An unlawful non-citizen is a person who is not an Australian citizen and remains in Australia without a valid visa. Unlawful non-citizens are subject to detention and deportation, the costs for which are recoverable from you by the Australian Government. Becoming an unlawful non-citizen can seriously jeopardise your immigration prospects to Australia and significantly limits the number of visas for which you are eligible to apply. If you have become unlawful in Australia, it is essential that you seek immediate legal assistance to resolve your immigration status as soon as possible.
What Happens If I Have No Visa?
The most common ways in which people become unlawful non-citizens are by overstaying their visa upon its expiry, their visa application was refused or their visa was cancelled. If you have not lodged an application for another visa, you will immediately be deemed an unlawful non-citizen if you remain in Australia after the expiry of your visa. If your visa application is refused, you will be granted 28 days from the date of refusal to make arrangements for departure, unless a review application with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal is lodged. In the event of a visa cancellation, the associated bridging visa will also be automatically terminated and instantly render you unlawful.
What Happens If I am unlawful to stay in Australia?
If you are an unlawful non-citizen, it is critical that you immediately seek the assistance of a migration lawyer to legalise your immigration status in Australia. Your options as an unlawful non-citizen will be limited and time is very much of the essence. Certain options will only be available within a certain period of time of becoming unlawful and acting outside of this limit will affect your future prospects of migrating to Australia. You may be able to legalise your status and return to a substantive visa, provided that you act quickly and diligently. A migration lawyer can assist you in navigating your options and ensuring that you are not harmed in future visa applications to Australia.
Consequences of overstaying or having visas cancelled
The consequences can be dire should you become an unlawful non-citizen. You may only apply for a limited number of visas as an unlawful non-citizen, some which depend on the previous substantive visa you held and the length of time since you became unlawful.
Remaining in Australia unlawfully for more than 28 days will result in a three year exclusion period upon departing the country, during which you may not be granted another visa to re-enter Australia for a minimum of three years. This will apply whether you were deported or departed Australia voluntarily and will commence on the day you departed Australia.
The exclusion period will also apply if you departed Australia as the holder of a bridging visa C, D or E, and more than 28 days had passed since you last held a substantive visa. It does not apply to all visas as some permanent visas are exempt from the exclusion period, but must still be applied for offshore. It’s possible to seek a waiver of the 3-year exclusion period on the grounds of compassionate or compelling circumstances affecting an Australian citizen or permanent resident. It is a high threshold and difficult to meet so you should consider enlisting the professional assistance of a migration lawyer to prepare your case for waiving the 3-year exclusion period.
Can I Apply For Another Visa?
If you are an unlawful-non citizen or your visa is soon to expire, contact No Borders Law Group for an immediate assessment. We are experienced in resolving the immigration status of those who have become lawful and returning them to substantive visas to ensure their future immigration prospects to Australia are not jeopardised.
Need help with getting Australian Visas?
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Email: [email protected]
Tel: +61 (07) 3876 4000
We will help you by exploring visa options and securing application. As part of our services, we will assess the eligibility of the application for a partner visa and help you to get out of the abusive relationship and provide you with detailed advice on your chances of success. If you would like to discuss your visa options and evaluate the pathway to permanent residency, please make an enquiry or book a consultation to get expert advice with one of our knowledgeable and experienced Migration Agents/Lawyers on 07 3876 4000 or email: [email protected].