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How to manage an Australian Visa Refusal Notice.

Prefer reading? We’ve edited the transcript for you below


In this video, Time for Advice covers what is known as a Section 48 bar. 

A Section 48 bar occurs when you’ve had a refusal onshore. Under the Act, Section 48 will prohibit you from applying for any other visa following an onshore refusal. 

If a refusal onshore has occurred, the bar will be in place, and the bar will automatically apply upon the refusal occurring. Importantly, there is no power under the Migration Act for this to be waived. Therefore, there is no point in storming off to your local member or complaining to anyone. The reason is, there are no powers under the Act to do anything about it. 
The only way to remove a Section 48 bar is to exit Australia and return on a different visa.

So, what are the next steps?
Most importantly, take advice. Upload your refusal notice to and get a lawyer to give you guidance. 

The advice provided will be invaluable. It’s important to note that taking advice doesn’t mean you can exit Australia on a bridging visa and return. This will not extinguish the bar. 

You must exit Australia and apply for a different visa to return. 

Before COVID-19, the most common response was to leave, and if you were from an eligible country, receive an electronic travel authority and then return to Australia. Regardless, this does not extinguish the bar. If you’re from a country where electronic travel authorities aren’t available, or in the times of COVID-19 where it’s very difficult to return to Australia on a temporary visa, you need to be really careful about what you do next.

Of course, if you hold a substantive visa and have a Section 48 bar, you can exit Australia and apply for a further visa offshore, and then return on your current substantive visa. 

Again, this does not remove the Section 48 bar, however, you will at least get another visa offshore filed in the queue and moving forward. Then when the offshore application is hopefully granted, then that in itself will extinguish the bar.

As always, there are some exceptions to the rules. 

For instance, the two most common visas you can apply for when a Section 48 bar exists is a partner visa or a medical treatment visa. 

With partner visas, you can apply, but only if the visa that you had refused was not a partner visa. If the application was a partner visa, then the bar will apply, and you can’t make a further application. 

Although there are exceptions to the rule, these exceptions are very limited. Generally, the bar is going to stop a further application. 

Don’t panic. Take advice.

If you have received a refusal notice, you need to weigh up your options and decide on how to deal with the Section 48 bar in conjunction with possible reviews whilst maintaining the bridging visa, work rights and so on. 

Upload your refusal notice to and receive solid advice before you take another step. 

You will have time. Don’t panic. Don’t rush out and do something within 24 hours. 

Take as many days as you have available and make very considered decisions. 
We otherwise look further to assisting those who cannot afford the payment and we believe the above allows us to continue to do so.

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