Australia has extended post-study work rights for international students with select degrees to strengthen the pipeline to skilled work in Australia. Eligible international graduates will get work rights extensions ranging from two to six years on their Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485), depending on their degree level. The post-study work rights will be extended by:
- Two years to four years for select Bachelor degrees;
- Three years to five years for select Masters degrees; and
- Four years to six years for all doctoral qualifications.
The post-study work rights extension will aim to strengthen areas of verified skills shortage in Australia and allow international graduates to remain in the country for longer and support the local workforce. This extension will also be in addition to the existing one to two years of work rights applicable for eligible international students who study, live and work in regional areas. In addition to extending post-study work rights, the allowable work hours cap for international students will also be raised from 40 hours to 48 hours per fortnight.
The extension of post-study work rights and increase to the international student working hours cap will take effect from 1 July 2023. The decision to extend post-study work rights and raise working hours for international students comes following a report submitted to the Australian government by the Post-Study Work Rights Working Group on 28 October 2022. To implement this decision, Jobs and Skills Australia and the Department of Education developed lists of in-demand occupations and related qualifications. Although the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) will be extended by two to four years for select Bachelor degree graduates and by three to five years for select Masters degree graduates, all doctoral studies have been considered eligible for a four to six-year extension. Australia will publish a full list of eligible courses for the post-study work right extensions before the implementation date of 1 July 2023.