Post study work visa in Australia

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The ‘post study work visa’ allows Indian students to work in Australia after completing their Masters (MS, MBA etc), Bachelors or Doctoral (PhD) degree in Australia. Read this post to find out how you can be eligible for this visa once you complete your studies in Australia.

What are the eligibility criteria for the post study work visa?

It’s really quite simple. To be eligible for the post study work permit, international students must:

  •  Graduate with an ‘eligible qualification’, that is, one of the following:
    • a Bachelor or Bachelor (honours) qualification or
    • a Masters or Masters (extended) or Masters by research qualification or
    • a Doctoral (PhD) qualification
  •  Have at least two years of academic study in Australia at the Bachelors level or above (that is, at the Bachelors, Masters or PhD level)

An eligible qualification

There are two important things to note about the type of degree required for a visa under the ‘post study work’ stream. First, students who have completed academic programs that result in only Diploma qualifications are NOT eligible for the post study work visa. With just a Diploma you might, however, be eligible for a visa under the ‘Graduate Work’ stream. The post study work visa is one of two streams of the Temporary Graduate via (or subclass 485). The other stream is the Graduate Work stream details of which can be found here.

Second, the subject area or field of study does NOT affect the students’ eligibility for a post study work visa. You may complete a Bachelors, PhD or Masters in Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Professional Accounting or any other field – as long as it is a recognized Masters, Bachelors, PhD or MBA it doesn’t make a difference. You will still be eligible for the post study work visa provided your course meets all the other conditions.

Duration of study in Australia

The second criterion relates to the duration of the course. Students must have at least two years of academic study in Australia in order to be eligible for a post study work visa. You may get a single degree or multiple degrees but the total duration of your study must be at least two academic years.

For example: You may complete a Masters degree which is two years in duration to meet this requirement OR you may complete a Masters degree in one year followed by another one-year Masters degree and also be eligible.

Additionally, the course/courses needs to be completed in no less than 16 months.

Remember, only studies undertaken at the Bachelors level and above (that is, at the Bachelors, Masters or PhD level) AND that lead to an eligible degree (that is, a Bachelors, Masters or PhD) will be considered for the Australian study requirement under the post study work stream.

For example: If you did a Graduate Diploma in Engineering which led to a Masters in Engineering then you could use the duration of study for the Graduate Diploma as well as the duration of the Masters course towards meeting the Australian study requirement. However, if you got a Bachelors degree in Engineering followed only by a Graduate Diploma in Engineering then only the time for completion of the Bachelors course will be considered for the study requirement and not the time spent in the Graduate Diploma as it did not lead to an eligible qualification.

Things to note about the duration of study in Australian

When calculating the ‘two academic years of study’ only the standard duration of the course is considered. If you take longer to complete the course then you will only be credited with the standard duration.

For example: If the standard duration of the program is 1.5 years and you take 2 years to successfully graduate then you will only get credit for 1.5 years. Subjects in which you have failed will not be considered and credit is only given where you have successfully passed.

Finally, only courses that are registered on CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Course for Overseas Students) and completed at eligible universities or education providers in Australia that are accredited to offer such degrees will be considered. A list of popular Australian universities that are registered with CRICOS is provided at the end of this post.

Other considerations

The post study work visa was introduced by Australia in March 2013 and you will only be eligible for it if you received your first student visa on or after November 5th, 2011.

You will also need to be younger than 50 years old if you are applying for this visa and your studies in Australia need to have been completed while you are on a valid visa that allows you to study in Australia, such as, a valid student visa.

And finally, you need to meet the study requirements detailed in this post in the 6 months immediately prior to making the application for the post study work visa.

What is the duration of the work permit that is granted?

The duration of the work permit will depend of the type of degree you complete:

  •  Students who graduate with a Bachelors degree are eligible for a 2 year work visa.
  •  Students who graduate with a Masters by coursework degree are eligible for a 2 year work visa. (This is the regular Masters which is the course that most Indian students undertake.)
  •  Students who graduate with a Masters by Research degree are eligible for a 3 year work visa.
  •  Students who graduate with a Doctoral degree (or PhD) are eligible for a 4 year work visa.

Popular Australian universities that are registered with CRICOS (arranged in alphabetical order)

CRICOS provider code

Australian Catholic University


Australian National University


Bond University


Central Queensland University


Charles Darwin University


Charles Sturt University


Curtin University


Deakin University


Edith Cowan University


Federation University Australia


Flinders University


Griffith University


James Cook University


La Trobe University


Macquarie University


Monash University


Murdoch University


Queensland University of Technology


RMIT University


Southern Cross University


Swinburne University of Technology


University of Adelaide


University of Canberra


University of Melbourne


University of New England


University of New South Wales


University of Newcastle


University of Queensland


University of South Australia


University of Southern Queensland


University of Sydney


University of Tasmania


University of Technology, Sydney


University of the Sunshine Coast


University of Western Australia


University of Western Sydney


University of Wollongong


Victoria University


For more information on the post study work visa in Australia please visit the Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs website.

Akwaowo Akpan
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