Group of students

Did you know that when you apply to extend your student visa in Australia you can be late once, and only once.

Students are given a very specific grace period to apply for their next student visa if you have forgotten to lodge your visa on time. It is possible to lodge an application even though your student visa has expired but no longer than 28 days. This means technically you have been unlawful for a short period but there is a degree of understanding that students being in a foreign country may make an error in apply for their next student visa.

However this understanding is strictly a one time offer. The law which governs this rules is found in the law which determines if you have made a valid application. Item 1222(4) and 1222 of Schedule 1 to the Migration Regulations 1994. Item 1222 requires applicants to hold a substantive temporary visa but if not, that the last visa held was a student visa and the current application must be made within 28 days of that visa expiring.

The important point is that you must not previously have been granted a visa based on an application made when you did not hold a substantive visa.

Over the years we have seen many students make this error, being late in the their applications to extend their visa. Many believe because they got away with it the first time, they will get away with again. Not so!

If you try a second time your application will be invalid and this means the bridging visa given to you for your application will also be invalid and you will become unlawful. If you leave Australia more than 28 days after becoming unlawful you will be banned for three years on applying for another temporary visa from outside Australia. Make sure you leave before that 28 days is up so you have a chance to apply for another student visa offshore to complete your course.

If more than 28 days has passed then you can make an application to waive that ban and perhaps return to Australia to finish your course but that will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Don’t be distracted and don’t be late to apply for your next student visa whilst you are in Australia.

Late lodging your student visa application? We are here to help. Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists. Save time and money and book a Skype appointment if you like!

Jee Eun Han