The purpose of the changes in the Regulations for SC 485 Graduate visas is to encourage international students to study in regional Australia and to continue living in regional areas on their graduate visas.
In particular, the amendments:
provide access to a second SC 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream, valid for two years, for those who studied for at least 2 years in a regional centre or other regional area, and who, while holding the first SC 485 visa, lived (and worked or studied, if relevant) only in a regional centre or other regional area for at least two years.
provide that applicants in a designated regional area can be granted a second SC 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream, valid for one year.
It is important to note that:
the second SC 485 visa is only available in the Post-study work stream (applicant must have studied Bachelor/Masters/PhD course in Australia),
there will a condition imposed on the second 485 visa that the visa holder and their family members only live and work in the regional areas,
the amended regulations are in force from 21 January 2021 but also apply to those who graduated before that date,
practically, all those who studied and lived on their first graduate visa outside Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane will be eligible for second 485 visa,
The list of postcodes specifying designated regional areas, regional centres and other regional areas can be found here.
If you have studied in the regional area and want to know how these new regulations apply to your situation, do not hesitate to contact us today to arrange discussion with our Registered Migration Agent.