Subclass 485 Replacement Stream
To slow down the spread of COVID-19, Australian government shut down its national border from March 2020, and it remained closed for around 2 years. Whilst this has indeed helped with pandemic control, a large number of Subclass 485 visa holders were stuck outside Australia.
Fortunately, the Department of Home Affairs have introduced a replacement stream for the graduate visa program, allowing visa holders to recover some lost time on their visas due to the pandemic.
Am I eligible?
To start with, you must be the primary Subclass 485 graduate visa holder. It can be either graduate work or post study work stream. You are not eligible if you are on your second graduate visa (post study work stream regional extension). This means the visa we are talking about here should be your very first Subclass 485 visa.
You can be either in or outside Australia. If you are in Australia, but are not holding a Subclass 485 visa at this stage, you must hold another substantive visa. If you are holding a bridging visa, it can only be Bridging Visa A or B.
With the above sorted, you will need take a trip down the memory lane:
Things you should check
- Your graduate visa should be granted before 15 December 2021
- Your graduate visa should be in effect on or after 1 February 2020
- You lost time on your SC485 visa due to closed border. The definition of ‘lost time’, in the context of SC485 replacement stream is:
- If your Subclass 485 graduate visa was approved when you were in Australia: you were outside Australia between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021
- If your Subclass 485 graduate visa was approved when you were outside Australia: you entered Australia on that visa, and then left on that visa before 15 December 2021
You should also continue to hold the required health insurance, and pass all health and character tests for this visa application. You can also include your family in this visa application.
When should I Apply?
You must apply for this visa before 1 January 2027.
The Subclass 485 replacement visa might be one of the best visa programs in years.
Upon approval, you will have the same validity period as your previous visa as a minimum. In some cases, your visa may even be longer. For example: If you are a master of coursework graduate, instead of getting the same 2-year Subclass 485 visa, your replacement stream visa will be 3 years, which is in line with the latest regulations. The same applies to Subclass 485 visa under the graduate work stream, which has been extended from 18 months from 2 years from July 2022.
With the additional time, you will be able to plan for your future in Australia again. You can study further, or try to look for a job that gives you relevant work experience. It will be extremely beneficial if you are trying to obtain Australian permanent residency.
Although the application deadline for Subclass 485 replacement is in 2027, you should still start plan your visa pathways as early as possible. So talk to VEVS Global and find out how you can reshape your future with this visa!