My Australian visa is about to expire – what do I do?
If you know your Australian visa is about to expire and you want to stay in the country, you are far better off exploring your options now rather than waiting until you become unlawful. In this article, we’re going to map out the various pathways that may be available to you if you have overstayed your Australian visa and have become unlawful.
Get in touch with No Borders Law Group to find out which visa pathway would best suit your circumstances.
Steps to take to avoid overstaying your Australian visa
Check your visa expiry date and conditions
Step 1: Assessing your situation
Consider following key factors which can affect which visa pathways are available to you once your visa has expired and you have become unlawful:
- When is your visa expiring?
- How long ago did your visa expire?
- Have applied for and been refused another visa?
- Does your last visa have a “no further stay” condition attached?
If your visa has expired:
If your visa has expired within the past 28 days, there are different options available to you. The Department of Home Affairs offers a 28 day ‘grace period’ during which time you can generally apply for another type of visa without being subject to the 3 year exclusion period.
This exclusion period bars you from applying for any temporary Australian visa for 3 years after you’ve left the country.
If your visa has been refused or cancelled:
If you are currently unlawful and have already applied for and been refused another visa since arriving in Australia or had your visa cancelled, you may be subject to what is known as the Section 48 bar.
Section 48 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) bars applicants who have been refused or had their visa cancelled from applying for a new visa whilst in the Australia unless the visa is listed as an exception in Regulation 2.12(1). Visa types which are exempted from Section 48 include partner visas, child visas and protection visas ,as well as a few other very specific and temporary visa types.
Get in touch with No Borders Law Group to discuss your circumstances.
If you have a “no further stay condition” on your last visa:
Some visas are granted with a Condition 8503 – No further stay.
If yours had this condition (even if the visa has now expired), it must be waived by the Dept prior to you being able to lodge a new visa application. Waivers are granted only in very limited circumstances.
Part 2: Understand what visa pathways available in your situation
Applying for a new visa
If you want to stay longer in Australia, you must apply for a new visa or another substantive visa.
Your circumstances will determine your visa options and what you must do to remain lawful while you apply for a new visa. There may be restrictions on applying for further visas while you are in Australia.
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.
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.
Steps to take If you don’t have a valid visa
If you are in Australia without a valid visa, you could face serious consequences including immigration detention and removal from Australia.
If your visa has expired, you need to apply for a Bridging visa E (BVE) immediately in order to become lawful. A BVE is a short-term visa that lets you remain lawful while you make arrangements to leave Australia.
If you are the family member of a visa holder who died prior to departing Australia, please visit death of a family member to notify the Department.
*You can leave Australia any time. If your visa has expired, you should apply for a BVE before you depart the country. It is important to follow the right steps when you make arrangements to leave. How you leave Australia could affect your ability to be granted a visa in future.
Protection visa or Safe Haven visa holders
If you already hold a Temporary Protection visa (TPV) or a Safe Haven Enterprise visa (SHEV) you must apply for another TPV or SHEV before your current TPV or SHEV expires.
If your current TPV or SHEV expires and you have not applied for a subsequent visa, you:
- will be in Australia unlawfully
- will not be able to work or study
- will not have access to Medicare or Centrelink benefits
Australian Permanent residents
As a permanent resident, you can leave Australia and return on your permanent visa as often as you wish for the first 5 years after the visa is granted.
- the travel component of your permanent visa will expire, making travel back to Australia difficult
- you must apply for a Resident Return visa if you want to leave Australia and return as a permanent resident
If you are outside Australia when the travel component of your permanent visa expires, do not return to Australia on any other kind of visa. If you do:
- you might lose your permanent resident status
- your eligibility for citizenship might be affected
Need help with getting Australian Visas or Visa Appealing?
NO BORDERS LAW GROUP: #1 TRUSTED MIGRATION LAWYERS
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +61 (07) 3876 4000
We will help you by exploring visa options and securing applications. We will assess the eligibility of the application for a partner visa, 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].