The recent changes to the 485 visa have kicked off quite a discussion in the migration industry.
This may have resulted in many questions popping into your head; What are these changes and what do they mean for you?
Here's an easy to read summary of everything you need to know of these changes and advice from our Principal Migration Agent!
The second 485 visa was introduced with a validity of up to 2 additional years subject to meeting certain criteria.
Extension of your 485 visa (Post Study Work Stream only) now possible for up to 2 years
Lifetime limit of x2 485 visas (only for Post Study Work stream holders)
Residency requirements introduced that determine eligibility of your second 485 visa
English proficiency and a new AFP are not required for the second 485 visa
When: These changes came into effect as of 20th January 2021
These changes reflect the push by the Australian government to incentivise people to live and study outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
"What do you mean by regional Australia and what are the benefits?"
Australian cities and regions have been categorised into different tiers. Your second 485 eligibility is determined by the city/region you have lived and studied at. The Tier categories are as follows:
"Am I eligible to apply for a second 485?"
You may be eligible for the second 485 provided:
You're first 485 Post Study Work stream visa is still active – this means that you must apply for your second 485 before it expires
You have lived and studied in eligible Tier 2 or Tier 3 regions for at least 2 years before applying for your second 485 visa
You and your family members commit to continue living, studying and working only in the Tier 2 or Tier 3 region
"I'm a secondary applicant on my partner's 485 visa, does this mean I can't apply for my own 485 visa?"
Recently there has been a lot of chatter around this topic. With misunderstandings that a secondary applicant on a 485 visa can't apply as a primary applicant for a 485 visa in the future. However, the department has confirmed that this was not the intent and their website has been updated with additional clarification reflecting this.
This means that if you've previously held a 485 visa as a secondary visa holder you are still eligible to apply for a 485 visa as a primary applicant in the future.
Advice from our Principal Migration Agent:
While historically immigrants have looked to settle in the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, it is now a good time to explore other options such as other capital cities or regional towns as you may qualify for the second 485 visa.
This could ultimately strengthen your chances of obtaining PR through General Skilled Migration, because you'll have more time to meet the state nomination requirements, which is essential for PR these days. Pursuing state nomination would likely take you to areas which are eligible for the 2nd 485 visa anyway.
In summary, the changes to the 485 are a positive change for applicants as it provides options for longer stay without costing secondary applicants of Post Study Work their own 485.
Want professional advice on your eligibility for the second 485 visa?
Book in for a consultation to speak 1-to-1 with our migration experts today for that extra peace-of-mind!