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Charting Your Path: All You Need to Know About Post-Study Work in Australia

Oct 18, 2023

Australia, with its rich landscapes and vibrant cities, promises more than a globally recognized educational experience. The post-study work visa Australia offers is a beacon for international students, providing them a golden opportunity to transition seamlessly from student life to a professional career there. In this blog, we will delve into the nuances of this visa, its benefits, and how it can be the key to unlocking numerous doors in Australia’s dynamic job market.

Understanding the Post-Study Work Visa

Navigating the Australian education system can be both exhilarating and intricate. After completing the educational journey, many international students aim to capitalize on their Australian degree by working in the country. The post-study work visa Australia offers is pivotal in this endeavor. This visa is mainly categorized into two primary streams:

Visa SubclassPurpose
Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485)Designed for international graduates, allowing them to live, study, and work in Australia after finishing their studies.
Skilled Recognized Graduate Visa (Subclass 476)Exclusively for engineering graduates, offering them an 18-month visa to gain work experience in Australia.

While both visa subclasses cater to graduates, they have different requirements and benefits. As such, understanding each, alongside the intricacies of the broader Australian education landscape, is essential for any international student planning to extend their stay.

Eligibility Criteria

Gearing up for a post-study work visa Australia offers means crossing some essential milestones. Firstly, your course must be CRICOS-registered, ensuring it aligns with Australian quality standards. Your education provider, typically a recognized Australian institution, plays a significant role in your visa’s success. Typically, for a post-study work visa in Australia, students must complete at least two academic years (92 weeks) of study, and the course duration should be no less than 16 calendar months.


For instance, if you’re a student who has completed a Master’s in IT from the University of Sydney or a Bachelor’s in Business from Monash University, you would likely meet the educational institution criterion. Moreover, other fundamental requisites include adequate health insurance, proficiency in English, and ensuring you apply within six months of your course completion. Staying updated and meticulous about these criteria can streamline your visa application process.

Duration and Validity

The post-study work visa Australia offers is more than one-size-fits-all. Instead, it varies based on the degree or qualification you’ve earned. For those with bachelor’s or master’s coursework degrees, you can expect a visa valid for two years. On the other hand, students who’ve pursued a master’s by research degree can enjoy a 3-year visa. If you’ve embarked on the rigorous journey of a doctoral degree, you’re looking at a visa validity of 4 years.


For instance, if you have completed a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne, you typically have two years under the post-study work Australia allows. Meanwhile, a Doctorate in Engineering from Australian National University might grant you four years. Knowing these variations is essential to plan your future accordingly, maximizing the benefits of the visa’s duration. This approach ensures international students can capitalize on Australia’s opportunities without rushing their career choices.

Application Process

Securing a post-study work visa Australia necessitates a clear understanding of the application process. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown to guide international students:

  1. Eligibility Check: Before you begin, ensure you meet the visa requirements. It involves course type, duration, and the reputation of your educational institution.
  2. Document Assembly:
  • Academic transcripts and graduation certificate
  • Passport bio-data page
  • Evidence of health insurance in Australia
  • Other relevant documents are based on individual circumstances (e.g., character certificate).
  1. Visa Application: Submit your application via the Department of Home Affairs online portal. Remember, accurate and complete information is paramount.
  2. Application Fee: An application fee varies depending on individual circumstances. Ensure timely payment to avoid delays.
  3. Health Examination: Some applicants might be requested to undergo a health checkup. If asked, it’s crucial to complete this within the specified timeline.
  4. Await Decision: You’ll be assigned a case officer once the application is submitted. It’s essential to respond promptly to any additional information they might request.
  5. Visa Grant: If successful, you’ll receive a visa grant notification detailing the visa type, expiry date, and visa conditions.

It’s advisable to start the application process well in advance, considering intakes in Australia and the potential waiting period.

Work Opportunities During the Post-Study Work Period

Possessing a post-study work visa Australia opens many doors in the professional arena. From IT to healthcare, the fields are vast, with employers keen to hire talented individuals who’ve benefited from the Australian education system. Cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane are hotspots for thriving businesses and startups.


For instance, an IT graduate might find opportunities in tech giants like Atlassian or Canva. Meanwhile, business graduates might look towards banking with firms like Commonwealth Bank or Westpac. Given the sector’s consistent demand, those in the health sciences could be absorbed into health services nationwide. This visa period is also an excellent opportunity for international students to gain hands-on experience, network with industry professionals, and secure a longer-term position in their chosen field. The horizon is broad; the passion to explore and seize the right opportunity is all required.

Intakes and Planning for Post-Study Work Visa

Understanding the intakes in Australia is pivotal to this planning. Australian universities typically offer two major intakes: February and July, with some institutions offering an additional intake in November. For instance, if you opt for the February intake, you’d likely graduate early in the year, giving you ample time to prepare for the visa application process, which usually sees fewer rush periods. Moreover, it’s essential to be mindful of the graduation date. The post-study work visa Australia requires applicants to apply within six months of course completion. Therefore, understanding when you’ll receive your course completion documents is crucial. International students should also factor in the potential processing time for the visa and any other prerequisites they need to fulfill. Some students may opt for courses with internships or industry placements that could affect their graduation date. To maximize the benefits of the post-study work visa, it’s crucial to harmonize your academic calendar with your visa aspirations.


Role of the Australian Education System

From the get-go, Australian universities and colleges recognize the aspirations of international students to gain work experience in the country post-study. Therefore, many institutions have dedicated global student support centers that provide workshops, seminars, and one-on-one counseling sessions to elucidate the nuances of the post-study work visa Australia. Beyond theoretical knowledge, universities often collaborate with local businesses, industries, and corporations to offer internship programs, ensuring students gain relevant work experience that could be beneficial when they transition to the professional world under the post-study work visa. For example, the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne have extensive career support services that guide students in their post-study journey. These services provide visa-related guidance and assist with job search strategies, networking opportunities, and resume building. In essence, the Australian education system is meticulously crafted to ensure international students aren’t just educated and well-prepared for their future careers in the country.

Recent Updates and Changes

The post-study work visa Australia landscape has seen modifications over time, often to adapt to the evolving socio-economic conditions and the global environment. For instance, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia introduced flexible visa arrangements to support international students. Students affected by travel restrictions were permitted to lodge a further student visa application free of charge, and those who were studying online outside Australia due to the pandemic had that study count towards the Australian study requirement. Another update pertained to the regional locations where students could work to gain additional points for general skilled migration. It aimed to promote regional education, benefiting students and the respective regions. Moreover, institutions like the University of Queensland and the University of Adelaide regularly communicate these updates to their international student community. Aspiring students should ensure they consult both official sources and their educational institutions to grasp the most recent and relevant changes in visa policies.



Embarking on an academic journey in Australia holds more promise than just world-class education; it offers a chance to transition seamlessly into a global career. The post-study work visa Australia provides international students an invaluable opportunity to gain professional experience and immerse themselves in the Australian work culture. Plan your course and stay updated with visa policies to make the most of your Australian adventure, both in and out of the classroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I switch employers on a post-study work visa in Australia?

The post-study work visa does not tie you to a specific employer. You have the flexibility to change jobs.

Do internships count as part of the work experience on the post-study work visa?

Yes, internships, even unpaid ones, can count as work experience, provided they are in your field of study.

Can I apply for permanent residency after my post-study work visa ends?

Yes, gaining Australian work experience on this visa can be beneficial if you apply for certain types of permanent residency.

Can I pursue further studies while on a post-study work visa?

The primary purpose is work, but you can study for a short course. However, you’d need a student visa for a new degree or a long-term period.

Does the post-study work visa allow me to start my own business in Australia?

While you can generally work in any role, starting a business involves more considerations. You’d need to check specific business visa requirements and conditions.

Post Study Work Visa Australia


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