Overstaying and Bridging Visas: Avoid the Crucial Mistakes!

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Table of Contents

    Corazon Jasa

    Written: December 27, 2023

    Updated: December 27, 2023

    14 min read

    Overstaying and Bridging Visas

    Are you feeling a bit tangled in the web of Australia’s visa rules? Perhaps your stay-down-under clock has ticked beyond your visa’s expiry date, or maybe you’re just scouting options to keep things legal before your current pass runs out.

    It happens more often than you might think—you’re not alone if the complexities of immigration laws have caught you off guard.

    Did you know, for instance, that there’s something called a Bridging Visa? This little gem is designed specifically to bridge any gaps between visas, keeping you on the right side of the law while in Australia.

    Our comprehensive guide is here to shine a light on what overstaying your visa means and how Bridging Visas can be lifesavers in sticky situations. We’ll navigate through every twist and turn from consequences to solutions so that uncertainty isn’t part of your vocabulary anymore.

    Ready to find clarity and peace of mind? Let’s dive in!

    Key Takeaways

    • If you stay in Australia longer than your visa lets you, this is called overstaying and can be a big problem.
    • A Bridging Visa lets you stay legally in Australia while waiting for a new visa. There are different types like BVA and BVB to help in various situations.
    • Overstaying can make it hard to get new visas in the future because it goes on your record.
    • You must apply for a Bridging Visa before your current one runs out, using the right form and following all rules.
    • If your bridging visa application is refused, appeal quickly with good reasons, and evidence to support why you should stay.

    Overstaying and Bridging Visas

    Definition of Overstaying a Visa

    Overstaying a visa means staying in Australia longer than your visa allows. When the date on your visa comes, you’re supposed to leave. If you don’t, you’re overstaying. This is not following the country’s rules and can get you in trouble.

    It’s like being at a friend’s house after they’ve said it’s time to go home.

    Some people might stay because of an emergency or a mistake with dates. But no matter why it happens, if you overstay, you become what they call an unlawful non-citizen. This is serious and could make things harder for you later if you want to come back to Australia.

    Now let’s talk about what happens if someone breaks this rule and stays too long in Australia—more specifically, the consequences of overstaying a visa in Australia are next up on our list!

    Consequences of Overstaying a Visa in Australia

    Overstaying a visa in Australia can have serious consequences, including potential deportation and being banned from entering the country for a number of years. Short-term overstaying (less than 28 days) may result in no further action, while long-term overstaying (more than 28 days) can lead to severe penalties.

    Short-term overstaying (less than 28 days)

    If you stay in Australia longer than your visa allows, but it’s for fewer than 28 days, there’s still a chance to fix things. You might be able to apply to stay if you have a close relationship with someone who is an Australian citizen.

    This can give you the time you need to sort out your visa situation without having to leave the country right away.

    Sometimes, people get a bridging visa after their original one expires. This kind of visa lets you stay legally while you wait for immigration to decide on your new application. If they say yes or no, the bridging visa usually lasts until 35 days after that decision.

    It’s like a temporary pass so that everything stays okay while your paperwork is being looked at by officials.

    Long-term overstaying (more than 28 days)

    Staying in Australia after your visa has expired for more than 28 days is a big problem. You could end up in immigration detention, which means the government can hold you while they figure out what to do.

    They might send you back to your home country, and this is called deportation. If this happens, it’s not just about now—you might not be able to come back to Australia for a while.

    This kind of overstaying also marks your record with an exclusion period. Think of it as being grounded but by a country; Australia may not let you apply for another visa for years.

    And when you do try again, they will look very closely at what happened before. It makes getting a new visa much harder because they want to make sure you won’t overstay again.

    Understanding Bridging Visas

    Bridging visas are temporary visas that allow individuals to remain in Australia while they await the outcome of a substantive visa application or an immigration-related matter. These visas serve as a bridge between the expiry of one visa and the decision on another, providing legal status and access to work or study opportunities during this transitional period.

    Purpose of Bridging Visas

    Bridging visas give you a way to stay in Australia legally while your visa issues get sorted out. Think of them like a temporary safety net. They’re actually really helpful. If you’ve put in for a new visa and are waiting, a bridging visa means you don’t have to stress about being illegal during that time.

    You can keep living your life pretty normally until someone makes a decision on your application.

    Let’s say something went wrong with your first visa—maybe it expired or something changed—and now you’ve overstayed. A bridging visa helps fix this by making you lawful again while you figure out what to do next.

    It could be prepping to go back home or trying for another type of visa altogether. Either way, getting a bridging visa can buy some precious time and eases the pressure while important choices are made about staying in Australia.

    Types of Bridging Visas

    Understanding bridging visas is key to knowing your options while you’re in Australia. These visas help you stay lawful if you’re waiting for a decision on your visa application.

    • Bridging Visa A (BVA): This visa lets you stay in Australia after your current visa expires but before your new visa is decided. If the BVA you are granted doesn’t let you work, you might be able to apply for another BVA that does.
    • Bridging Visa B (BVB): Got travel plans? This is the temporary visa for people who need to leave and come back to Australia while their new visa is still being processed. It keeps things smooth until a decision on your substantive visa arrives.
    • Bridging Visa C (BVC): If you find yourself without a lawful visa, this type of bridging visa may come to the rescue. However, one downside – it might not allow you to return if you decide to travel outside Australia.
    • Bridging Visa D (BVD): This one’s a short-term fix. Maybe your application was incomplete or time ran out, and now it’s too late to apply for another substantive or bridging visa. BVD gives you a brief period – usually five days – to sort things out.
    • Bridging Visa E (BVE): In more serious situations, like being in immigration detention or having overstayed your original visa, this could be an option. It helps sort out your status and allows time for making arrangements to leave, applying for a substantive visa, or sorting out other issues with immigration.

    Applying for a Bridging Visa

    Applying for a bridging visa in Australia is a step you can take if your current visa is about to end. This helps you stay legally in the country while your new visa is being processed.

    • First, check if you’re eligible for a bridging visa. You usually can get one if you’re already in Australia and have applied for another visa.
    • Gather all necessary documents. You’ll need proof of your identity, your current visa, and any new visa applications.
    • Fill out the right form for the type of bridging visa you need. There are different forms so make sure to choose the correct one.
    • Submit the application online or on paper. Online is faster but both ways work.
    • Wait for a decision from immigration officials. They will tell you if you can have a bridging visa.
    • Follow all rules on your bridging visa. This means things like telling immigration if you move houses or if there are big changes in your life.

    Bridging Visa Appeals Process

    If your bridging visa application in Australia gets refused, you can appeal the decision. Here’s how the process works:

    • Start by checking the refusal letter for any mistakes or misunderstandings.
    • You must file an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) within a set time, usually 21 days from when you get the refusal.
    • Fill out an appeal form that the AAT provides. It will ask for details about why you think the decision was wrong.
    • Pay a fee for lodging your appeal. Sometimes, you might get some of this money back if you win.
    • Gather evidence that supports your case. This might be new information that wasn’t looked at before.

    Impact of Overstaying on Future Visa Applications

    Having a history of overstaying your visa can significantly impact future visa applications. Immigration authorities take overstaying seriously, and it can lead to negative consequences when applying for visas in the future.

    It may result in being labelled as an unlawful non-citizen, which can lead to detention and deportation. When considering future immigration status, any past instances of overstaying will be taken into account.

    Understanding the implications of overstaying on future visa applications is vital. While there are potential penalties for overstaying a visa, such as impacting one’s immigration status and hindering future visa opportunities, there are also avenues to rectify immigration status and seek alternative pathways to remain in Australia.

    It’s crucial to consider valid reasons for any previous overstay while navigating through this process.

    Legal Assistance for Overstaying and Bridging Visa Issues

    If you’re caught in these visa issues, it’s crucial to seek legal assistance promptly. Overstaying a visa can lead to detention, deportation, or future immigration obstacles. We offer support and guidance for those facing overstaying and bridging visa challenges.

    Understanding the potential penalties and consequences is important, and seeking legal advice can help you navigate through the complexities of visa violations and bridging visas effectively be sure to contact us or make a booking!.


    Understanding overstaying and bridging visas in Australia is crucial for anyone visiting or planning to stay in the country. Overstaying a visa can have serious consequences, but there are options such as bridging visas that provide temporary legal stay while resolving visa issues.

    Seeking advice from immigration lawyers and understanding the relevant laws are essential for managing these situations effectively. Remember, staying informed and taking the right steps can help navigate through these complexities with confidence.

    If you’re seeking further information on the appeals process for a bridging visa, please visit our detailed guide here.


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