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  • s48 bar and waivers

Section 48 bar

If you have had a visa cancelled or refused since last arriving in Australia and you are either unlawful (that is – you do not hold a visa) or you hold a bridging visa you are then in what is called ‘section 48 bar’.

If you are ‘section 48 barred’ you are prevented from lodging most other visa applications while you are in Australia (there are some very limited exceptions). This means that you would normally need to leave Australia.

Becoming unlawful in Australia or overstaying your visa can negatively affect future visa applications and eligibility for citizenship.

From 13 November 2021, a S48 Bar waiver is available for skilled visa applicants for subclasses: sc190, sc491 and sc494. This means that Section 48 bar applicants can apply for sc190, sc491 and sc494 visas Onshore from the above date. If you need to discuss your matter please book a time here.

State and Territory Nominated Visas – s48 barred applicants onshore (COVID-19 updates)

The section 48 bar applies to applicants who have had a visa refused or cancelled since their last entry into Australia. If you are subject to a section 48 bar you need to leave Australia before you can reapply for a visa.


The Victorian Government will not re-nominate applicants who are subject to a section 48 bar where their nomination has expired and they are unable to leave Australia.


If an applicant is currently on a bridging visa and has been invited to lodge documents with BSMQ for a subclass 491 visa, they must notify Business and Skilled Migration Queensland of any past visa refusals or cancellations.

If an applicant has received a visa refusal or cancellation whilst on a bridging visa they are likely to be subject to a section 48 bar – which means they are unable to lodge a state nominated visa (and most other visas) onshore.

Unfortunately during the COVID-19 pandemic, it not possible to go offshore to lodge a visa application, and then return to Australia.

This is because there is an entry ban on temporary visa holders returning to Australia at this time. If you or your client is section 48 barred, BSMQ is unable to nominate  for a subclass s491 visa and request that the application be withdrawn.

It may be possible to submit an EOI again at a later date once the entry ban is lifted if Queensland criteria continues to be met.

South Australia: From 21 April 2020, Immigration SA will be making changes to the processing and nomination of applicants who are affected by a section 48 bar.

The section 48 bar applies to applicants who have had a visa refused or cancelled since their last entry to Australia and prevents an applicant from applying for a visa onshore.

For applicants who are affected by the section 48 bar and are currently waiting assessment:

Subject to the continuation of the current travel restrictions, Immigration SA will hold existing applications affected by a section 48 bar until 30 June 2020. Please notify Immigration SA if you are section 48 barred and are unable to travel offshore to lodge a valid visa application.

For applicants submitting their application for state-nomination on or after 21 April 2020: 

If you are affected by a section 48 bar and are unable to travel offshore to lodge a valid visa application please do not submit an application for state-nomination. Immigration SA will no longer nominate applicants who are unable to travel offshore to lodge a valid visa application.

If you are affected by a section 48 bar, you must only submit a state nomination application once you satisfy Schedule 1 of the Migration Regulations and are able to lodge a valid visa application offshore.

To proceed with your application, you must provide Immigration SA with confirmation that you will be travelling offshore to lodge a valid visa. Immigration SA may request information regarding previous visa refusals or cancellations, including if the refusal or cancellation decision is undergoing review at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

Tasmania: Applicants who hold a Bridging Visa associated with AAT or Federal Court review will be placed on hold until the travel ban is lifted at which time these applications will be further assessed in consideration of an updated residential location and employment details (if applicable) then finalised.

NSW: If your visa application is affected by a s48 bar, meaning you must be offshore to lodge a new visa application, NSW will re-nominate you once you are able to travel overseas. This will provide a further 60 days to submit your visa application to the Department of Home Affairs.

 For section 48 of the Act the following classes of visas are prescribed:

(a)  Partner (Temporary) (Class UK);

(b)  Partner (Residence) (Class BS);

(c)  protection visas;

(ca)  Medical Treatment (Visitor) (Class UB);

(e)  Territorial Asylum (Residence) (Class BE);

(f)  Border (Temporary) (Class TA);

(g)  Special Category (Temporary) (Class TY);

(h)  Bridging A (Class WA);

(j)  Bridging B (Class WB);

(k)  Bridging C (Class WC);

(l)  Bridging D (Class WD);

(m)  Bridging E (Class WE);

(ma)  Bridging F (Class WF);

(mb)  Bridging R (Class WR);

(o)  Resolution of Status (Class CD);

(p)  Child (Residence) (Class BT);

(q)  Retirement (Temporary) (Class TQ);

(r)  Investor Retirement (Class UY).

Note:    Section 48 of the Act limits further applications by a person whose visa has been cancelled, or whose application for a visa has been refused.

The post Section 48 bar appeared first on Australian Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers Melbourne | VisaEnvoy.


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