Changes To The Subclass 485 Visa

On May 2013 the Australian government (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) have made changes to the graduate 485 visa.

Previous to the changes, graduates could stay in Australia for up to 18 months after studding in Australia. The new change allow post-study work stream elements to stay and work within Australia for up to four years (certain elements must be met for this to be the case).

This change that was put in place in March 2013 has also led to the health insurance requirement changing as well.

A press release made by BUPA clarified certain details of the changes including:
1) A document showing adequate health insurance for the 485 visa must be provided for when an application is now made
2) Standard Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is not sufficient to meet the 485 Visa requirements
3) Health Insurance that meets 457 visa health insurance standards (such as BUPA’s new Essential Visitors Cover) will meet 485 visa requirements.

Unlike OSHC, 485 visa health insurance does not need to be purchased for a long period upfront (eg a year) but rather on a monthly basis as the individual works/stays in Australia but DIBP has indicated that every  application is assessed on merit, meaning the upfront payment may be required in some cases. This is not an official ruling and no cases are known where an application has not been approved due to a lack of pre-purchased health insurance. To compare compliant cover see the 485 visa health insurance comparison chart.

485 Visa Health Insurance Comparison
Overall, the key tips based on this information for those looking to apply for a 485 visa are that:

  • Your 485 visa health insurance must commence before you make your application
  • The department will not accept OSHC and Overseas Visitors Cover for this visa
  • As a general rule of thumb, health insurance that meets 457 visa standards will also meet 485 visa requirements.


Source: Migration Alliance Newsletter.