility requirements for both streams previously.

Read: Applying For The 485 Visa

Let’s talk about the time of application which is particularly critical for this visa. Miss your window and it may be difficult to open it again. First of all, you can only apply for your 485 visa after you have completed your course of study and not before. Next you must absolutely apply within 6 months of completing your course. You will not be able to apply after this point unless you complete another accepted course of study.

If you are applying under the Graduate Work Stream, you have to work quickly. Evidence that you have applied for a suitable skills assessment is required to be provided at the time of application for your 485 visa. You do not the need the result just demonstrate that it has been lodged. The skill assessment result can be supplied during the processing of your application. Of course with the Post Study Work stream under the 485 visa, no skill assessment is required because you do not have to nominate any particular occupation.


Course completion

To know what your critical dates are you must understand how the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) defines the date you complete your course.

Completed is defined in regulation 1.15F(2) to mean having met the academic requirements for the award of the degree, diploma or trade certificate.

The date that you are considered to have completed your course is not when you finish your exams or the date of award of conferral (date on your award certificate), but the date provided in a notice of completion of the course. This notification may be found:

  • In a letter from the educational institute to the applicant
  • In your academic transcript
  • On the Internet
  • In a newspaper
  • On the education institution’s bulletin board

Evidence of the date of completion of your course must be provided in your application. Please note that although the above documents may list dates, these dates may not be the date your course is considered to be completed.

Be careful. We cannot stress this enough. You may notice that your academic transcript may say “date of issue”. This is not your completion date. It will also be different from the date on your award certificate, which is generally months after your actual completion date. Don’t hazard a guess if you do not have a document that clearly states when you have completed the academic requirements of a course.

Here is an experience from one of our clients. Her academic transcript held a “date of issue” of 27 August 2010.

Her award certificate stated a date on 21 February 2011.

She reached out to us and we advised her to attain a statement of enrolment letter from her University for clarity. She received a letter like this:

The date of her actual completion of academic requirements was 12 August 2010, much earlier than any of the other dates detailed on her given documents. If she had not taken the extra step in attaining this letter, she would have been in trouble.


Supplementary exams

Say you have supplementary or deferred exams to take. Your award certificate would be much delayed. Remember that you cannot consider that date that you complete your course to be the date on your award certificate. Your completion date, being the date on which your course requirements were met, would also be different from others in your cohort. Be careful to comb through your documents for a clear date on when your course is taken to be completed. If in doubt, clarify this with your educational institute or request a letter.


Withheld results

If the applicant’s results were withheld due to perhaps, unpaid course fees, the date that fines or fees were paid and results were received is not the date the course was completed. Again, remember that your actual completion date may vary from the date that is given on the documents (date of issue).


Submission of thesis

You are not considered to have completed your course on submission of your thesis. Your date of completion would be the date that is provided on a notification that your thesis was accepted and all academic requirements have been completed.


Australian Study Requirement (ASR)

It is required that you meet your ASR in the 6 months before the time of application. This is fairly straightforward in the case that you have taken a single course. In such a case you must have completed your course that also satisfies the ASR in the 6 months before the time of application. If you have taken a packaged or nested course, you must have met the ASR based on completing your most recent course in the 6 months before the day the 485 visa application is made. Learn more about how to calculate the ASR, nested or packaged course and complicated situations such as changing courses or education providers in our depth article.

Read: Australian Study Requirement

Do you have questions on when your critical dates are? Are you unsure how to go about getting your skills assessment and are in a time crunch because of the 6 month limitation? Or are you wanting to understand if you have met the ASR, whether for a temporary graduate 485 visa or to gain 5 extra points on the recently toughened GSM points test? Contact us today for professional help. Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online.