What to do when you graduate - your options for staying in Australia

You may be reaching towards the end of your studies, or have already graduated from your studies in Australia. All of those years of hard work have paid off, but what do you want to do now?

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - OSHC What To Do When You Graduate

Whether you’re thinking about staying in Australia for the short to medium term, or maybe even if you’re on the road to permanent residency, there are a number of options available for you to extend your stay in Australia:

  1. Gain employment in Australia
  2. Extend your studies or commence new studies
  3. Have a holiday in Australia
  4. Go on a working holiday, or
  5. Permanently migrate to Australia.

We’ll go into more detail on these options below.

1. Gain Employment in Australia

There are a number of temporary working visas that are available for you to stay in Australia if you decide to transition to working here.

Some of the temporary work visas granted by the Australian Government include the following:

In particular, the 485 Temporary Graduate Visa permits international students, who have recently graduated from an Australian educational institution to live, study and work in Australia temporarily. This visa is granted to students with skills and qualifications that relate to occupations with medium to long term needs in the Australian labour market.

Or you might be successful in gaining employment after graduation and have applied for a temporary working visa like the Skilled Recognised Graduate visa (subclass 476) or Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482). You can find out more about the skills that are required at the relevant visa page at the Department of Home Affairs website.

For more information on finding employment in Australia, see more at the following pages:

2. Extend or Commence New Studies

You may wish to undertake Honours or a PhD in your field of study, or study a new discipline altogether. As with the requirements of your existing Student visa, your course will need to be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Regardless of what you decide, if you’re considering extending your existing student visa or applying for a new one, you’ll need to extend your OSHC policy before you apply for your next student visa.

You can also study short term at certain colleges and TAFE on a Working Holiday Visa, which is described further below.

For more information about student visas, see more at our page on Student Visas in Australia.

3. Have a Holiday in Australia

Once you have graduated, you may wish to have a holiday in Australia before you go back to your home country. If you wish to have an extended holiday after your studies for up to 12 months, the 600 Visitor visa may be suitable for you. This visa is more flexible for longer stays within Australia. The main difference with this visa is that you can apply online if you are already in Australia if you currently have a valid visa that does not have ‘No Further Stay’ condition 8503 imposed.

Otherwise, if you are residing outside of Australia, there are the 601 Electronic Travel Authority visa and the 651 eVisitor visa available if you’re a citizen of an eligible country. These tourist visas allow you to visit Australia for three months per visit and allow you to enter Australia on multiple occasions within 12 months from the date the visa is granted.

As with all Visitor visas, you will not be able to undertake work in Australia as they are tourist visas only.

4. Go On A Working Holiday

After completing your studies, you may want to go travelling around Australia and explore the cities and the wide open spaces further whilst supplementing your income in occupations such as bar work or fruit picking.

You might want to explore outback Australia, see Australia’s hidden gems, and walk on some of Australia’s best beaches. If you are from a list of eligible countries, you could apply for a Working Holiday Visa like the 417 Working Holiday Visa, and the 462 Work and Holiday Visa. You can find out more if you’re from an eligible country at the Department of Home Affairs website.

For more detailed information on having a working holiday, see more on our page on Working Holiday Visas in Australia

5. Permanent Migration

To become an Australian permanent resident, prospective immigrants can apply under the migration program or the humanitarian program. Migrants can apply for permanent residency in Australia under various different permanent visas.

There are yearly allocations for Australia’s permanent migration program, which include streams such skilled and family migrants.  You can view more information about migrating permanently to Australia at the Department of Home Affairs website.

For more information, please see our page on Immigrating to Australia.

Health Insurance in Australia – Overseas Visitors and Students

Our Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) includes cover for a range of medical services and expenses to help you stay healthy during your stay. It also meets visa condition 8501 for the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) and Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485).

Allianz Global Assistance also provides Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which meets the relevant Government health insurance requirements in relation to the Student visa (subclass 500), where the primary reason for being in Australia is to study.

Your OSHC cover

Other Resources

For more information on student and working life in Australia, please refer to:

You may also wish to consider talking to a migration agent to find out more information about your options after completing your studies as the process can be complicated and they will be able to guide you. The Department of Home Affairs has a Register of Migration Agents available for you to search for one.

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