International Students who study in Western Australia will often want to spend additional time in Australia at the successful completion of their studies.

The available options include:

  1. Visitor visa (subclass 600)

This visa is suitable for international students who wish to spend a few extra weeks or months travelling around Australia before they go home or simply remain in Australia until their graduation. The subclass 600 visa can be applied for in Australia or from overseas.

Visitor visa applicants are required to satisfy a number of visa requirements, which include demonstrating that the visitor visa applicant is a genuine visitor who intends to stay temporarily in Australia.

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  1. Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) Graduate Work stream

This temporary visa is for international students under 50 years of age who have recently graduated with skills and qualifications that are relevant to specific occupations listed on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List and can also meet the relevant visa requirements.

Applying for a subclass 485 visa (graduate work stream) can be quite complicated.

The visa requirements are set out on the Department of Home Affairs website. Please read these requirements carefully and consider getting professional advice if you have concerns.


  1. Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) Post-Study Work stream

This temporary visa is for international students under 50 years of age who have recently graduated with a degree from an Australian university and can meet the visa requirements, as set out on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Although the visa application process is relatively straightforward, it is important to work out which supporting documents MUST be available and supplied at the time of application.


  1. Training visa (subclass 407)

International students who are not eligible to apply for a temporary graduate visa might like to find out more about the training visa.

Training visas are temporary visas that can be granted for up to 2 years to enable someone to complete a workplace-based training program or a professional development training program. Applicants for this visa must have an approved sponsor and be nominated.

Training visas can be useful in circumstances where work-based training is required in order to achieve mandatory occupational registration, membership or licensing.

The current list of occupations that can be used in connection with an application for a training visa can be found here.


  1. Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (subclass 482) (TSS visa)

The TSS visa replaced the 457 visa in March 2018.

The majority of international students will be unable to apply for a TSS visa at the completion of their studies. This is because an international student is required to have worked in their nominated occupation for at least 2 years after successfully completing their studies.

In some instances, experienced gained as part of a Masters and/or PHD, may count as work experience for a related occupation. Similarly, experience gained whilst studying, through a formal arrangement (for example, a clinical/industry placement, internship or apprenticeship) or gained in other fields, such as the performing arts or other niche or generalist occupations may also count as work experience. It all depends on the facts!


Visa Pathways

It is not unusual for an international student to apply for and be granted a series of temporary visas to facilitate their stay in Australia. A student’s visa history might look like this:

  • Student visa (subclass 500) – 12 months English studies plus 3 year Bachelor Degree OR
  • Student visa (subclass 500) – 12 months English studies plus 2 year Master’s Degree
  • Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) post study work stream (2 years)
  • Temporary Skills Shortage visa (subclass 482) ( 1 – 4 years)

A large number of international student graduates will return to their home country once they have successfully completed their studies and gained valuable post study work experience in Western Australia (or elsewhere in Australia). Some international students and graduates are keen to explore their potential pathway to permanent residence.