Implications of Recent Migration Changes on Visitor Visa Holders, 485 Visa Holders, and Market Confidence in Australian Immigration


Australia has long been a destination of choice for international students and skilled professionals. The recent changes to the Australian immigration policy, specifically concerning visitor visa holders and 485 visa holders, have significant implications. As a leading immigration lawyer at Migration Guru, a firm with over 90 years of collective Australian immigration experience, I will delve into these changes and their potential impacts on visa holders and market confidence in the Australian immigration system.

Migration Changes Implications on Visitor Visa and 485 Visa HoldersRecent Migration Changes

      1. Visitor Visa Holders:

– Individuals in Australia on a visitor visa can no longer apply for a student visa onshore.

     2. 485 Visa Holders:

– Holders of the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) are now prohibited from applying for a further student visa while onshore.

Impacts on Visitor Visa Holders

For those on visitor visas, the new policy significantly alters their plans for pursuing education in Australia. Previously, many prospective students entered Australia on a visitor visa, explored educational opportunities, and transitioned to a student visa without leaving the country. This pathway provided convenience and reduced the logistical burden of applying from abroad.


  • Increased Costs and Inconvenience:

Prospective students will now incur additional costs and face the inconvenience of having to leave Australia to apply for a student visa from their home country.

  • Decision-Making Hesitancy:

Potential students might hesitate to visit Australia on a visitor visa, knowing they cannot seamlessly transition to a student visa onshore. This could lead to a reduction in the number of visitor visas issued to potential students.

Impacts on 485 Visa Holders

The Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) allows international graduates to live, study, and work in Australia temporarily after completing their studies. The recent restriction prevents these graduates from applying for a further student visa while still in Australia.


  • Career and Education Planning Disruptions:

Many 485 visa holders planned to continue their education to improve their skills and employability in Australia. With the new restriction, they must now return to their home country to apply for a student visa, disrupting their educational and career plans.

  • Financial Burden:

The need to leave Australia and apply for a student visa from abroad adds a significant financial burden, including travel costs and the expenses associated with reapplying for a visa.

  • Potential Decline in Skilled Workforce:

The change could deter international graduates from pursuing further education in Australia, leading to a potential decline in the skilled workforce that contributes to various sectors of the Australian economy.

Impact on Market Confidence in Australian Immigration

These changes have broader implications for the overall perception and confidence in the Australian immigration system.


  • Perception of Restrictiveness:

The recent changes may contribute to a perception that Australia is becoming more restrictive and less welcoming to international students and skilled migrants. This could deter prospective applicants from considering Australia as a viable option for education and career opportunities.

  • Market Competitiveness:

Australia competes globally to attract top talent and international students. Stricter immigration policies may make other countries with more flexible immigration pathways more attractive to potential students and skilled migrants.

  • Institutional Impact:

Australian educational institutions, heavily reliant on international students, may experience a decline in enrolments, affecting their revenue and global standing.


The recent changes to Australian migration policies, specifically the restrictions on visitor visa holders and 485 visa holders applying for further student visas onshore, have significant implications. These changes introduce additional financial and logistical challenges for prospective students and graduates. Moreover, they risk diminishing Australia’s attractiveness as a destination for international education and skilled migration.

As the landscape of global migration continues to evolve, it is crucial for policymakers to consider the broader implications of such changes. Ensuring that Australia remains a welcoming and competitive destination for international students and skilled professionals is vital for the nation’s economic growth and cultural enrichment.

At Migration Guru, we remain committed to providing expert guidance and support to navigate these complexities and help our clients achieve their migration goals. For those seeking further information about this development or any other immigration advice, Migration Guru, with over 90 years of collective experience in Australian migration law, encourages you to get in touch. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing comprehensive assistance and guidance in navigating the evolving landscape of Australian immigration. Readers are encouraged to follow us on Facebook for all the updates.

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