Subclass 485 Visa Changes From 18th April 2015

On the 18/04/2015 there will be changes made to the subclass 485 visa (485 graduate visa) based on reviews of the program to improve two key aspects.

1) Health Requirement

In the past when applying for the subclass 485 visa the applicant needed to show proof that they had “made arrangements” for undertaking medicals. This means that health declarations must be completed prior to the BUPA medical examination.

From the 18th of April this requirement will be removed.

In simple terms:

  • Applicants can undertake medicals after lodgement of their 485 visa application.
  • There is no need to show evidence of having booked a medical prior to lodgement

Often having to show evidence of arrangements of a medical was either overlooked or delayed applications so this will help speed up the application process.

There are no changes to condition 8501 which requires adequate health insurance arrangements be made (also terms 485 visa health insurance).

2) Changes To The English Language Requirements

In the past when making an application for the subclass 485 visa you must show that you have “competent English”.This can be by:

a) Providing that you come from a country that primarily speaks English. These are USA, The United Kingdom, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland or Canada. You must be a citizen of one of these countries as proven by a valid passport.

b) Passing an approved English test such as IELTS and receiving a minimum score of at least 6 across the bands.

New Change 

New legislation will move away from the definition of “competent English”  and rather will be specified by legislative instruments.

In simple terms:

  • A minimum IELTS score of 6 will most likely be reduce to either 5 or 5.5.

It is expected this will improve the pass rate of this test by 485 visa applicants. This change will apply for both streams of the 485 visa (post study work visa & 18 month Graduate Work stream).

Conclusion About Their 485 Visa Changes

Over several years the government has made several changes to the 485 visa program often making applications more complicated. The current government appears to understand this and is implementing logical changes (including the two above) to simplify the visa and enable more overseas students to apply for it.

Full changes can be read here Migration Amendment (2015 Measures No. 1) Regulation 2015

485 Visa Changes 2015