The 485 Visa Extension for Regional Study

Australia: 485 Visa Law Changes


The immigration department has created 3 new area categories to explain whether you are eligible for the extra period. If you are eligible, these categories explain how long your second 485 visa will be.
Whether you get one year second 485 visa or the two year second 485 visa will depend on which area you have studied to gain your 1st 485 visa. In addition, it will depend if you have remained to live in these areas.


Category 1

Major Cities, comprising Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane

Category 2

Cities and major regional areas Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Canberra, Geelong and Hobart An extra 1 year is available

Category 3

Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas including all other regional locations than those in Category 2 An extra 2 years are available


It is not as simple of looking at these categories to determine if you will qualify for a 1 or 2 year 2nd 485 visa.

·        As mentioned above, those who have studied in the Category 1 cities to obtain their 485 visa, are not eligible.

·        Depending upon where you have lived for these two years also determines if can gain the 1 year or 2 year second 485 visa.

Those who have studied in Category 2 or 3 in order to gain their 485 visa, is the first condition.

The second  condition  is if you have continued to live in Category 2 or 3 whilst holding your 485 visa.

This compulsory Residency requirement is that you have lived in a regional area, Category 2 or 3, for at least two years immediately before your application for the 2nd 485 visa.
If your family is with you as dependents on your 485 visa they will have to meet the residency as well however of course they will not need to meet the 2 year requirement.

The residency requirements for all applicants who are claiming to have resided in Category 2 or 3 also includes work and further study if they are applicable.

For example if you have lived in Newcastle for two years but have been commuting to Sydney for work for periods during this time, this will not be considered as meeting the requirements.


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