Visitor visas allow you to visit Australia for a holiday, sightseeing, social or recreational reasons, to visit family, relatives or friends, a business trip or for other short-term non-work purposes. This is a temporary visa for people who plan to visit Australia for visitor purposes.
Due to travel restrictions imposed in response to Covid-19 pandemic around the world, many visitors could not depart Australia as per plan within the period of visa validity. For people stranded in Australia, it is important to know that it is not possible to extend a Visitor visa under Australian migration law. Therefore, the applicants must apply for a new visa prior to the expiry of their current visa, preferably not earlier than 4 weeks before it expires.
If your visa is expiring, it is advisable that apply for a Visitor visa (tourist stream) to remain in Australia lawfully, as long as you are able to support yourself. If you are unable to support yourself and are unable to return home because of Covid-19 restrictions, you may be able to apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic event (Subclass 408) visa. You can avail this option only by demonstrating that you are unable to meet the requirements for any other visa, including a Visitor visa.
Most Visitor visas have an attached ‘no further stay condition’, which means you are not allowed to stay in Australia for any duration more than your original visa grant period. If your visa has this condition attached, you must first request a waiver of this condition from the Department of Home Affairs and then apply for another visa, including a Visitor visa.
More about Stay Conditions
- You must request a waiver from Conditions 8503, 8534 and 8535 ‘No Further Stay’ to be able to apply for another visa.
- You may be able to apply for another visa even if your current visa has Condition 8531 ‘must not remain in Australia after stay period ends’ as this condition cannot be waived.
- You may be able to apply for another visa even if your current visa has Condition 8558 ‘can’t stay in Australia for more than 12 months in any 18 month period’ as this condition cannot be waived.
If you want to know about Visitor Visas or are stuck in any such situation, Get In Touch with us or call us on (02) 4626 100 to speak to one of our Registered Migration Agents to discuss your visa options.