The arrival of the new 2nd Temporary Graduate 485 visa laws have been anticipated for some time but last Friday the details have finally been released. Depending upon where you have lived or studied you can obtain a second new 485 visa for one year or two years. It does not apply to those who hold the Graduate Stream 18month 485 visa
The purpose of the Regulations is to encourage international students to study in regional Australia on a student visa and to continue living in regional Australia on a temporary graduate visa. Firstly the most important thing to understand is, if you have studied in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane for you Australian qualification that led to the grant of your first 485 visa, you will not be eligible for a second 485 visa. This is what many students are interested in so its best to get that out of the way in the beginning.
Most of you know that the 1st 485 Post Study Work Stream visa has the following initial grant periods;
Bachelor degree (including honours): 2 years
Masters by Coursework: 2 years
Masters by Research: 3 years
Doctoral degree: 4 years
The immigration department has created 3 new area categories to explain whether you are eligible for the extra period. If you are eligible, these categories explain how long your second 485 visa will be.
Whether you get one year second 485 visa or the two year second 485 visa will depend on which area you have studied to gain your 1st 485 visa. In addition, it will depend if you have remained to live in these areas.
The 3 Categories
Major Cities, comprising Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane;
Cities and major regional areas
Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Canberra, Geelong and Hobart
An extra 1 year is available
Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas
including all other regional locations than those in Category 2
An extra 2 extra years are available
However, It is not as simple of looking at these categories to determine if you will qualify for a 1 or 2 year 2nd 485 visa
Firstly, as mentioned above, those who have studied in the Category 1 cities to obtain their 485 visa, are not eligible.
Those who have studied in Category 2 or 3 in order to gain their 485 visa, is the first thing to determine.
The second thing to determine is if you have continued to live in Category 2 or 3 whilst holding your 485 visa.
This compulsory Residency requirement is that you have lived in a regional area, Category 2 or 3, for at least two years immediately before your application for the 2nd 485 visa.
If your family is with you as dependents on your 485 visa they will have to meet the residency as well however of course they will not need to meet the 2 year requirment.
The residency requirements for all applicants who are claiming to have resided in Category 2 or 3 also includes work and further study if they are applicable. For example if you have lived in Newcastle for two years but have been commuting to Sydney for work for periods during this time, this will not be considered as meeting the requirements.
Depending upon where you have lived for these two years also determines if can gain the 1 year or 2 year second 485 visa.
The 2 years residency requirement does not have to while holding a 485 visa for the entire period. Part of that could have been on the student visa or the Bridging visa whilst waiting for your 485 visa.
Also you can apply for the 2nd 485 visa before your current 485 visa expires, as soon as you have met that residency requirement. If it is granted before your current 485 visa epires you will be granted a further period starting from the date your 485 visa was going to expire. If granted after your 485 visa expires, whilst you are a BVA, then the extended period will begin from the day of grant.
Example1: On the 20th January 2021 you can apply for your second 485 visa and you are asking for a further 2 years. Your current 485 visa will expire on the 1st April 2021. In March you are granted your next 485 visa and it will expire on the 1st April 2023.
Example 2: On the 20th January 2021 you apply for a 1 year 485 visa. Your 485 visa is due to expire on the 1st February 2021. In 24th March of 2021 your new visa is granted and it will expire on the 24th March 2022.
We will need to make a second video to explain about the issue of 485 visa holders living in other areas other than where they have gained their Australian qualifications from.
This will be out before the 20th of January, the new starting date for applications for this visa.
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And just when you thought it couldn’t more complicated, it does.
A new visa condition will be attached to this new 2nd 485 visa.
It is called Condition 8610.
For those who have studied in category 2 areas, can get 1 year 2nd 485 and condition require holder to continue living in Category 2 or 3 areas.
For those who have studied in category 3 areas, may get 2 years 2nd 485. Must only live in category 3 areas.
We will also make a video about this new condition for if the Immigration department finds you have breached it, they can easily cancel your visa.
If you need advice about whether you will meet these new rules, we offer Skype, Zoom and phone consultations. Call +(02) 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists.