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Extending Your Stay in Australia on a Visitor Visa

Are you enjoying your time in Australia on a Visitor visa but wish you could stay longer? You’re in luck! There are ways to extend your stay in Australia, whether by applying for another Visitor visa or a different kind of visa. Let’s dive into the details of how you can make this happen.

Expiry Date and Conditions

Before you start planning your extended stay, it’s essential to be aware of your Visitor visa’s expiry date and the conditions attached to it. You can find this information on your original visa grant or check it on the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) platform. Knowing the expiry date and any conditions will help you determine when to apply for another visa and whether there are any restrictions that might prevent you from doing so.

The 8503 Condition

One condition to watch out for is the 8503 condition, also known as the No Further Stay condition. This condition prohibits you from applying for any other substantive visa while in Australia. However, there are circumstances in which this condition can be waived. To have it waived, you must demonstrate a significant change in your circumstances that was beyond your control and is both compelling and compassionate.

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Examples of valid changes include:

  • Inability to travel due to medical reasons
  • Death or serious illness within your close family
  • Natural disasters in your home country
  • War or civil unrest in your home country

On the other hand, changes like entering into a de facto relationship or marriage with an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or pregnancy without medical proof of travel restriction, are typically not accepted by the Department. Keep in mind that the process of requesting a waiver may take some time, and you will not be granted a bridging visa during that period. To avoid any complications, make sure you allow enough time to apply for the waiver before your current visa expires.

Applying for a Visa to Extend Your Stay

If you want to stay in Australia for a longer period, you’ll need to apply for another visa. This could be another Visitor visa or a different substantive visa, depending on your eligibility and the purpose of your extended stay. Temporary visas, such as work visas (Subclass 482) or student visas (Subclass 500), or permanent visas, such as partner visas (Subclass 820/801) or permanent work visas (Subclass 186), are among the options available to you.

Keep in mind that different visas have different preparation times and may involve multiple stages. Planning ahead and applying before your current visa expires is the best approach to ensure a smooth transition. Once you have applied for another visa, you will be granted a bridging visa, typically a Bridging Visa A (BVA). The BVA allows you to stay legally in Australia while the Department assesses your visa application. However, please note that if you leave the country, your BVA will automatically end, and you’ll need to apply for a Bridging Visa B (BVB) if you plan to return.

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COVID-19 Impacts

If you’re unable to travel back home due to COVID-19 and your visa has an 8503 condition, there’s good news. The government has adopted a more flexible approach to assessing waiver requests, prioritizing them based on the visa expiry date. Alternatively, if your visa has condition 8531 (must not remain in Australia after stay period ends) or condition 8558 (can’t stay in Australia for more than 12 months in any 18-month period), you are free to apply for another visa to extend your stay without any restrictions. Be sure to apply before your current visa expires to avoid any complications.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about extending your stay on a Visitor visa in Australia:

  1. Can I apply for another visa after my Visitor visa expires?

    • Yes, you can apply for another visa after your Visitor visa expires, but it’s better to apply before your current visa expires to avoid any complications.
  2. How long does it take to process a waiver request for the 8503 condition?

    • The processing time for a waiver request can vary. It’s important to allow sufficient time for the Department to assess your request before your visa expires.
  3. What happens if I need to travel overseas while on a bridging visa?

    • If you need to travel overseas while on a bridging visa, you’ll need to apply for a Bridging Visa B (BVB) after being granted the Bridging Visa A (BVA).

Conclusion

If you’re enjoying your time in Australia on a Visitor visa and wish to extend your stay, there are options available to you. By understanding your visa’s expiry date and conditions, requesting a waiver if necessary, and applying for another visa before your current one expires, you can continue to explore and enjoy everything Australia has to offer. Start planning early and make sure to stay informed about any COVID-19 impacts that may affect your visa status. iBlog is here to help you navigate the process and make your extended stay in Australia a reality.

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