This paper reports on the evaluation of the impact of introducing interlayers and postmetallization annealing on the graphene/p-GaN ohmic contact formation and performance of associated devices. Current voltage characteristics of the graphene/p-GaN contacts with ultrathin Au, Ni, and NiOx interlayers were studied using transmission line model with circular contact geometry. Direct graphene/p-GaN interface was identified to be highly rectifying and postmetallization annealing improved the contact characteristics as a result of improved adhesion between the graphene and the p-GaN. Ohmic contact formation was realized when interlayer is introduced between the graphene and p-GaN followed by postmetallization annealing. Temperature-dependent I V measurements revealed that the current transport was modified from thermionic field emission for the direct graphene/p-GaN contact to tunneling for the graphene/metal/p-GaN contacts. The tunneling mechanism results from the interfacial reactions that occur between the metal and p-GaN during the postmetallization annealing. InGaN/GaN light-emitting diodes with NiOx/graphene current spreading electrode offered a forward voltage of 3.16 V comparable to that of its Ni/Au counterpart, but ended up with relatively low light output power. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy provided evidence for the occurrence of phase transformation in the graphene-encased NiOx during the postmetallization annealing. The observed low light output is therefore correlated to the phase change induced transmittance loss in the NiOx/graphene electrode. These findings provide new insights into the behavior of different interlayers under processing conditions that will be useful for the future development of opto-electronic devices with graphene-based electrodes.