Graduate Visa Regulation Update – Dependent Graduate Visa Holders May Apply As A Primary Applicant
Regulation Update January 2021: Temporary Graduate Visa Dependent Can Apply For Temporary Graduate Visa As Primary Applicant
The Department of Home Affairs recently announced a new update dated on the 20th of January 2021 for Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.
The announced regulation interpreted as if 485 visa applicants who have held a 485 visa as a dependent, would not be able to apply for 485 visa as a primary applicant.
The regulations were shocking and disappointing for the existing and prospective 485 visa holders and their families.
The 2021 graduate visa changes had caught many existing and prospective 485 visa holders off guard.
To address the confusion caused among existing and prospective Temporary Graduate Visa holders, Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) clarified with the Department regarding the amended law at a recent meeting.
What is outlined in the clarification by the Department of Home Affairs?
2021 Current Regulations for Temporary Graduate Visa
Previously, a change implemented by the Department of Home Affairs was being interpreted as preventing both primary and secondary holders of 485 visa from applying again as a primary applicant for a subclass 485 visa.
The Clause 485.211 of Schedule 2 of the Migration Regulations 1994 states,
- Has not previously held a Subclass 476 (Skilled – Recognised Graduate) visa that was granted on the basis that the applicant satisfied the primary criteria for the grant of the visa; and
- Has not previously held a Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa in the Graduate Work stream; and
- Unless the applicant has nominated the Post-Study Work stream in the application and meets the requirements of clause 485.232 or 485.233 -has not previously held a Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa in the Post-Study Work stream; and
- Has not previously held 2 Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visas in the Post-Study Work stream.
The point (b) led prospective Temporary Graduate visa holders to confusion as it was stated the primary applicant should not previously hold a Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa. The point (b) can be interpreted that both primary and secondary holders of Temporary Graduate visa could not apply for Temporary Graduate visa as a primary applicant.
The regulations were announced to come into effect on 20 January 2021.
Read more Graduate Visa 485 Regulation Changes 2020 Concession COVID-19 here.
The Department of Home Affairs’ Clarification over the Previous Information
The Department of Home Affairs, through the MIA, has clarified that the previous secondary applicants of a Temporary Graduate Visa will not be excluded from applying for, or being granted, their second Temporary Graduate Visa as the primary applicant.
A person who previously held a Temporary Graduate Visa as a secondary visa holder can apply for 485 Visa as a primary applicant.
The Department of Home Affairs will clarify this further on its official website shortly.
The Importance of Temporary Graduate Visa for International Students
485 visa has been a good option for international students who have finished their studies in Australia to extend their stay in order to enhance their chances of obtaining permanent residency. By holding a 485 visa, the International students can stay temporarily in Australia and work as a full-time employee.
485 visa is an excellent stepping-stone for International students who plan to stay and work in Australia for their living. 485 visa allows them to work full-time to complete the working-hours requirement for an Australian working visa. Additionally, 485 visa is also the gate for International students seeking sponsorship for their future job.
And if the primary visa holder could not complete the working-hours requirement before the 485 visa expires, the primary visa holder had the option to apply as a dependent on the partner’s 485 visa application.
No wonder, the existing and prospective Temporary Graduate Visa holders were left unprepared when the new law was announced for 485 visa because it was being interpreted as this latter option not available for them.
Thankfully, the Department of Home Affairs has clarified that the previous arrangement for 485 visa continues to apply, so all Temporary Graduate Visa holders can continue to use this pathway to extend their stay in Australia.
Find more information of student visa for international students here.
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