TIPS AND TRICKS to avoid a 485 visa rejection


The Temporary Graduate Work Visa is meant for international students who have completed about 2 years of study in higher education. There are 2 streams for this visa: Post study work visa and Graduate Entry stream. It’s valid for 18-24 months and gives you unrestricted work and travel rights. To read more about this visa CLICK HERE.

The 485 visa is often seen as a “pathway visa” towards Permanent residency in Australia. Hence the application in itself can be quite complex – please note, not difficult, but complex.

Based on our extensive experience we’ve prepared a list of tips and tricks you can use to avoid receiving a rejection and possibly also fast-track the processing time of your application.

1. Keep your documents ready:
Even before commencing the application, make a note of the mandatory documents and keep them ready in a folder. If you’d like to receive a comprehensive LIST OF DOCUMENTS, please email us on and we’d be happy to provide you with one.

Most documents such as passport, visa grant letter etc. are easy to procure. However certain document have either time or access restrictions. They are as follows:


1. Education Documents (Access restriction):
– Letter of completion
– Final Certificate
– Final transcripts

More often than not, the universities do not produce these on time before the student’s visa is about to expire. Hence its imperative that you email your university about this right after your results are out.

2. Medical check (Time restriction)
Your health check will typically be provided AFTER you submit your 485 application. Please note there’s a separate application for procuring your HAP ID.

3. Police Check (Time restriction)
The AFP clearance is also a separate application. Typically you should submit this application before lodging your visa, and if you don’t receive the actual certificate in time, you can use the “receipt number” at the time of visa lodgment. Thereafter, once you receive the Police clearance certificate, you can upload it on the portal or ask your agent to do so.
To read more about the police check CLICK HERE

4. English Exam (Time and access restriction)
English exams such as IELTS and PTE can be cumbersome. Firstly, there’s a long wait time to get a test date (2-5 weeks), thereafter it may take up to 1-2 weeks to get your result and just in case you don’t get the required score, you’ll have to re-take the exam and go through the whole process again. Hence its vital that you book your exam as soon as you finish your studies.

5. Health Insurance:
In Australia, you’re required to have an adequate health insurance at all times. During your student visa you’ll typically be on an OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover) whereas once you apply for a 485 work visa you will need to transition on and OVHC (Overseas Visitor Health Cover). At Path Migration, we help you take care of this step, hassle-free with no additional cost.

2. Duration of stay in Australia:
Ensure that the total duration of your stay in Australia is at least 16 months. This time must come under the commencement date and completion date of your course – Check your offer letter for the exact dates.
Contact an immigration lawyer such as Path Migration especially if you have completed your course early (due to exemptions etc.), completed your course late or have spent time overseas (over 8 weeks).

3. English Exam
Proof of English Language proficiency is essential to the 485 visa application. Many students leave this to the last minute resulting in a direct rejection of their visa. Main reasons being, there are long  waits (2-5 weeks) for simply getting an exam date; and if the student doesn’t get the required score they have to re-take the exam.
PLEASE NOTE: If you’ve done your exam and haven’t gotten the result at the time of visa lodgement, you can simply use the “receipt number” and upload the result document once you receive it.
To read more about the English Exams CLICK HERE

4. Choosing the right stream
The 485 visa has 2 streams- post study work visa and graduate entry stream (READ MORE). If you chose the wrong stream, you may risk your chances of getting a PR through the correct pathway. Essentially the main difference between the two streams is that Graduate work stream is for student’s who’s occupations are there on the skilled list (and thereby require a skills assessment) and Post study work visa is for students who’ve done courses that do not lead to any skilled occupation (thereby do not require a skills assessment).

Other differences include but are not limited to:
1. Validity:
PSWV is valid for 2-4 years depending on your completed qualification whereas GWV is valid only for 18 months.

2. Pathway to PR
In most cases students on GWV have a designated pathway to PR whereas PSWV has no “apparent” pathway.

3. Skills Assessment
As mentioned above, a skills assessment is required for GWS, hence the applicant must find an a but not for PSWV applicants.

4. Educational Qualification
You will only be eligible for a post-study work visa if you’ve completed a higher education course – such as a bachelors, masters or Phd. However, you may still be eligible for the graduate entry stream if you’ve completed a vocational training course such as a Certificate IV, Diploma etc. provided you can get a positive skills assessment.

5. Skills Assessment

Attention: Graduate Work Stream applicants!

a) Obtaining a skills assessment is mandatory only if you’re applying for the Graduate Work stream.

  1. b) You must nominate the correct occupation based on the course you’ve completed. This is important because once nominated, you can not change the occupation. Even if you get a rejection from the skills assessment body, you may re-apply but you still can’t change your occupation.
  2. c) At the time of your visa decision, you must have a positive skills assessment. Otherwise your visa application can be rejected – in which case you’ll need to appeal to the AAT for the grant of some more time till you get a positive outcome for your skills assessment.

    In case of rejection:

    In case your 485 visa application gets rejected and you are still onshore (in Australia), you may have to leave the country.

    As 485 visa is to be applied upon the completion of your course, chances are that by the time you receive an outcome (in this case rejection), your student visa would’ve expired and you most probably would be on a bridging visa.
    The law states that in case you’ve received a rejection for a substantial visa, while you’re on a bridging visa, you may NOT apply or re-apply for a substantial visa while you’re onshore.


Contact us on for a Free Assessment and advice on your options for migrating to Australia.


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NOTE: The information provided in this blog can not be construed as “legal advice”. You should not act based on the information provided here without consulting a registered MARA agent. Migration law is complex and changes very frequently, while we ensure our content is accurate, we can not vouch for how concurrent it is. To clarify any of your doubts call us on +61 2 8815 8135

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