The new details regarding the law for the 485 visa were recently released and our newsletter today will briefly examine the basic (but not all) requirements. Sadly DIAC seems determine to press on ahead regardless of the issues we raised in Volumes 228 and 235 and the negative effects it will have on many international students.
|The new Post Study Work Stream will require Graduation or Conferral of your degree|
When applying for the 485 Graduate Skilled visa applicants must nominate one of the streams of this new two stream system. The first issue of concern is that students will nominate the correct one and what will be consequences of the incorrect stream is chosen.
Common Criteria to both Streams
Applicants must now include the evidence that they have the minimum level of English required (Competent) at the time they lodge the application whereas previous rules only required that the applicant has competent English. DIAC explains this change as;
"The requirement to provide evidence reflects the practical reality that applicants should provide evidence to support their claim to satisfy a criterion. The amendment explicitly provides for that practical reality."
This means that you will have to attach evidence on the same day as you lodge, such as an IELTS test result that meets this basic requirement. Currently you can lodge a 485 application as long as you have sat the test.
Australian Federal Police Check
All applicants must ensure that the application is accompanied by evidence that the applicant and each person included in the application who is at least 16 has applied for an Australian Federal Police check during the 12 months immediately before the day when the application is made.
Applicants must ensure the application is accompanied by evidence that both the applicant and each person included in the application has made arrangements to undergo a medical examination for the purposes of the application. Current DIAC policy accepts the minimum requirement that a booking reference number is provided for this criteria.
Health Insurance Requirement
In the past is was a condition when the visa was granted that 485 visa holders maintained an adequate level of health insurance. Now this has been upgraded to;
"when the application was made, it was accompanied by evidence that the applicant had adequate arrangements in Australia for health insurance; and
the applicant has had adequate arrangements in Australia for health insurance since the time the application was made."
We can envisage that this will be a major reason many applicants may find themselves rejected for they have followed the example of many of their friends who applied for the 485 visa never having to show this evidence of medical insurance before. Since this provision must be evidenced on the same day you apply DIAC may not accept late excuses that I didn't know I needed health insurance so early.
DIAC explains the need of this provision to added in the new rules;
"The purpose of this amendment is to ensure that applicants for a Subclass 485 visa have adequate health insurance arrangements in Australia while their visa application is being decided. Non-citizens who hold such arrangements represent less of a cost to the Australian health system if they access services that are covered by their health insurance arrangements."
The new requirement will also mean that you will not be able to back pay your medical cover. You will have to show you are already covered on the day of lodgment.
"When the application is made"
This component retains the current provision of a time of application element as DIAC describes as meaning "when the application is made".
Applicants must ensure that this evidence is provided on the same day as the application is lodged. This means that in an online application a scanned copy of the evidence is attached online through the DIAC system no later than midnight of the same day it was lodged. Preferably you should attach the evidence straight after lodgment.
Graduate Work Stream
Students who chose this stream must nominate an occupation from the current Skilled Occupation List appropriate for this visa. Currently it is Schedule 1 of the CSOL but this may change.
Primary applicants must satisfy the Australian Study Requirement in the period of six months immediately before the day the application was made.
Primary applicants must ensure that each degree, diploma or trade qualification used to satisfy the Australian study requirement is closely related to the applicant's nominated skilled occupation.
Primary applicants have applied for an assessment of the applicant's skills for the nominated skilled occupation by a relevant assessing authority. The application must be accompanied by evidence that the applicant had applied for an assessment of the applicant's skills for the nominated skilled occupation by a relevant assessing authority. Evidence of the final positive skill assessment can be provided later during the applications processing.
Post Study Work Stream
Applicants for this stream do not need to nominate an occupation. The purpose of this new subdivision is to introduce a new stream into the Subclass 485 visa that does not require the applicant to have particular skills.
However the major catch in being eligible for this new stream is that the primary applicant must hold, or have held, a Student (Temporary) (Class TU) visa that was granted on the basis of an application made on or after 5 November 2011, and is or was the first Student (Temporary) (Class TU) visa that the applicant holds or had held. If the primary applicant fails to meet this criteria the application will be deemed not to have been valid.
This date refers to the introduction into student visas of the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) criterion. The GTE criterion requires that the Minister has no reason to believe that the applicant is not a genuine student.
Only students who studied at eligible educational institutions and at a specified academic level, derived from the Australia Qualification Framework, are eligible for the grant of a Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa in the Post-Study Work stream. DIAC states;
"The intention is that the qualifications will be a Bachelor degree, Bachelor degree with Honours, Masters by Coursework, Masters (Extended), Masters by Research or Doctoral degree from an eligible Australian educational institution."
In addition to this the applicant's study for the qualification or qualifications satisfied the Australian Study Requirement in the period of 6 months ending immediately before the day the application was made.