Section 48 | Bar on visa application

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:

  • 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)
New visa application outside of Australia with BVB

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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I got my student visa refused and waited for AAT hearing/ decision but my partner – my visa dependent has got approved 489 visa. Can we apply onshore or we have to leave Australia to apply for 489 visa? Please advise


I have student visa refusal and currently waiting onshore for Aat hearing. I am on AAT(mrt). My wife is also planning to lodge her student visa file from overseas.
My question is: will she be eligible to get student visa ?
I am worried that my past history means I am on mrt onshore will not affect her Student visa process. Or it will not raise as question to GTE requirement that I did not get visa, so my wife is planning to get one something like that.

Pls advice


Hi! I’m still waiting for my AAT result as I was refused to extend my Student visa before and now I finished my bachelor already and there is still no result from Tribunal(lodged 8/2017). I currently have a BVE and wanting to apply for Post-Graduate visa. Can I apply for Post-graduate visa?


I have had my previous 457 visa cancelled due to not finding a new employer/ nomination and ceasing work. I did appeal to the tribunal and now holding a bridging E with full working rights due to the cancellation of the 457. Can I withdraw my AAT hearing application and apply for student visa ? If yes , should I do this onshore or offshore ?
Thank you


Hi there,

I am currently on my BVA waiting for my 186 appeal. Is it possible for me to apply BVB to go offshore for a few days and lodge 494 visa offshore and then come back to Australia and wait for both the 186 appeal and the offshore 494? As both visa are employer sponsor type, will it be contradictory and risky for each other’s process? Pls advise. Thank you!


Hi my 457 visa finished then i apply 482 visa as cook from same employer same position but i got 482 visa refusel. Currently i hold bridging visa A. Now i got 6 each band. Can i apply 186 trt visa i am working from 3 years full time with same employer thanks


I had student visa refusal, I am on Aat at the moment. My question is that my wife is planning lodge her student visa from overseas. If she will be granted visa then will it be possible for me in the future to go on her student dependant visa (subsequent entrant) while waiting for my mrt appeal onshore ??
I will have to get bridging visa b and apply from offshore???


Hi there,
I am on BVA at the moment, I was refused for visa 189 in march, I and my family appeal to AAT April 2019. Please do anyone knows how long it usually takes for AAT to act on this file.


Hi there,
I am in need of some advice.

I have had a student visa refusal and I am still awaiting my AAT’s hearing.I am currently in Australia on BVB. I recently received an invitation for 489 visa and I have to apply by 7th September at the latest. I tried applying online from within Australia but the system did not let me to proceed. I have been told that I can apply fro 489 from overseas on my BVB and then come back to Australia to attend my hearing. Is this correct?

Thank you


hi, Subhan. I’m in the very same situation as yours. I thought I was on BVA, and I just found that I’m also on BVB when I was checking my VEVO. How is going on? Did you successfully apply the 489 offshore on BVB and then come back to AU? My email is me how is going. Hope everything is going well with you. I look forward to your good news. cheers.


Hi there,

Very helpful article. Just a question bit different to this. I am currently on BVA (non substantive visa). On BVA, can I apply for 180, 190 onshore or have to depart to apply for substantive visa? I have full rights. And it’s not AAT, MRT applied BVA. Thanks.


Hi, I lodged my 190 application, and currently on 457 visa,if for some reason my 457 cancelled will it affect my 190 Application?

Faizan Khan

For some reason my recent BVB which I got granted is “Not active”, and my previous BVB is still “ACTIVE” which has got must not arrive after 28th FEB 2019. Not sure if I travel overseas the new BVB is gonna kick in or not? Please help

Sarojani LATA Jattana

hi there ,i am a NZ citizen ,Been living in Australia for the past 5 years .I applied for my husbands 461 partner visa which has been declined .My husband lived in Australia for 9 years before moving to NZ .We have a 5 year child together .Is there any hope for re appeal .Letter states no appeal .


Hello,, kindly help me out in my question , if my student visa extension get refuses and i go for MRT, till the time obviously i will stay on bridging appeal visa, while staying on appeal and waiting for decision will this allow me to continue my study and complete course as em enrolled and studying? Also will appeal status affect my dependent work rights till we receive any decision? or our study n work rights will remain same till we receive any decision? reply to my question em much worried

Ben Cheng

I applied for AAT review last year as I had a visa refusal before. While waiting for AAT, I was granted 482 visa early this year and I then returned to Australia with my 482. My question is what will happen to my 482 visa when I withdraw my AAT review for my previous visa refusal?
Many thanks.

Nur Nadhira

I would like to enquiry regarding our visa (bridging visa A & ongoing review). My partner and I are planning to withdraw our current visa and going back to our country Malaysia this August. I would like to know if we can return back to Australia after we withdraw our BVA and apply other visa that applicable for us to work and live in Australia. Thank you and I’m looking forward to hear from you soon.


Hi Peng

My daughter is 4 months old now and my agent didnt included her in my visa application that was for student visa extension. Currently I am on student visa that will be expire on 21st july 2019 however my daughter hold bridging visa E.further I am going to apply 485 visa.Is it possible to include her in my application onshore?

Nisha dev

My brother have 4 kids and he recently got his divorce. Her wife is not well to look after the kids. So my brother got the custody of kids. He wants someone to look after the kids as they are too young. Can he apply for carer visa(sub class 836) for me and my husband.
Please give me your contact details


Hi Peng,
I have had my previous 457 visa cancelled due to not finding a new employer/ nomination and ceasing work. Before that, I have filed a Partner visa application and now holding a bridging e due to the cancellation of the 457. I have my dependents with me and they are now too in a bridging e visa. Is it possible for them to go back to our home country to continue their studies and come back when the Partner visa is finalised?

lily talag

I am in the protection visa at the moment bridging visa but my partner is PR resident were getting married can i apply for spouse visa?