From 1 July 2023, Temporary Graduate visa holders in the Post-Study Work stream (TGV) who completed a ‘select degree’ can apply to extend their visa at no cost.
How long is the extension?
The extension is for an additional 2 years, meaning the visa is extended from:
- Two years to four years for select Bachelor degrees;
- Three to four years for select Masters degrees;
- Four to six years for all Doctoral degrees.
The two-year extension is in addition to the original TGV’s expiry date. So, for example, a TGV expiring on 1 July 2023 can be extended to 1 July 2025.
This extension is in addition to the existing additional one to two years for students who study, live and work in regional Australia.
What are the select degrees?
To be eligible, visa holders must have graduated from an Australian higher education provider with specified qualifications that are in high demand.
Overall, the select degrees currently include those across medicine, health care, engineering, and information technology. All doctorate degrees are included.
The Australian Government has now released the full list of 3,264 qualifications that are eligible in Legislative Instrument LIN 23/048.
What are the other requirements?
In addition to having completed a select degree, you must have either:
- held a TGV (Post-Study Work stream) on 1 July 2023; or
- lodged an application for a TGV (Post-Study Work stream) by 1 July 2023; or
- lodge an application for a TGV (Post-Study Work stream) after 1 July 2023.
If submitting your very first TGV application in the Post-Study Work stream, it is critical to address the usual eligibility criteria including that:
- You have completed the Australian Study Requirement in the previous 6 months;
- You have undertaken an appropriate language test in the previous 3 years;
- You have applied for an Australian Federal Police Clearance in the previous 12 months; and
- You have adequate arrangements for health insurance.
If you already hold the TGV and are only seeking to apply for an extension, you are not required to meet the Australian Study Requirement, AFP Clearance, and language test requirements (you met this in the original application). However, you are still required to show evidence of adequate arrangements for health insurance, and so should ensure your Overseas Visitor Health Cover (or Reciprocal Medicare) is ongoing.
What if my Temporary Graduate visa has already expired?
If your TGV expired before 1 July 2023, but you do hold an eligible qualification, you can still apply for this extension. However, you will be granted a two-year Temporary Activity Australian Government Endorsed Events (COVID-19 Pandemic Event) visa (subclass 408) instead.
You may also be eligible for a two-year Temporary Activity Australian Government Endorsed Events (COVID-19 Pandemic event) visa (subclass 408) if:
- You were granted a TGV (Post-Study Work stream) before 15 December 2021, and
- The visa took effect on or after 1 February 2020, and
- You were in Australia for the whole time that your visa was in effect between 1 February 2020 and 15 December 2021, and
- You hold an eligible qualification.
How do I apply?
Those who are still awaiting the processing of their first TGV lodged from 1 July 2023 will receive the additional 2 years automatically. Those who already held a TGV on or before 1 July 2023 need to make a separate application through the Immi Account.
These changes are an equitable way of ensuring that Australian graduates have an opportunity to work in Australia and gain quality work experience, and also produce realistic pathways to progress to longer (or permanent) stays in Australia. Hannan Tew Lawyers have assisted numerous international students with Graduate 485 visas, and other employer sponsored or independent options to extend residence in Australia. Please feel free to contact us by email at [email protected] or phone +61 3 9016 0484 if you would like assistance.