With the current downturn in the economy we are seeing more visas expiring and not being renewed, but it doesn’t mean the end of your time in Australia. It can be very daunting facing the prospect of possibly having to leave, but our team at Visa Solutions Australia have helped many people in this situation remain in the country.
Can I still stay in Australia if my visa is due to expire?
Don’t panic! It’s not all doom and gloom. You may be able to apply for a different type. We encourage you to act immediately if you know it’s coming to an end.
We can advise you on the best course of action, we’ll look at your circumstances and suggest alternative visas, such as a partner visa, a sponsored 457 or even RSMS Subclass 187 visa. It always helps your case, if you’ve spent plenty of time here and that you’ve never been refused or denied a visa.
What is a bridging visa?
You need a bridging visa in order to remain in the country legally, while your new visa application is being processed by Immigration. There are several types of bridging visas and each will relate to a different situation. Visa Solutions Australia can explain to you what bridging visa will apply in your situation.
How do they work?
Once you apply for a different class of visa such as a partner visa or a 457 work visa, and your current visa has not yet expired, you may be granted a bridging visa. Bridging Visa A is probably the most common and is given to those who have submitted an application for another visa while in Australia (onshore). It only becomes effective once the current visa expires. You must check that your existing visa has no condition that will prevent you from lodging a new visa while you are in Australia. Speak to Visa Solutions Australia, if you are not sure what you can or cannot do.
If your new visa is refused, Bridging Visa A will mean you can stay in Australia for another 28 days after the decision but then you must leave. You cannot re-enter Australia on a Bridging Visa A.
There are various other bridging visas, but another common one is the Bridging Visa E which is given to those who do not hold any kind of visa so are in the country unlawfully and have come to the attention of Immigration officials. Bridging Visa E’s have very strict conditions attached to them like reporting requirements. There are generally no work rights attached to a Bridging Visa E.
How has Visa Solutions Australia helped others whose visas have been set to expire?
We recently experienced a case where a French man was on a working holiday visa. He rang less than twelve hours before his visa was due to expire. A company had offered to sponsor him on a 457 visa. We had to submit paperwork in record breaking time and we achieved this before the deadline. This included company sponsorship documents, visa application and nomination for the position to be filled. Because it was lodged in time, a Bridging Visa A was automatically granted. We are confident of a successful outcome, but we likely will hear of the decision from Immigration in about 10-12 weeks. Most importantly, because the application has been lodged he can remain for the time being and is able to work legally.
A man who had arrived in Australia on a boat was initially granted a refugee visa, but this had expired and he’d never left Australia. He came forward and acknowledged he was here illegally and we advised him to leave the country while we submitted paperwork for another visa so he could lawfully return to Australia in the future.
In another case, a man was trying to secure a partner visa through the sponsorship of his Australian wife. But while the application was being processed by Immigration, his wife contacted Immigration officials and claimed the relationship had broken down. We then looked at other ways in which he could possibly remain in Australia.
This type of situation is more common than you can imagine.
Those who face the prospect of a visa expiring would be wise to seek professional advice as it can be extremely complex to understand what needs to be done in such a short period of time. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Do not get caught out holding an invalid visa in Australia. It would only make it harder when you apply for another visa in the future.
The Visa Solutions Australia team can advise you on the best course of action, so please don’t hesitate to call us today. Ring +61 8 9328 2664.