Bluesky Immigration

New Age Limits for Australian Post-Study Work Visas: What You Need to Know

There’s important news for international students in Australia, particularly those pursuing research degrees! After an initial policy change, the Australian Department of Home Affairs has reversed course regarding the age limit for post-study work visas.


  • Research students WIN! Age advantage for PhD and Research Masters in applying for post-study work visas in Australia. Minimum age limit remains 50.
  • New age limit for others: Graduates from other programs (taught Masters, Bachelors etc.) will see a reduced age limit of 35 for post-study work visas starting July 1, 2024.
  • Policy reversal: The Department of Home Affairs listened to concerns and exempted research students from the broader age limit reduction.
  • Positive development: This allows research graduates to gain valuable work experience in Australia after completing their studies.
  • Stay informed: Immigration regulations can change, so consult a professional for the latest information and navigating the visa application process.

What was the original plan?

In December 2023, the department announced a revised Temporary Graduate Visa Program (subclass 485) set to take effect on July 1, 2024. This program aimed to introduce a new age limit of 35 for most graduates seeking post-study work rights. Exceptions were planned for holders of Hong Kong and British National Overseas passports.

Why the reversal for research students?

The proposed 35-year age limit sparked concern, particularly for PhD and research master’s students. Critics pointed out that many doctoral programs involve older students. In fact, data showed that in 2022, over 40% of international PhD students in Australia were aged 30 or above. This age limit would have effectively excluded a significant portion of research graduates from applying for post-study work visas.

The current policy for research students

Following strong advocacy from the international education sector, the Department of Home Affairs listened to the concerns. They announced that PhD and research master’s students will be exempt from the new 35-year age limit. This means that, unlike graduates from other programs, research students can still apply for post-study work visas if they are under 50 years old as of their application date.

The takeaway for research students

This policy reversal is a positive development for international students pursuing research degrees in Australia. They will continue to have the opportunity to leverage their qualifications and gain valuable work experience after graduation, provided they meet the age requirement.

The takeaway for other graduates

For graduates from taught master’s, bachelor’s, associate degrees, and vocational programs, the 35-year age limit for post-study work visas will come into effect on July 1, 2024.

Looking ahead

This policy change highlights the Australian government’s ongoing efforts to balance attracting young talent with recognizing the value of experienced professionals, particularly in research fields. It’s important to stay updated on the latest visa regulations, and consulting with an immigration professional can be helpful for navigating the process.


The information contained on this blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. And the information provided on this blog should not be construed as professional advice.

While I strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, I cannot guarantee that all information is complete or error-free. You should always consult with a qualified professional before making any decisions based on the information contained on this blog post.

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