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From a Graduate 485 Visa, to a Permanent Work Visa

From a Graduate 485 Visa, to Permanent Residency (PR)

So you’ve finished studying in Australia, and you’ve successfully applied for a Graduate visa. What now? How do you transition from your 485 Visa to a permanent visa? And what should you be doing while on your Graduate Visa to prepare? We walk through popular options and important considerations below.

Sponsored Visas vs Skilled Independent Visas

When you move from your Graduate visa to a permanent work visa, there are two types of visas you can apply for.

The first are sponsored visas. To obtain PR on a sponsored visa, you must have an employer who agrees to sponsor you to stay in Australia, under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) – either the 186, or the 187.

The second kind of work visas you can apply for are a skilled independent visas. These visas don’t require you to have an employer sponsor you, however they do require you to undertake a skills assessment, and successfully pass a points test. Visas in this grouping include the 189, the 190, and the 489.

Moving from a Graduate 485 Visa to a Sponsored Visa

If you’re thinking of moving from a Graduate Visa to a permanent sponsored visa, there’s a few things you need to keep in mind.

First, and most obviously, you’ll need to find an employer who will sponsor your visa. This employer will need to become a standard business sponsor in order to sponsor you. A migration agent will be able to help your employer through this process.

Secondly, your position must match one of the occupations on the Medium to Long Stay Strategic Skills List (MTLSSL). A migration agent can help you find the occupation that best matches your position.

Third, you’ll need to meet to the work experience requirements for the visa you are applying for. If, for example, you are applying for a 186 visa under the Direct Entry stream, without holding another sponsored work visa first, you will need at least 3 years work experience in your occupation. This may be hard for you to achieve if your Graduate Visa was less than 3 years in length.

If you are unable to meet the work experience requirements, you could consider applying for a Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (TSS) while you continue to work for your employer and build up the necessary qualifications.

Moving from a Graduate 485 Visa to a Skilled Independent Visa

If you’re moving from a Graduate 485 visa to a Skilled Independent Visa, you won’t need to worry about finding an employer who will sponsor you. However, there are a number of other considerations for you to bear in mind.

Skilled Independent visas are generally points tested. This means that you will be awarded points based on a number of different criteria, including your work experience, English level, and qualification level. You must meet the points test benchmark of 60 to be eligible for the visa, however a higher number of points can significantly reduce wait times. You can check how many points you need to get by using our points tester here.

You will also need to complete a skills assessment that shows that you have skills matching one of the occupations on the MTLSSL. A skills assessment involves an independent industry body to assess your qualifications and employment against the suitability of your nominated occupation.

Be Prepared

For the best chance of successfully transitioning from a Graduate Visa to a Permanent Work Visa, you will need to be prepared. Talking to a migration agent ahead of time can help you come up with a migration plan you can work towards, and maximize your chances of eligibility.

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