Transitioning from Student Visas to 485 Visas

The 485 Skilled Graduate Visa is a widely-held and sought-after visa. It allows temporary residents to live and work in Australia following the completion of their studies.

This visa has two streams:

  • Graduate Work stream – for international students who graduate with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation list. A visa in this stream is granted for 18 months.
  • Post-Study Work stream – for international students who graduate with an eligible qualification. This stream is only available to students who were granted their first Student visa to Australia on or after 5 November 2011. A visa in this stream can be granted for up to four years, depending on the qualification.

Applicants must be in Australia when applying for this visa.

On December 31 2012, Australia recorded a total of 38,210 485 Visa holders. This was an increase of 74.4% upon the previous year’s total of 21,910 485 Visa holders.

485 Visa








All international students studying in Australia are required to have health insurance as a stipulation of their student visas. This is similar to health insurance for 485 visa holders. In general, student health cover is less expensive than health cover for an adult. Upon being granted their student visas, international students will compare Australian health insurance policies, and make a purchase based on the suitability of the coverage and of course, the price.

However it is interesting to note that when transitioning from a student visa to a 485 visa, many temporary residents do not conduct the same comparative research in purchasing a new, non-student health insurance policy. It is common for policy holders to just transition from their existing student policy to one suited to their new visa, and remain with their existing provider.

It is recommended that international students transitioning to the 485 visa research the health insurance options available to them upon the completion of their studies, to ensure their new policy is suitable for their new visa and provides adequate coverage for the extended period they expect to stay in Australia.