All about Post Study Work Permit (PSWR) in Australia for Indian Students

6 mins read78.3K Views 55 Comments
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 15, 2022 19:13 IST

Planning to stay on in Australia after your studies? Learn about the post-study work permit in Australia, what it entails, what the eligibility is, and how to go about getting one. Every student planning to go outside India for his/her studies does so with the hope of staying on in the country. Either permanently or at least for a couple of more years to gain meaningful work experience. In fact, if you do not have a job offer for you once you get back, it would be rather advisable to gain some work experience in the country.

Australia, as a study abroad destination, is rather famous for the ease of doing just that. The constant demand for skilled workforce in the continent country has boosted the education sector, which continues to attract and sustain international students and assimilate them within the country’s industry. But, as an international student, there are some ways and means of going about it. And a Post Study Work Permit (PSWR) is what you would need. So what is it and how do you get it?

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Latest Update

February 15, 2022: Australia is set to open its borders for fully vaccinated visa holders without any travel exemptions from February 21, 2022. Those visa holders who are not fully vaccinated would require a travel exemption and might have to quarantine upon arrival as well.

January 25, 2022: Australia introduces Temporary (subclass 408) visa for international students to foster employment rate in critical sectors and esuring their functioning to provide services to the country. In this case students either before course commencement and during course can work for more than 40 hours in a fortnight. Applications are being accepted online and fee waiver is available for students flying in AUstralia between Jan 19-March 19, 2022. Find info: Temporary (subclass 408) Visa Introduced in Australia to Bridge Employment Decline

December 13, 2021: Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) Visa holders who were unable to travel to Australia amid COVID-19 restrictions are eligible to apply for a replacement visa. This is applicable for both current and former visa holders in order to apply for the same duration as proposed in the original guidelines. Also, Australian Government has proposed to increase the stay time for Temporary Graduate Visa holders from 2-3 years and VET field graduates to 2 years.

These measures have been announced in favour of international students who have spent their time studying away from Australia amid COVID-19. Applications will be available from mid 2022 only. Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) holders willing to apply for a replacement visa must remember that their course must finish as per CRICOS timeline that is, at least 92 weeks. Also the course and institution of the applicant must be CRICOS recognised. It is a must to have a job in hand before applying for the post study work permit in Australia as well.

From November 16, 2019, Adelaide, Perth and Gold Coast are classified as regional by the federal government. This allows the cities' university graduates an additional year of post-study work rights (PSWR). Also, the graduates in Darwin city can stay for two more years and Ph.D. graduates can stay up to six years. Even after receiving the regional status for migration, all cities other than Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane will not be entitled to the Destination Australia scholarships. 

Regional Australian PSWR

Only areas classified as 'Inner Regional Australia' to 'Very Remote Australia' remain eligible for Destination Australia. Darwin as the only capital city which has access to both the scholarship scheme and an additional two years of PSW. The number of visas set aside for regional migration will increase from 2000 to 25,000.

Cities with an additional year of PSWR:

  • Adelaide
  • Perth
  • Gold Coast
  • Wollongong/Illawarra Geelong
  • Hobart
  • Sunshine Coast Canberra Newcastle/Lake Macquarie

An international student is accepted and allowed to study in a foreign country on what is called a Student Visa. This visa is categorically for the purpose of pursuing a course or undergo vocational training. Once the course is over, however, the validity of the visa expires as well. This might happen immediately or after 6 months (according to the Student Visa Guidelines of the country.)

After the same, a student must apply for and get a Work Permit to continue staying in the country for employment purposes. In Australia, students who have completed their studies in Australia can apply for a Post Study Work Permit or a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). This visa has replaced the earlier Skilled Graduate Visa (subclass 485) and came into effect from March 2013.

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Kinds of Australia Post Study Work Permits

The Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) has two streams or categories. The first being the Graduate Work Stream and the other being the Post Study Work Stream. The difference between the two is essentially the kind of qualification an international student has gained.

Graduate Work Stream

A Graduate Work Stream caters to international students who have completed the Australian Study Requirements and have an eligible qualification as well as skills pertinent to occupations listed on the Skills Occupation List (SOL). This generally would cater to students who apply for a Vocational Education and Training qualification and one of the TAFE institutes. This visa is granted for 18 months.

Post Study Work Stream

A Post Study Work Stream, on the other hand, is for international students who have completed the Australian Study Requirements and have gained either a bachelor’s, master's or a doctoral degree from a recognized Australian University. This visa is only available to students who applied and were granted a student visa for Australia on or after November 5, 2011. The tenure depends on the kind of degree you hold.

For instance, a bachelor’s degree, a bachelor’s honors degree, or a master’s course degree (a degree that does not have a linked industrial training) is valid for 2 years. A Masters with Research degree qualifies you for a Temporary Visa for up to 3 years and a Doctoral Degree makes you eligible for a Temporary Visa of 4 years. 

Who can apply for this visa?

As an international student, you can apply for the same, not later than 6 months after completing your course. In other words, you must apply for this visa within 6 months of completing your course. To be eligible, you must meet the Australia Study requirements, which require a minimum of 16 months of stay and study in Australia and completion of a minimum of 92 weeks of study of a course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). (This is easily available on the university website so it would be wise to check before you start!)

It is important to note that 92 weeks are how CRICOS sees it and not how long you take to complete a course. For instance, you took 92 weeks to complete a course which CRICOS thinks should take 74 weeks, then it would only count it as 74 weeks. Hence, extending your study is not the way to go about it! Also, it would be wise to keep in mind that they require a certain level of competence in the skill set. Apart from that, things like the recognition of the institution are also something you should check before you apply for a course with a plan of continuing to stay and work in Australia post your study.

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Apart from the above, you have to have completed 18 years of age and should be less than 50, have an eligible visa, and health insurance in Australia. Apart from that, they would also require you to have a competent level of English as well as health and character certificates. It would do well to have these documents ready before you apply for the visa. The Department of Immigration & Border Protection would provide you with the details of the eligibility, actual cost, and documents required. You can also register on the website and apply for the same.

Got more queries? Feel free to write to us in the comments below. 

About the Author
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

An experienced and passionate writer, with a love for literature, Aishwarya Bhatnagar has 3 years of experience - working in and around study abroad. With a postgraduate degree in Linguistics from Delhi University, ... Read Full Bio



Hello, Thank you for the blog.
I am going for a 2 years Bachelor's Degree in Culinary Management. for the post study work permit, do i need to apply for it couple of months before my degree finishes? If yes, how early? If after the course, then can i stay for that period until my visa is approved?

Reply to Jaskaran Singh


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert


Hi Jaskaran! The work visa application can take 4 months to 11 months for assessment and approval. Thus, until your student visa lasts you can stay in Australia else you will have to leave the country. But you can come back once your work visa gets approved. Hope this clears your queries.

Aishwarya, first of all thank you for your reply. My question mainly was, if i apply for pswp in the last month of course completion as you said, can i stay until my visa is approved or do i need to leave the country until it's approved?

View More Replies (1)

After completing masters degree from regional Australia (south Australia) would I be eligible on my post study work visa to move and work in Melbourne/Sydney?

Reply to Pratham Goel


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert


Hi Pratham! Yes, if you get a job in Melbourne or Sydney and are eligible to get a sponsorship visa as well, then you are eligible to work there. Good luck!

Hello , If i complete a 2 year masters program in Wollongong (Regional university) then I will be getting 3 years PSW visa right?
After completing the masters can I move to sydney or any other city for job or do we have to stay in wollongong itself for entire 3 years?

Reply to Ralph Machado


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert


Hello! Yes, you will be eligible for a post study work visa after your masters. But the city of job and the corresponding visa you get would be determined by the sponsorship from your employer. You can get information here

After study you can give work permit

Reply to Kunwar Tushar Rajput


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert


Hello Kunwar. We do not provide a work permit. You are required to apply for your work permit once you have been successfully employed and in the right organization.

Once completing the bachelor's degree in Brisbane, can I move to Adelaide on a Post-study work stream visa?

Reply to Puneet Delour


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert


Hello Puneet! Yes, you can move to Adelaide after completing your graduation from Brisbane, provided you have 3 years Bachelor's degree and the 485 subclass work visa. Good luck!

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