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Did you hold a Student visa on 8 February 2010?

New web page for Student visa holders who were affected by the skilled migration reforms announced on 8 February 2010.



There is a new web page for current and former Student visa holders who held a Student visa on
8 February 2010, when the Australian Government announced the skilled migration reforms.

The new web page can be found here.


Increasingly in the years leading up to the reforms, the composition of the skilled migration program was being determined by those who wished to apply, rather than by labour market demand. A series of reforms were necessary to reposition the program as demand driven and able to respond better to Australia’s skilled labour needs.

One of the key changes was the withdrawal of the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) and the introduction of a new Skilled Occupation List (SOL). The SOL is a list of occupations that are eligible for independent, or unsponsored, skilled migration. The new SOL consists of 192 occupations, down from more than 400 on the old list, and delivers a skilled migration program that is tightly focused on high value skills that will assist in addressing Australia’s medium to long term skill needs.

When these reforms were announced, the Australian Government also announced generous transitional arrangements for those who held Student visas when the changes were announced. The new web page includes information about these transitional arrangements, as well as other information about extending a Student visa, and also information about the skilled migration program. We plan to expand the page with further information in the coming months.

It is important for students to be aware that the Student visa program and the skilled migration program serve different purposes. A Student visa allows a person to come to Australia and study for a specified period. On the other hand, the skilled migration program has an economic focus. It is designed to meet the needs of the Australian labour market and strengthen the whole economy. Because of this, the requirements for skilled migration may change depending on the economic circumstances of the time, and that is why students should study a course based on their academic interests, rather than to achieve a particular migration outcome.

Student visas are temporary visas, so students should be mindful of their visa expiry date so they can consider their options early. It takes time to apply for another visa, and if a person is unable to obtain another visa they must depart Australia before their Student visa expires. There can be serious consequences for overstaying a Student visa and becoming unlawful, including being unable to return to Australia for up to three years.

Some students might be thinking about lodging an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect when their student visa expires. An EOI is not the same as a visa application. It is an indication that a person would like to apply for a skilled migration visa, rather than an application itself. A Bridging visa will not be granted after submitting an EOI. If a person is not invited to apply for a skilled migration visa before their existing visa expires, they will need to obtain another visa or depart Australia.

Comments (6)


Hi. I m already on 485 visa and because of the reform on 8th feb 2010 I m not eligible to apply for PR.i applied for 485 on 9th march 2010.its one month different because of that I cant apply for PR.i want to know is there any chance I m eligible for transition arrangement?


Hi Vinnie,

Thanks for your question. From what you say, it appears that you are not eligible for the transitional arrangements that relate to 485 holders. The skilled migration reforms announced by the Australian Government on 8 February 2010 included transitional arrangements for people who were already in Australia studying on a Student visa and for people who had been granted, or applied for, a subclass 485 visa on that date.

You can find more information about eligibility for transitional arrangements on the Department’s website at http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/transitional/.


I am a graduated student and I have applied for my 485 visa last August, I am still waiting for it. However I will complete the one year work experience soon so I might be eligible for 885 visa. But one of the requirement is that I must hold an eligible visa. I guess I will be classified as :
"you hold a Bridging visa A or Bridging visa B after applying for any visa other than a non-eligible Student visa and have also held an eligible Student visa in the last six months"?

My Question is, as I have been waiting for my 485 for more than 7 months, will this make me not eligible? ie. in the last six months I have been holding a bridging visa as a result of awaiting for my 485.

Thanks a lot for your help!


Hi Shun-Cheng

As it has been more than 6 months since you held an eligible student visa, you will not be eligible to apply for the subclass 885 visa.

If your subclass 485 application is decided favourably, you will then be eligible to apply for a subclass 885 visa, so long as you meet all the other eligibility requirements in place at the time you apply.

Thanks for your question.


According to the webpage suggested, student visa holders on 8 February 2010 can apply for sub class 485 until 31 December 2012. What will happen afterwards? I am student visa holder 13 February 2012 but will not graduate before 31 December 2012 ? Will I be eligible to apply for post-study work visa under the new arrangement if I meet the requirements ?



You are correct, the transitional arrangements for people who held a student visa on 8 February 2010 ends on 31 December 2012.

After 31 December 2012, students who meet eligibility requirements will continue to apply for the subclass 485 visa, or the new post-study work visa when it becomes available in March 2013.

Legislation for the new post-study work visa is currently still under development and more information about the eligibility requirements will become available over the course of 2012.

Thank you for your question.