Top 5 Tips for DIY Graduate Visa

Published on July 4, 2024

Top 5 Tips for DIY Graduate Visa

Graduate (subclass 485) visa plays a vital role for international students who have completed their studies in Australia and wish to proceed to other visas towards permanent residency.

Graduate visa allows recent graduates to gain the critical work experience which is a common requirement for many work and skilled visas.

As Accredited Specialists in Immigration Law (For more information about accredited specialists, please refer to: Difference between Registered Migration Agents VS Lawyers VS Accredited Immigration Specialist), we get various enquiries from international students and other migration agents crying for help with unsuccessful graduate visas.

The scariest thing about graduate visa is that quite often, we may not be able to ‘fix’ or appeal unsuccessful graduate visas, and hence AAT review is not the solution.

To avoid jeopardising your chances in getting your graduate visas, and wasting thousands of dollars, here are the top 5 tips for DIY graduate visas:

Tip 1:    Prepare and obtain your English Test before you graduate or complete your course

You must have a valid English test result before you apply the graduate visa – unless you hold a passport from exempt countries (United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland).

The required scores are as below:

IELTS | International English Language Testing SystemOverall score of at least 6.5 with a minimum score of 5.5 for each of the 4 parts
TOEFL iBT | Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based TestTotal score of at least 83 with a minimum score of:   7 for listening 8 for reading 18 for writing and 16 for speaking. (TOEFL iBT – only accepted if taken on or before 25 July 2023)
PTE Academic | Pearson Test of English AcademicOverall score of at least 57 with a minimum score of: 43 for listening 48 for reading 42 for speaking and 51 for writing.
OET | Occupational English TestAt least B for each of the 4 parts
Cambridge C1 Advanced testOverall at least 176 with a minimum score of at least 162 in each of the 4 test components

We strongly recommend that you start preparing for the English test as soon as possible, well before you complete your course. English test results are valid for one year.

If you start preparing your English test after you complete your course, but unable to get the required score in time, you are not eligible to be granted the graduate visa.

The law does not allow you to apply the visa first and then provide the test results after – irrespective of your personal circumstances.

Tip 2:    You can only apply AFTER the completion date

Identifying the actual completion date of your studies can be tricky. Just because you have completed your final exams or assignment, it does not necessarily mean that you have officially ‘completed’ your course.

The most appropriate way for you to check the officially completion date is by way of obtaining a “Completion Letter” from your education provider (school).

A typical completion letter details the following:

  • Name of course (including the course identifier reference)
  • Course start date
  • Course completion date

All printed on the school’s letterhead.

So, we strongly advise that you contact the school shortly after you complete your studies to obtain the completion letter.

Generally, the school will provide you with a completion letter before they issue your testamur/award and academic transcript.

For whatever reason, if you are unable to obtain an official completion letter, you may be able to use the eCoE or Confirmation of Enrolment to reference the original completion date.

Tip 3 |   Know the visa application time limitations

Graduate visa has two (2) time limitations.

You must apply the graduate visa within 6 months:

  • After the completion date; or
  • From the date of you last holding a student visa

You might think the 2nd limitation is strange but we see this preventing our clients from applying their graduate visa quite often.

Tip 4 |   Apply the correct police check before you apply your visa

You MUST have applied the correct police clearance before you apply the graduate visa.

The correct police clearance is from the Australian Federal Police.

Apply directly from their website here: AFP Application (

Choose the following for the ‘purpose’ of the check:

  • Commonwealth Employment/ Purpose
  • 33 – Immigration/Citizenship – for Supply to the Department of Home Affairs

You do not need to request for hard copy.

It should only cost you AUD $56+surcharge– so please do not use a 3rd party and waste your money.

After you make the payment, take a screenshot of the receipt page.

AFP will send you an email with the receipt in a few hours. It doesn’t come immediately, so you can be patient.

Tip 5 |   Apply the correct stream & check immigration’s website

You will be surprised to know how many people apply this graduate visa without realising that they are eligible for it.

Especially during COVID-19 pandemic, and even to now – there has been so many changes to the graduate visas.

Fully understanding the law and regulations has allowed us to apply and obtain our clients’ their 485 visas even though they were advised by their agents that was not possible.

graduate visa google review

We understand that you are more than capable and don’t want to spend money on lawyers – but you should consider investing a little for at least a 30-minute consultation session with us. Tell us that you are planning to lodge it yourself so that we can assess your eligibility and provide you with customised and specific information to help you apply the graduate visa yourself.

There are so many other things that you need to be aware of when it comes to graduate visas. So please take extra caution and speak to us – Kris Ahn Lawyers.

We help clients literally all over the world, so please feel free to call us on 02 7255 0101 or book in a consultation with us.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

The information provided in this blog post/article is for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create a representative-client relationship. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, the content may not reflect the most current legal developments or specific circumstances.

Do not rely solely on the information presented here – but please book in a consultation with us to see how you this information applies to you and may benefit you. Any reliance on the material in this post is at your own risk.

Australian immigration law is arguably one of the most complex laws in Australia. Seek professional legal advice tailored to your individual needs before making any decisions based on the content of this post.