How to stay longer in Australia with an expiring or expired visa

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April 15, 2024

If you are enjoying your time in Australia with a temporary visa, you may want to remain in the country for a longer period, or even permanently. However, it is a legal requirement that you must leave Australia before the expiry date on your visa. If you would like to stay longer, then you must apply for a new visa before your current one expires. 

 

Your options will depend on your situation and the type of visa you currently have. Before you explore these options, you will need to check the following:

 

  • When your visa expires.
  • Whether you have a condition that prevents further stay.
  • Other conditions of your visa.

 

You can check the expiry date and conditions of your visa with Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) via their website or the myVEVO app. Your visa grant letter will also have this information. 

 

Some visas are granted with Condition 8503, most commonly visitor visas such as the partner and spouse visa. This prevents the visa holder from applying for other temporary or permanent visas whilst in Australia. If your visa has this condition, then you must leave Australia before applying for another visa to return. However, if your visa doesn’t have a condition that prevents further stay, you can apply for a new visa while your current visa is still valid.

How to apply for a new visa before your current visa expires

If you apply for a new visa before your current visa expires, you will usually be granted a Bridging visa A (BVA). A BVA allows you to remain in Australia when your current visa expires and the Australian Department of Home Affairs has yet to decide on your new visa application. You cannot leave and re-enter Australia with a BVA. If you would like to leave and re-enter Australia, you must apply for a Bridging visa B (BVB) after you have been granted a BVA. 

 

Your current visa may offer a pathway to another visa you can apply for to extend your stay in Australia. You may be able to apply for one of the following visas:

Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) (Subclass 186)

This visa is for people who currently hold a temporary skill shortage visa (subclass 482). It offers a pathway to permanent residency to skilled workers who are nominated by their employer. This visa can be granted for up to four years and allows holders to change employers more easily. To be eligible for this visa, you must possess the necessary skills, you must be nominated by an Australian employer, and you must meet health and character requirements.

Skilled Nominated Permanent Visa (Subclass 191)

The newly introduced subclass 191 visa is for visa holders who have lived and worked in regional Australia on a previous, eligible visa. It is the second stage visa that gives permanent residence to previous visa holders. To be eligible for this visa, you must have been in Australia holding a skilled work regional (provisional) visa (subclass 491) and have been working for at least three years in a regional area.

Skilled Regional Permanent Visa (Subclass 887)

This visa is for holders of Skilled Regional Provisional visas. It is the second stage visa that gives permanent residence to previous visa holders. This visa allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely, work and study in the country, apply for Australian Citizenship, and sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence. To be eligible for this visa, you and your dependents must have been in Australia holding a skilled regional (provisional) visa (subclass 489) for at least two years. During this time, you must have worked full-time for at least twelve months in a regional area. 

Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 888)

This is a permanent visa for people who hold a subclass 188 visa and want to continue their activity in Australia. It enables you to live in Australia indefinitely and access the benefits of being an Australian Permanent Resident. To be eligible for this visa, you must be the primary or secondary visa holder (partner) of a subclass 188 visa, have met all requirements in the stream in which you first applied, and hold a current nomination by an Australian state or territory government.

For students

If you are an international student who currently holds a student visa (subclass 500), will soon finish your studies, and would like to remain in Australia, you will need a new visa. There are many different visas you can apply for, depending on your circumstances. This includes:

 

Renew your current visa

For some visa holders, renewing your current visa may be the best option. For example, the temporary skill shortage visa (subclass 482) can be renewed once for either two or four years, depending on your occupation.

 

If you are not eligible for any of the above visas, you may be able to explore other visa options to meet your needs. Contact us at Australia Migrate to find the visa that’s right for you.

How to apply for a new visa if your current visa has expired

Before your visa expires, it is recommended that you plan what you would like to do next so you can take action on time. Whether you would like to return to your home country, stay in Australia, study, work, or travel, you should consider your options at least three months before your current visa expires. If your visa has expired, your options are limited for applying for a new visa. You can apply for a Bridging visa E (BVE). This is a very short visa that only allows you to remain in Australia while you make arrangements to leave the country. 

 

You must leave Australia immediately if your visa has expired or you cannot apply for a new visa. If you remain in Australia past your visa expiry date, there may be consequences. The Australian Department of Home Affairs can detain you, remove you from the country, and/or bill you for the cost of removing you from the country. If you leave Australia as someone who doesn’t have a valid visa, you could be refused another visa for up to three years.

 

If you want to stay in Australia past the expiry date on your current visa, there are many options for you to do so. However, you must not remain in Australia past your expiry date without a new visa otherwise there may be consequences. To assess your eligibility for a new visa, explore your visa options, or prepare, complete, and lodge a visa application on your behalf, book a visa consultation with the immigration and visa experts at Australia Migrate. We can provide you with advice, answer your questions, and ensure you remain in Australia lawfully. 

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