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 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:
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.
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:
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.