Australian Government Announces Significant Changes to Temporary Graduate Visa Programs

Melbourne, VICIn a move aimed at recalibrating its migration strategy, the Australian Government has unveiled sweeping reforms to its Temporary Graduate visa programs, slated to take effect from July 1, 2024, pending legislative approval.

These alterations, outlined in the Migration Strategy, signal a paradigm shift in the eligibility criteria and duration of stay for international graduates seeking employment opportunities in Australia. However, amidst the reforms aimed at streamlining pathways for international graduates, a stringent age limit rule has emerged, casting a shadow over the aspirations of many prospective applicants.

Under the revamped scheme, the Graduate Work stream will be rechristened as the Post-Vocational Education Workstream, aligning with its focus on vocational qualifications. Notably, the maximum age limit for applicants in this stream will be reduced to 35 years, except for Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders, who remain eligible up to the age of 50.

In a bid to streamline the visa pathway, individuals with degree-level qualifications will now be directed to the Post-Higher Education Workstream. Concurrently, the maximum duration of stay under the Post-Vocational Education Workstream will be capped at 18 months, with an extended allowance of up to 5 years for eligible passport holders from Hong Kong and British National Overseas.

Meanwhile, the Post-Study Work stream will undergo a metamorphosis, rebranded as the Post-Higher Education Work stream. Similar age restrictions will apply, with adjustments to stay periods based on academic qualifications. Bachelor’s degree holders, including honors, and coursework master’s graduates can stay for up to 2 years, while those with research master’s or doctoral degrees (PhDs) may extend their stay up to 3 years. Notably, Indian nationals will retain specific stay periods as stipulated under the Australian Indian – Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA).

Furthermore, the ‘select degree’ 2-year extension will be discontinued, marking a departure from the existing framework. The Second Post-Study Work stream will undergo a nominal rebranding as the Second Post-Higher Education Workstream, maintaining its current structure, while the Replacement stream will be terminated.

While the government’s rationale behind these changes may be rooted in the objective of prioritizing younger, skilled migrants, the ramifications are palpable for a diverse cohort of international students. For many, the imposition of age limits represents a setback in their pursuit of academic and career advancement on Australian shores.

The passage of legislative amendments will be pivotal in realizing the vision outlined in the Migration Strategy, shaping the trajectory of Australia’s temporary graduate visa programs for years to come.

Connect Nepali Media does not provide any assistance in such immigration matters, prospective applicants are urged to monitor updates from the Immigration website and seek guidance from qualified immigration advisors to navigate the evolving landscape of temporary graduate visas in Australia.


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