What do I do if I overstay or breach my visa?
More than 20,000 travellers overstayed their visas last financial year.
You should always depart Australia on or before the expiry date of your visa.
Failure to do so will impact seriously on any future visa applications because:
- You will have extra obstacles to face demonstrating you are of good character in any future visa applications, especially for any permanent residency visas. It will also complicate basic temporary visas (eg tourist visas).
- You will become an “unlawful non-citizen” and will be subject to removal by the Australian Government.
- If more than 28 days pass without holding a substantive visa, then you (probably) cannot lodge another visa until you leave Australia.
- if you remain an “unlawful non-citizen” in Australia for more than 28 days, then you may be subject to a three-year ban from re-entering Australia.
- You may be prosecuted for breaching your visa conditions.
If you are in non-compliance with your visa conditions, then you need to seek advice from an experienced and registered migration lawyer ASAP.
An experienced registered migration lawyer:
- Can help you “regularise” your visa status with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (“DIAC”), and secure bridging visa.
- Can help you to avoid being placed in a detention facility.
- Can help you identify the relevant issues to discuss when asked to explain the visa breaches.
- Can ensure that professional submissions are prepared explaining the non-compliance.
- Can identify opportunities to seek a waiver of any visa bans, and advise you on the pros, cons and costs involved.
- Advise you on the best way forward if you are subject to a three-year ban from re-entering Australia, including the prospects of success in putting aside the ban.
Zeke Bentley is the Principal of Irish Bentley Lawyers, and the Registered Migration Agent of The Migration Place (a division of Irish Bentley Lawyers). Zeke Bentley has been a solicitor since 1996 and a registered migration agent since 2002, and he is highly experienced in representing clients at all Court and Tribunal levels.
Please contact us on (07) 3891 3333 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a full legal advice and analysis of your visa predicament.