Section 48 Bar | Limitations On New Visa Application

Section 48 Bar on new visa applications
Visa refused or cancelled in Australia may prevent you from lodging another visa application

Section 48 Bar refers to limitations on a person applying for another visa while they remain in Australia.

You are affected by section 48 bar if you are in Australia without a substantive visa (any visa except a bridging visa) and your visa was cancelled under s 109 (giving of incorrect information) or s 116 (general power to cancel) or s 133A (Minister’s personal powers to cancel visa on s 109 grounds) or s 133C (Minister’s personal powers to cancel visas on s 116 grounds) or s 134 (business visas) or s 137J (student visas) or s 137Q (regional sponsored employment visas) or your visa application (other than a bridging visa application) was refused, including refusal under s 501 (failing character test), 501A (setting aside and substituting non-adverse decision under s 501(1) or (2)) or 501B (setting aside and substituting non-adverse decision under s 501(1) or (2)), regardless of whether or not the application has been finally determined (by the AAT, if a merits review has been made), section 48 will bar you from applying for most visas. The only visas you may be able to apply are prescribed in reg. 2.12 of the Migration Regulations 1994.

Section 48 bar prevents you from making repeat visa applications if you are in Australia, do not hold a substantive visa and had a visa application refused or your visa was cancelled since entering Australia.

Visa application refused but not affected by section 48

If you are holding a valid, for e.g., Student visa and your parent included you as a secondary applicant when applying for a, for e.g., a Partner visa which was refused before your Student visa ceased. You can still apply for another, say, Student visa as you are not affected by section 48 bar even though your combined application for a Partner visa was refused. The reason you are still able to apply for the Student visa is because you are still holding a valid Student visa (substantive visa).

Cannot avoid section 48 bar

You cannot avoid section 48 bar by:

  • saying you did not make the application; or
  • you did not understand the nature of the refused application; or –
  • someone else apply for you; or
  • you are a minor; or
  • did not know or did not have the mental capacity to make the application; or
  • you left Australia following the visa refusal or visa cancellation on a Bridging Visa B and return to Australia to make an application of a visa (s 48(3)); or
  • you were removed from Australia but were brought back
Visa cancelled or refused section 48 bar will stop you from applying for another visa while in Australia

Visa cancelled or refused, what other visas can you apply?

Section 48 Bar – What other visas you can apply

If you are affected by section 48 bar, the only other visas you can apply is prescribed in reg. 2.12:

Section 48(3) – Using BVB to leave and to return

If you holds a BVB, leaves and re-enters Australia you are taken to have been continuously in Australia despite your travel overseas. This is to stop you from technically not had a visa refused or cancelled “after last entering Australia” (s 48(1)(b)(i)) and enables you to apply for a visa of a class other than those prescribed.

Section 48(3) only apply to visa applications made in the migration zone (in Australia). It does not prevent you from travelling outside Australia and making a valid application for a visa that can be applied for outside Australia whilst outside Australia.

Click here to learn more if your immigration lawyer or registered migration agent has committed a fraud and this has affected your visa application.

Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer for a consultation (fee applies) to help you apply for a suitable visa if you are affected by section 48 bar or click here to learn more.

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This article is not intended to be or taken as migration legal advice. The author of this article disclaims any liability for any action or omission on the information provided or not provided in this article. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter.

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