Can Section 48 bar be waived?

Section 48 Bar definition

Section 48 of the Migration Act forces limitations if a visa has been refused or cancelled while in Australia. Substantially, it prevents the applicant from applying for a different visa or repeatedly applying for a visa while in Australia.


This process is known as the ‘section 48’ bar and can have severe consequences on the applicant’s ability to settle in Australia legally. However, this bar will not apply to all visa applications. Therefore, it is essential to classify the situations that it will involve.


When Does Section 48 Bar Apply?

Section 48 of the Migration Act will apply if:

  • You are in Australia;
  • Your substantive visa application has been refused or cancelled; and
  • You do not currently hold a substantive visa


If section 48 applies, the applicant will not be able to apply for another substantive visa as long as the applicant remains in Australia. If an applicant were to leave the country, they might be eligible to apply for another visa from outside Australia.


Impact of Secion 48 bar: Bridging Visa holders

As advised by BSMQ:

If an applicant is currently on a bridging visa and has been invited to lodge documents with BSMQ for a subclass 190 or 491 visa, they must notify Business and Skilled Migration Queensland of any past visa refusals or cancellations.


If an applicant has received a visa refusal or cancellation whilst on a bridging visa they are likely to be subject to a section 48 bar – which means they are unable to lodge a state nominated visa (and most other visas) onshore.


For the remainder of FY20-21 BSMQ is not processing applicants who are s48 barred. This will be reviewed in FY21-22.


If visa applicants have been section 48 barred, BSMQ is unable to nominate for a subclass 190 or 491 visa and we request that the application be withdrawn.


Can I Appeal my Visa Decision with AAT?

If the government has cancelled or refused the visa and section 48 applies, an applicant can appeal the decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The visa is refused the government, the applicant will receive notice from the Department of Home Affairs that sets out an applicant’s rights for an appeal.


If the applicant is eligible to attend the AAT, the tribunal can reassess the whole application. They are then able to decide to either agree with, differ, or push the Department’s decision and make a new resolution. The tribunal can also re-submit the decision to the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) to review the matter with particular directions.


How can No Borders Law Group help you?

Have received a section 48 bar and want to appeal?


Need help with your Visa?


Email:[email protected]

Tel:+61 (07) 3876 4000


We will help you exploring visa options and securing application. No Borders Law Group is experienced in the migration and Australian visa application, and our migration agents and lawyers have extensive knowledge in the legal requirements, eligibility criteria, and the supporting documents required.


Simply dial 07 3876 4000 or email:[email protected]and let us help you start with your way towards obtaining an Australian visa.


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