Post Study Work Stream Criteria for Regional Extension Visa 485 Grant

Subclass 485 Post Study work stream regional extension

Post Study Work Stream Criteria for Regional Extension Visa 485 Grant

Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa regional extension in post study stream.

Post Study Work Visa Stream Criteria for Regional Extension Visa Grant

From 20 January 2021, any holder of a first Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream who has lived (and worked or studied, if relevant) only in a designated regional area can apply for, and be granted, a second Subclass 485 visa (Regional extension) for up to two years if they meet the eligibility requirements.

The objective is to attract more international students to study in regional Australia and remain to live and work following graduation, and to provide greater incentives to study, live and work in less populated areas.

The term designated regional area is a reference to all of Australia other than Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane. Designated regional area is classified into two categories as: a designated city or major regional centre; or a regional centre or other regional area.

Designated City or Major Regional Centre classified as “Category 2”

Designated City or Major Regional Centre means: Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong / Illawarra, Geelong, and Hobart.

Designated Regional Area - Designated City or Major Regional Centre Postcodes (Table 1)

New South Wales - 2259, 2264 to 2308, 2500 to 2526, 2528 to 2535 and 2574.

Victoria - 3211 to 3232, 3235, 3240, 3328, 3330 to 3333, 3340 and 3342.

Queensland - 4207 to 4275, 4517 to 4519, 4550 to 4551, 4553 to 4562, 4564 to 4569 and 4571 to 4575.

Western Australia - 6000 to 6038, 6050 to 6083, 6090 to 6182, 6208 to 6211, 6214 and 6556 to 6558.

South Australia - 5000 to 5171, 5173 to 5174, 5231 to 5235, 5240 to 5252, 5351 and 5950 to 5960.

Tasmania - 7000, 7004 to 7026, 7030 to 7109, 7140 to 7151 and 7170 to 7177.

Australian Capital Territory - All postcodes in the Australian Capital Territory.

Regional Centre or Other Regional Area is classified as “Category 3”

Regional Centre or Other Regional Area means: All locations outside Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong / Illawarra, Geelong, and Hobart.

Designated Regional Area - Regional Centre or Other Regional Area Postcodes (Table 2)

New South Wales- 2250 to 2258, 2260 to 2263, 2311 to 2490, 2527, 2536 to 2551, 2575 to 2739, 2753 to 2754, 2756 to 2758 and 2773 to 2898.

Victoria - 3097 to 3099, 3139, 3233 to 3234, 3236 to 3239, 3241 to 3325, 3329, 3334, 3341, 3345 to 3424, 3430 to 3799, 3809 to 3909, 3912 to 3971 and 3978 to 3996.

Queensland - 4124 to 4125, 4133, 4183 to 4184, 4280 to 4287, 4306 to 4498, 4507, 4552, 4563, 4570 and 4580 to 4895.

Western Australia - All postcodes in Western Australia not mentioned in Table 1.

South Australia - All postcodes in South Australia not mentioned in Table 1.

Tasmania - All postcodes in Tasmania not mentioned in Table 1.

Northern Territory - All postcodes in the Northern Territory.

Norfolk Island - All postcodes in Norfolk Island.

Other territories - All postcodes in a Territory other than the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory or Norfolk Island.

While all Subclass 485 visa eligibility requirements must be met, under policy, greater time is to be allocated to assessing the study location of the applicant when they held a student visa and residence location while holding the first Subclass 485 visa, rather than where the applicant worked and/or studied (if relevant) on their first Subclass 485 visa.

Applicants for a second Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream (Regional extension) will only be entitled to a 2 year visa when they both studied (while on a student visa) and lived (while on their initial Subclass 485 visa) in a Category 3 (regional centre or other regional) area.

Regional Centre or Other Regional area - 485 Visa Valid for Two Years

Second Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream (Regional extension) is available for applicants who studied for their Australian qualification in a regional centre or other regional area. An applicant who satisfies the requirements is eligible for a two-year visa. An applicant who cannot satisfy all of these criteria may, as an alternative, be eligible for a one-year visa.

Establishing what postcodes are (and importantly, are not) in a regional centre or other regional area is critical to deciding whether an applicant for a second Subclass 485 visa satisfies the requirement.

Criteria for Two year grant of 485 Post Study Work Visa Australia

The criteria for the grant of a second Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream (Regional extension) that will be granted for two years are set out below:

• Applicant must hold the first Subclass 485 visa in the Post- Study Work stream when applying for the second Subclass 485 visa.

• The first Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream must have been granted as a result of study in a regional centre or other regional area at an educational institution located in that area and lived a regional centre or other regional area whilst undertaking that study.

The applicant must have undertaken the study, for the qualification that led to the grant of the first Subclass 485 visa, while living in a regional centre or other regional area, and the study must have been undertaken at a campus located in a regional centre or other regional area. For example, this criterion could be satisfied by living in Armidale and studying at the University of New England, Armidale. The intention is to maximise incentives for international students to live in a regional centre or other regional area and study at a campus located in that area. This could be a regional campus of an educational institution which has its headquarters elsewhere.

• Applicants and any family member making a combined application with the applicant must declare in the application that they intend to reside only in a regional centre or other regional area (and if the applicant or family member also intends to work or study —to work or study only in a regional centre or other regional area).

The purpose of the declaration is to reinforce the need for an ongoing commitment to live (and work or study, if relevant) in a regional centre or other regional area.

• Applicant must have lived only in a regional centre or other regional area for a period of at least two years immediately before applying for the second Subclass 485 visa. If the applicant also worked or studied, this also must have been undertaken only in a regional centre or other regional area for a period of at least 2 years immediately before applying for the second Subclass 485 visa.

Evidence of Residence for Post Study Work Visa

Proof of residence can include but is not limited to leases or rental agreements; utility bills such as telephone, gas, electricity or internet that show an applicant’s home address(es); any other evidence that demonstrates the applicant is resident in a regional centre or other regional area.

Periods spent outside a regional centre or other regional area

Short holidays during which the applicant visits an area that is not a regional centre or other regional area (for example - Sydney or travels overseas) do not detract from a period of residence.

For example, an applicant produces evidence that they have resided in a regional centre or other regional area immediately before they apply for a second Subclass 485 visa on 20 June 2021. During that time, they spent three weeks visiting friends in Brisbane. This length of absence is not inconsistent with continuing to reside in a regional centre or other regional area.

If the applicant worked or studied during that two year period, all of that work or study must have occurred in a regional centre or other regional area.

There is no obligation to work or study while holding the first Subclass 485 visa, but if the holder chooses to work or study during the two-year period, the work or study must be undertaken in a regional centre or other regional area. This criteria refers to where the person is physically located when working or studying.

Work for an employer located elsewhere and distance education from an educational institution located elsewhere

In determining whether the person is working or studying in a regional centre or other regional area the key is to establish where the person is physically located in relation to their usual place of work and/or study.

Employer based outside a regional centre or other regional area

The physical location of the person's employer is not conclusive. For example, the employer could be based in Sydney, or overseas, but be operating in a regional centre or other regional area through a local office or branch. If the visa holder is working in an office located in a regional centre or other regional area then they meet the work requirements of this paragraph. Similarly, working remotely from home whilst resident in a regional centre or other regional area meets the requirements of this paragraph.

Study in a regional centre or other regional area

Visa holders who are attending classes at an educational institution must do so at a campus that is located within a regional centre or other regional area, unless the study is undertaken by distance education. Study undertaken by distance education whilst the visa holder is residing in a regional centre or other regional area is acceptable.

At the time of decision on the application for the second Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream (Regional extension), the applicant must be living, (and if applicable, working or studying), only in a regional centre or other regional area).

This criterion provides an additional level of assurance about the commitment of the applicant to continue living, and if relevant, working or studying, only in a regional centre or other regional area while holding the second Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream. As noted above, this could include remote working from home for an employer located elsewhere and distance education from an educational institution located elsewhere.

There is no obligation to work or study while holding the first Subclass 485 visa, but if the holder chooses to work or study during the two-year period, the work or study must be undertaken in a regional centre or other regional area. This refers to where the person is physically located when working or studying.

Designated Regional Area - Visa Valid for One Year 485 Post Study Work

The Second Subclass 485 Visa in the Post Study Work Stream (Regional extension), valid for one year, for applicants who studied for their Australian qualification in a designated regional area and who do not meet the criteria for a two year visa. The practical effect of this criteria is that applicants who do not qualify for a two-year visa may be eligible for a one year visa if they studied in a designated regional area (those postcodes other than Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane), for the Australian qualification that lead to the grant of their first Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream; and while holding the first Subclass 485 visa, they must have also lived (and worked or studied, if relevant) only in a designated regional area for at least two years immediately before applying for the second Subclass 485 visa.

Criteria for one year grant of 485 Post Study Work Visa

The criteria for the grant of a second Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream (Regional extension) that will be granted for one year are set out below:

• Applicant must hold the first Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream when applying for the second Subclass 485 visa.

• The first Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream must have been granted as a result of study in a designated regional area at an educational institution located in that area and the applicant lived in a designated regional area whilst undertaking that study.

The applicant must have undertaken the study, for the qualification that led to the grant of the first Subclass 485 visa, while living in a designated regional area, and the study must have been undertaken at a campus located in a designated regional area.

• Applicant is not eligible for a Two year visa

The purpose of this requirement is to avoid any overlap arising from the fact that a person who meets the criteria for a two year visa would otherwise also meet the criteria for a one year visa. This ensures that if the person satisfies the criteria for the two year visa, they are not eligible for a one year visa.  

• Applicant must declare in the application for the second Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream (Regional extension) that the applicant, and any family member making a combined application with the applicant, intend to live only in a designated regional area and, if the applicant or family member also intends to work or study —to work or study only in a designated regional area.

The purpose of the declaration on the application form is to reinforce the need for an ongoing commitment to live (and work or study, if relevant) in a designated regional area.

• Applicant must have lived only in a designated regional area for a period of at least two years immediately before applying for the second Subclass 485 visa.

Evidence of residence for 485 Post Study Work Stream

Proof of residence can include but is not limited to leases or rental agreements; utility bills such as telephone, gas, electricity or internet that show an applicant’s home address(es); any other evidence that demonstrates the applicant is resident in a regional centre or other regional area.

Periods spent outside a designated regional area

Short holidays during which the applicant visits an area that is not a designated regional area (for example - Sydney or travels overseas) do not detract from a period of residence. For example, an applicant produces evidence that they have resided in a designated regional area immediately before they apply for a second Subclass 485 visa on 20 June 2021. During that time they spent three weeks visiting friends in Sydney. This length of absence is not inconsistent with continuing to reside in a designated regional area.  

• If the applicant worked or studied during that two year period, all of that work or study must have occurred in a designated regional area.

There is no obligation to work or study as the holder of the first Subclass 485 visa, but if the holder chooses to work or study, the work or study must be undertaken in a designated regional area. Remote work for an employer who is not located in a designated regional area is permitted, as is distance education from an educational institution located outside a designated regional area.

Work for an employer located elsewhere and distance education from an educational institution located elsewhere

In determining whether the person is working or studying in a designated regional area the key is to establish where the person is physically located in relation to their usual place of work and/or study. Where officers are able to establish that the person's usual place of work and/or study is in a designated regional area, the person has met the requirements of this criterion.

Employer based outside a designated regional area

The physical location of the person's employer is not conclusive. For example, the employer could be based in Sydney, or overseas, but be operating in a designated regional area through a local office or branch. If the visa holder is working in an office located in a designated regional area then they meet the work requirements of this paragraph. Similarly, working remotely from home in a designated regional area meets the requirements of paragraph.

Study in a designated regional area

Visa holders who are attending classes at an education provider must do so at a provider that is located within a designated regional area.

Study undertaken by distance education whilst resident in a designated regional area is acceptable.

• At the time of decision on the application for the second Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream (Regional extension), the applicant must continue to be living, and if relevant, working or studying, only in a designated regional area.

This criterion provides an additional level of assurance about the commitment of the applicant to remain in a designated regional area while holding the second Subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream.

Disclaimer: ‘Atlantis International Pty Ltd’ and its associates are independent consulting entities which are not associated in anyway with the Australian ‘Department of Home Affairs’ (DOHA). Information on this website does not constitute personal migration advice. For a customized migration advice based on your personal circumstances, please call and talk to one of our Immigration Consultants or register your interest with our Associates.