Section 48 | Bar on visa application

Updated with 13 November 2021 changes lifting Section 48 from three skilled visas – 190, 491 and 494 visas.


If your visa was refused or cancelled and you currently hold a Bridging visa, then Section 48 bars a new visa application while you are in Australia.


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 bars 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).

Section 48

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:


Skilled visas


  • 190 visa – State sponsored permanent residency visa
  • 491 visa – State sponsored regional temporary visa (that can lead to permanent residency)
  • 494 visa – Regional employer sponsored temporary visa (that can lead to permanent residency)

If you receive a State sponsorship invitation for the 190 or 491 visa, or you have employer sponsorship and you can lodge the Regional employer sponsored 494 visa, then you can go ahead with your visa application as onshore application – even if you earlier had a visa refusal and you currently hold a Bridging visa A, B or C.


Non-skilled visas


  • 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)


kavita · September 25, 2019 at 11:15 pm

Hi Peng,
My partner is holding BV A and he is waiting for his AAT appeal. What if he withdraws his appeal and apply from offshore as my 482 subsequent entrant? Will he be eligible to apply?
Many thanks on previous reply.

    My Access Australia · September 28, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    He can lodge the visa application when he is outside of Australia.
    Unfortunately I can’t provide advice about visa eligibility just based on your comment information.
    Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to visa options.

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