Being granted your Subclass 485 Graduate Visa can be an exciting time. For most visa holders, it means you have recently completed a degree or master in Australia and have now been granted a temporary visa for two years.
Whilst two years may seem like a long time to try and explore your visa options and secure a pathway to residency, most visa holders fail to understand the complexity and process surrounding the independent visa options.
We are constantly contacted by 485 Visa holders who have been unable to find a suitable visa options prior to the expiry of their graduate visa. Below we will provide you with some tips to ensure you do not waste valuable time to explore your options as early as possible.
Step 1 – Identify your Occupation
Whilst there is a range of skilled and employer sponsored visa options, all of them require you to nominate an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List.
Nominating the correct occupation is the most important step to take as it could mean the difference between securing an invitation or remaining on the waiting list for years.
Things to consider when trying to pick the correct occupation is:
- Which ‘List’ does the occupation fall on. All occupations are categorised across three different lists and this determines which visa subclasses are available to you;
- Do you have the appropriate level of qualification for this occupation?
- Do you meet the requirements for the Skills Assessment? In order to obtain most permanent skilled visa’s, you will require a Skills Assessment from the relevant authority depending on your occupation. Ensuring you meet the criteria for the skills assessment early on will ensure you do not go down the wrong path from the beginning.
- Which states or territories are nominating for this occupation and is it deemed as critical or in demand?
Understanding the answers to these questions is the crucial first step in securing your next skilled visa.
Step 2 – Calculate your Points
Understanding the points system across the different visa categories will also enable you to calculate how many points you are currently sitting on. This means you can use the time remaining on your graduate visa to increase your points by undertaking the following types of activities:
- Re-sit your English test to improve you marks.
- Undertake relevant skilled employment.
- Undertake a professional year or accredited language program.
Step 3 – Understand the Invitation System
A big misconception that Graduate Visa holders have is that they assume with the correct amount of points and a positive skills assessment, a skilled visa is ‘just a matter of time’.
Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that ALL skilled independent visa’s will require you to be invited by the Department of Home Affairs. This invitation is issued to people who have submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) and have been selected by the Department for an invitation. The reality however is that most people who have lodged an EOI may not receive an invitation before the expiry of their graduate visa and are then forced to explore alternative visa options such as returning to a student visa or even to their home country.
Get Advice Early
It is therefore crucial that you seek professional advice as early as possible to ensure that the time you have on your graduate visa is not wasted given the lengthy and difficult steps required to simply request an invitation through your EOI.
If you have recently completed your studies or already hold a Subclass 485 visa, we encourage you to contact our office and speak to our registered migration agents and immigration lawyers to receive tailored advice on how to manage the time remaining on your graduate visa to ensure the best possible pathway to residency in Australia.