All about Post Study Work Permit in Australia
Every student planning to go outside India for his/her studies, does so with the hope of staying on in the country. Either permanently or at least for a couple of more years to gain meaningful work experience. In fact, if you do not have a job offer for you once you get back, it would be rather advisable to gain some work experience in the country. Australia, as a study abroad destination is rather famous for the ease of doing just that. The constant demand for skilled workforce in the continent country has boosted the education sector, which continues to attract and sustain international students and assimilate them within the country’s industry. But, as an international student, there are some ways and means of going about it. And a Post Study Work Permit is what you would need. So what is it and how do you get it?
An international student is accepted and allowed to study in a foreign country on what is called a Student Visa. This visa is categorically for the purpose of pursuing a course or undergo a vocational training. Once the course is over, however, the validity of the visa expires as well. This might happen immediately or after 6 months (according to the Student Visa Guidelines of the country.) After the same, a student must apply for and get a Work Permit to continue staying in the country for employment purposes. In Australia, students who have completed their studies in Australia can apply for a Post Study Work Permit or a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). This visa has replaced the earlier Skilled Graduate Visa (subclass 485) and came into effect from March 2013.
Kinds of Post Study Work Permits
The Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) has two streams or categories. The first being the Graduate Work Stream and the other being the Post Study Work Stream. The difference in the two is essentially the kind of qualification an international student has gained.
A Graduate Work Stream caters to international students who have completed the Australian Study Requirements and have an eligible qualification as well as skills pertinent to occupations listed on the Skills Occupation List (SOL). This generally would cater to students who apply for a Vocational Education and Training qualification and one of the TAFE institutes. This visa is granted for 18 months.
A Post Study Work Stream, on the other hand, is for international students who have completed the Australian Study Requirements and have gained either a bachelor’s, masters or a doctoral degree from a recognized Australian University. This visa is only available to students who applied and were granted a student visa for Australia on or after November 5, 2011. The tenure depends on the kind of degree you hold. For instance, a bachelor’s degree, a bachelor’s honours degree or a master’s course degree (a degree that does not have a linked industrial training) is valid for 2 years. A Masters with Research degree qualifies you for a Temporary Visa for up to 3 years and a Doctoral Degree makes you eligible for a Temporary Visa of 4 years.
Who can apply for this visa?
As an international student, you can apply for the same, not later than 6 months after completing your course. In other words, you must apply for this visa within 6 months of completing your course. To be eligible, you must meet the Australia Study requirements, which require a minimum of 16 months of stay and study in Australia and completion of a minimum 92 weeks of study of a course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). (This is easily available on the university website so it would be wise to check before you start!)
It is important to note that 92 weeks are how CRICOS sees it and not how long you take to complete a course. For instance, you took 92 weeks to complete a course which CRICOS thinks should take 74 weeks, then it would only count it as 74 weeks. Hence, extending your study is not the way to go about it! Also, it would be wise to keep in mind that they require a certain level of competence in the skill set. Apart from that, things like the recognition of the institution are also something you should check before you apply for a course with a plan of continuing to stay and work in Australia post your study.
Apart from the above, you have to have completed 18 years of age and should be less than 50, have an eligible visa and a health insurance in Australia. Apart from that, they would also require you to have a competent level of English as well as health and character certificates. It would do well to have these documents ready before you apply for the visa. The Department of Immigration & Border Protection would provide you with the details of the eligibility, actual cost and documents required. You can also register on the website and apply for the same.