Australian study requirement

All Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) applicants must satisfy the Australian study requirement in the six months immediately prior to making their application, regardless of the stream that they are assessed under.

You meet the Australian Study Requirement if you can satisfy us that you have completed one or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications for award by an Australian educational institution as a result of a course(s):

  • that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
  • for which all instruction was conducted in English
  • that were completed as a result of total of at least two academic years (92 weeks) study
  • that were completed in a total of at least 16 calendar months
  • that have been undertaken while you were in Australia as the holder of a visa authorising you to study.

 Acceptable courses

To meet this requirement, the course/courses must also:

English language proficiency courses or enabling programs cannot be used to meet the Australian study requirement.

Two academic years study

Two academic years study is defined as 92 weeks of study in a course or courses registered by CRICOS. CRICOS determines a standard duration (number of weeks) for each course.

Students may take longer to complete the course, but will only be credited with the number of weeks that CRICOS determines as a standard duration. For example, if it takes a student 92 weeks to successfully complete a course that CRICOS says should take 78 weeks, they will receive credit for 78 weeks only.

Only study that is successfully completed counts towards the two academic years. Failed subjects will not be considered.

Students may meet the two year academic study requirement when completing a course that is longer than two years. For example, if a course is CRICOS registered for 138 weeks (three years) and consists of 24 equally weighted units, two academic years will be met when 16 units of that course have been successfully completed.

Credits and exemptions

Credits for prior learning may reduce the amount of study undertaken. Credit granted on the basis of study undertaken in Australia in a course registered with CRICOS may contribute towards meeting the Australian study requirement, but only once.

The credited units cannot be counted towards meeting the Australian study requirement if they are already being used to meet the requirement as part of another course or if they were granted on the basis of study undertaken either overseas or within Australia in a non-CRICOS registered course.

Minimum of 16 months

The Australian study requirement cannot be met in less than 16 calendar months.

This period begins when the study commences (generally from the start of lectures and excluding orientation periods) to the date at which all academic requirements have been completed.

Overlap of qualifications

Students may undertake overlapping qualifications. For example, students applying under the Graduate Work stream of the subclass 485 visa may complete a Diploma in Finance and then a Diploma in Accounting where two units in the last qualification have been granted as credit from the earlier qualification.

Where qualifications overlap, periods of study cannot be counted more than once.

If a student completes more than one qualification, but uses only the most recent qualification to meet the Australian study requirement, then any credit received in the most recent qualification from the previous qualification(s) will count towards meeting the Australian study requirement.

The actual period of study within the previous qualification(s) on which the credits were based may also be used to meet the 16 month requirement.

Study outside Australia

If a student undertook some study overseas but nevertheless completed at least two academic years of study in no less than 16 months in Australia in a CRICOS registered course, they can still meet the Australian study requirement.
Example: An applicant who undertook a three year, six semester Bachelor degree following the study pattern mentioned below will have completed two academic years study in Australia:

  • semester 1 outside Australia
  • semester 2 in Australia
  • semester 3 in Australia
  • semester 4 in Australia
  • semester 5 outside Australia
  • semester 6 in Australia.

The pattern of study does not matter as long as the Australian study requirement is met.

Completion date

Subclass 485 visa applications must be lodged within six months of the date of course completion.

The date of course completion is the first date on which the educational institution publicly notifies the student that they have met the requirements for the award of their degree, diploma or trade qualification. This notification can occur by:

  • letter
  • publication in a newspaper
  • publication on the internet
  • email
  • bulletin board at the tertiary institution.

This date should not be confused with the date of conferral of award. The date of conferral is the date that the student actually receives their qualification, for example, at a graduation ceremony.