Section 48 Bar – Visa Refusal or Cancellation

What is a Section 48 Bar?

Section 48 of the Migration Act 1958 imposes limitations if the applicant’s visa has been refused or canceled while in Australia, also when the applicant does not currently hold a substantive visa.

Section 48 Bar was created to prevent people from making repeated visa applications that were never going to be granted.

This provision (s48 bar) prevents them from applying for most other Australian visas while in Australia and can have ramifications on their ability to remain in Australia legally.  

Can I apply for any visa while in Australia?

Section 48 bar is only imposed when the applicant is in Australia. If the applicant is subject to the s48 bar, they can still apply for a limited number of substantive visas while onshore. These include:

  • Partner Visa 820/801
  • Protection Visa
  • Medical Treatment Visa
  • Special Category Visa
  • All Bridging Visas
  • Child (Residence) Visa

Invalid Applications

If criteria of a ‘valid application’ are not met, then the visa application is deemed invalid. The application will be returned to you without any processing having been undertaken. Simply this means your visa was not considered and therefore not refused.

An invalid visa application does not constitute a section 48 bar, you are not subject to the bar.

However, if your visa application is deemed invalid, your associated bridging visa to remain lawfully in Australia will be withdrawn by the Department Home Affairs. You will have limited time to make a new visa application or make plans to depart Australia.  

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