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What do I do if my visa is refused?

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

In this video, Time for Advice provides advice on how to manage the refusal process. 

Refusals are often a very stressful and unpleasant experience for visa applications. Despite the stress and unease of the situation, there are always options.

Let’s go through the critical factors to move forward from the refusal process. 

1. Do not panic, do not make quick decisions
Should you receive a refusal notice, do not panic. Many people make very quick and poor decisions as they believe they need to leave the country immediately. This misconception causes enormous amounts of stress. 

We’ll restate it again… don’t panic. 

During the refusal process, it is time to make well-considered decisions, seek advice, and map out all of your options. Use the time as best as you can to ensure a favourable outcome. 

2. Do you hold another substantive visa?
If you receive a refusal visa but hold another substantive visa, the refusal will not impact your substantive visa. 

Your substantive visa will continue on as per its’ stated duration. Use the time provided by the substantive visa wisely and use this time to work out your next steps. 

3. Do you hold a bridging visa?
When you received your refusal notice, did you hold a bridging visa? If so, the bridging visa will continue from 28-35 days, depending on when you logged your refused application. 

Be aware though, sometimes shorter timeframes do apply. Shorter timeframes can apply in circumstances such as character refusals, etc. 

4. It’s Time for Advice
If you receive a refusal notice, read it very carefully. This is the time to go to Our lawyers will review the refusal notice and advise on all your rights and entitlements.

A common question when issued a refusal notice is ‘what are the consequences of having a refusal’?

First and foremost, if you have an offshore application, it’s of very little consequence to you. A refusal notice does not prevent you from making another application. Take your time, seek advice on what went wrong, and if you want to, apply again. 

The main consequence of having an onshore refusal is that you’ll now have a section 48 bar. 

Time for Advice covers the section 48 bar in more detail, in the following video. 

To summarise, section 48 will prevent you from being able to submit another onshore application. There are exceptions, however, it cannot be waived. 

If you’ve had a refusal onshore, then it’s highly likely you have review rights. Whereas, if you have received a refusal notice for an offshore application, then generally you don’t have review rights. However, if your visa application involves an Australian sponsor, then your sponsor has review rights and you can review the refusal this way. 

If you lodge your review in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), this will generally extend your bridging visa. You will not be issued a new visa, you will be given an extension of your current bridging visa in its current form. It will then be determined at the AAT, which can take two to three years prior to being determined. If you have work rights, then this will continue as well. 

Even in some circumstances where the review is likely to fail, it is a good strategy to consider to buy you additional time.

If you have a refusal, don’t panic. Take as much time as you have available and make considered decisions. 

The lawyers at can assist and guide you through the refusal process. 
We otherwise look further to assisting those who cannot afford the payment and we believe the above allows us to continue to do so.

How (and why) lawyers participate in Time for Advice – By Ken Hunt

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