So, you’re planning to apply for a 485 visa, and you’re wondering about the processing times.
Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know and some tips on reducing processing time delays.
Understanding 485 Visas
The 485 visa is designed for international students in Australia who have recently graduated from an Australian institution and wish to work and live in the country temporarily to gain practical work experience.
Processing times for the 485 visa can vary. They depend on several factors, including the stream you’re applying under and the number of applications in the queue. On average, you can expect it to take anywhere from a few months to over a year.
Graduate Work Stream: If you’re applying for the Graduate Work stream, processing times are usually quicker, typically around four to six months.
Post-Study Work Stream: For the Post-Study Work stream, the processing times might be a bit longer, often exceeding six months.
Important Dates: Make sure you apply for your 485 visa within six months of your course completion date, and don’t forget to take your health and character assessments into account.
Tips for Reducing Visa Processing Time Delays
Here are our tips to help speed up your 485 visa application process and avoid unnecessary delays.
Prepare Ahead of Time: Start gathering your documents well in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute, as this can lead to delays. Having everything ready and organized will help you submit your application promptly.
Correct Visa Stream: Choose the correct stream for your application. Applying under the wrong stream can lead to complications and unnecessary delays.
Double-Check Your Application: The most common cause of delays is incomplete or incorrect applications. Review the requirements and guidelines thoroughly, and make sure you submit all the necessary documents in the right format. Pay close attention to details like passport copies, English proficiency certificates, and your health assessment.
Professional Help: Consider seeking assistance from a registered migration agent or lawyer. They can guide you through the application process and ensure everything is in order, reducing the chances of errors that could lead to delays.
Stay Updated: Keep an eye on the Department of Home Affairs website for updates on processing times and requirements. They might change over time, and staying informed can help you plan accordingly. If you engage a migration agent or lawyer to represent you, they should be across this for you.
Health and Character Checks: Remember that health and character checks can take time. It’s a good idea to get these done early in the process, so you don’t hold up your application waiting for the results.
Express Post and Tracking: When sending your application, use express post services and request tracking. This way, you can ensure your documents arrive safely and can be traced if needed.
Regularly Check Your Email: The Department of Home Affairs might request extra information or clarification through email. So, keep a close eye on your email inbox, including your spam folder, to avoid missing important messages from the Department of Home Affairs or your migration agent or lawyer representing you.
Application Fees: Make sure you pay the required application fees on time. Delays can occur if payments are not processed promptly.
In a nutshell, applying for a 485 visa can be a bit of a waiting game, but by following these tips and staying organized, you can help reduce processing time delays. Remember to be patient, stay informed, and don’t hesitate to seek help if needed. A little patience and preparation can go a long way.
Author: Greg Nicolson is Managing Director of Australian Business Migration Group MARN 0959139