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If you have had a visa refusal or cancellation and you are currently in Australia as a bridging visa holder (or you do not hold any visa and you are currently unlawful), then Section 48 of the Migration Act prevents you from lodging a further visa application while you are in Australia.


Leaving Australia as a Bridging visa B holder does not allow you to avoid the application of Section 48 (i.e. you cannot leave and return to Australia on a Bridging visa B, and then lodge another visa application if Section 48 applies).


Please note that Section 48 would only apply if you are currently in Australia and you do not currently hold a ‘substantive visa’. Any Bridging visa would be a non-substantive visa, which means that Section 48 would apply to you if you have had a visa refusal or cancellation since you last entered Australia. Hence, Section 48 would not apply if you still currently hold a valid student visa, visitor visa, working holiday visa etc. These are all substantive visas. Non-substantive visas are only the following visa categories:


  • Bridging visas
  • Criminal justice visa
  • Enforcement visa


Section 48 also does not apply if your visa refusal relates to a bridging visa application, or if the visa was refused because of character requirements under Section 501 of the Migration Act.


Exceptions to Section 48


The following are the only visas which are exempted from the application of Section 48 – hence you may still be able to lodge a valid visa application for the following visa categories:


  • Partner visas
  • Bridging visas
  • Medical treatment visa
  • Resolution of Status visa (temporary and permanent)
  • Territorial Asylum visa (Residence)
  • Protection visa
  • Subclass 444 for New Zealand citizens
  • Child visa (Residence)
  • Border visa (Temporary)


Lodging new visa application outside of Australia with Bridging visa B


One possible way to lodge another visa application while you a waiting for an AAT hearing or Court appeal is to apply while you are outside of Australia. If you are currently holding a Bridging visa A or B, then you may be to apply for a Bridging visa B which allows you to temporarily leave Australia. This may allow you to lodge another visa application with the Department, and then return to Australia on your Bridging visa B and remain in Australia while you wait for your AAT hearing or Court appeal.


In terms of whether the Department can approve your new offshore visa application while you are in Australia, this will depend on the requirements of the visa that you applied for.


For example, with General skilled migration visas (189, 190 and 489 visas) or employer sponsored permanent residency visas (186 and 187 visas), your offshore visa application can be decided when you are in Australia and hence, you won’t need to leave Australia for the Department to decide your new visa application. If you lodged an offshore partner visa (309/100 visa), then you do need to be outside of Australia at the time that the Department decides your visa application.


Please note that by lodging a new visa application while you are outside of Australia, you will not be able to get a bridging visa that is linked to this visa application. Your right to return and stay in Australia as a Bridging visa B holder is based on your need to be in Australia for your AAT hearing or Court appeal. Hence if your AAT hearing or Court appeal is not successful, and your Bridging visa is set to expire on a certain date after the AAT or Court’s decision, then you cannot apply for a new bridging visa on the basis of your undecided offshore visa application.

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Please firstly see FAQ and prior comments post which may answer your queries

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Hi, I have won my federal case before hearing date, as I received a mail my case is now again with AAT. So can I apply for 489 or 190 if I would fulfil the requirements as Section 48 also applies. If it’s possible to apply from offshore I will do it. Currently I am on bridging A. Please advice can I apply from offshore any visa from 489 or 190.


My student visa was refused in 2017 and I am waiting for my AAT decision and I have received my EOI invitation yesterday for sub class 189. I am also familiar with Sec 48 but my wife is pregnant and she can’t travel with her condition, we have all supportive documents for that claim which we are making here, is there any exception on medical conditions which can help to lift that sec 48 bar ?



I am on BVA, my visa was refused and I am waiting for AAT’s decisions. My girlfriend is going to apply visa 485 on this July. So, can I apply dependant visa with my girlfriend at the same time or I have to wait until her visa is granted and then I could apply dependant visa 485. Please, help me.

Best regards,


Hi this is Johnny, my student visa got cancelled in may 2016 with no period of exclusion, can I apply for 476 visa.. please let me know

like wang

hi this is coco. My extension student visa got refused on dec 2017. I applied for AAT. And holding bridging A I already finished my course that I applied. Can I apply for another student visa or 485 visa during the AAT.
If I can do I have to withdraw my application with AAT ?
Thank you


Hey coco.
I’m in the same situation as yours.
Can you please let me know about your further process like what visa you applied after graduation??

like wang

i have to continue student visa. and have to go for a upper level


Hi what happen if i won my aat appeal in this case can i apply bridging visa for my offshore application


Hi, This is mimi. my query about partner visa. i apply for extension of my student visa and now im on bridging visa A and im planning to apply for partner visa, am i available to apply partner visa while im on bridging visa and waiting for the decesion for my student visa? because im worrid that immigration may cancel my visa due to that i cant provide the additional requirement that they asking to me.


Hi, This is selly. Actually my query is about student visa refusal. I have student visa refusal and now I’m on MRT. I came in Australia on 573 in master course and after 8 months I changed my course and I did diploma. When I applied for student visa extension. I couldn’t get COE of master degree course so I had to get advanced diploma and bachelor of business COE. The reason was given for refusal that I changed my study to lower lavel and I was holding bachelor degree COE to apply student visa extension which is lower than… Read more »

Sandeep Singh

Hi Peng, My name is Sandeep Singh. I have some queries regarding my visa. My visa was refused in jun 2017 and I’m on AAT, waiting for the decision. I have positive skill assessment as (electronics engineer). And I can claim 60 points. But with these points. It’s difficult to get invitation. So I’m planning to apply 489 visa to get 10 extra points. My queries are that- * can I apply 489 visa on AAT. * do I have to study one year in regional area to claim 10 points from 489. * if I have to study one… Read more »


This is Ravdeep. I got student visa extension refusal im 2017 . My case is in mrt.i lodged my 187 visa and went back to india. Can i come back to australia?


Hello. My name is farhan. I got my student visa refused 4 days ago and I am now about to lodge an appeal for MRT. Just yesterday i got my ACT nomination from ACT home affairs. I want to ask, can i still apply for 190 offshore? If so, then would it be possible for me to come back on the bridging that i will get after applying for the appeal (obviously I’ll get bridging B to travel). Please anwer this question.


HELLO my name is sammy i am on aat of 187 refusal but i already applied new 187 offshore . if i cant win AAT of 187 refusal can i get briging visa c behalf of my new 187 offshore application thanks



I hold a current student visa and my husband’s student visa was refused at the time applying for an extension. Before the decision was taken, he finished his master’s and now got his AAT decision as affirmed. My question is: Can he apply to be my dependent as I have a valid student visa here and stay here? Or do we have to re appeal to the federal and apply for BVB and goto home country and apply for a partner visa and re enter Australia. Will be waiting for your response. thank you.


Hi Peng,
Got a student visa refused in October 2016, appealed and the AAT refused it again; could I still apply for a partnership visa onshore considering I haven’t held a substantial visa for so long?
Thank you so much for your help!

saraa ali

hi, my name is sama i came to Australia on 457 visa in July 2016, i was working for a company for 6 months and after that the company didn’t renew my contract and i searched for other sponsor , my nomination was filed in Feb 2017 , after waiting for 11 months i got a refusal letter from the immigration department stating that the company’s turnover is not satisfactory in January 2018. Within 60 days of getting this refusal letter , i applied for student visa on march 10 and awaiting my student visa , In the mean while… Read more »

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