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Visa Extension: How to Extend Your Stay in Australia

Australia is a popular hub for students, professionals and tourists. While many tourists, students, or professionals come to Australia for a certain period, they may end up wanting to stay in the country for longer. In such circumstances, you are required to extend your respective visas for a longer stay.

Extending your visa is a common way to extend your stay in Australia and continue to enjoy the country's beautiful environment. No matter what you are travelling for, work, study, or holiday, extending your visa can provide you with ample time to explore the country’s beautiful cities, beaches, and more.

In this blog, we will discuss about who can apply for a visa extension in Australia and its process. This blog aims to help you better understand your visa extension options so you can plan your stay accordingly.

How to Extend Your Visa in Australia?

The process for extending a visa in Australia will depend on the type of visa you hold – student visa, tourist visa, work visa, more. To put it simple, you will have to meet eligibility requirements and carefully follow the process of applying for visa extension. Understand the requirements and process for your visa extension before actually applying for one.

We have help you with how you can extend your visa in Australia in the following points – 

  • Check your visa conditions. 
  • Check if a waiver request is applicable.
  • Apply for a visa condition waiver.
  • Check the waiver decision.
  • Apply for a new visa.

Check Your Visa Conditions

After receiving an Australia visa, you will find that there are number of conditions attached to your visa type. These conditions are included in your visas to tell you what you can and cannot do while you are a holder of that visa. Look at this example; imagine yourself holding a tourist visa (subclass 600). You cannot work and can only stay for three months. Additionally, there is a “no further stay condition” (8503) imposed on this visa i.e., you cannot apply for any other visa than protection visa. This is why it is important to know your visa conditions beforehand.

Check if a Waiver Request is Applicable

If condition 8503 applies on your visa, you have to put a request to waive the condition that limits your longer stay in the country.

Following are circumstances in which condition 8503 can be waived of:

  • You cannot travel back home for any medical reasons.
  • Anyone from your closed family or friend is seriously ill or has passed away.
  • There is a natural disaster in your home country.
  • There is a political situation in your home country like civil war or political unrest.
  • Approved study course which is not provided by your preferred school i.e., student visa.

The “no further stay” condition will not be waived in the following cases:

  • Marriage
  • Pregnancy
  • Failing your course (study visa)
  • A committed relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident

Apply for a Visa Condition Waiver

Let us think of strong reasons due to which you are in position for a waiver for your 8503 visa condition. In such case, you will have to submit a waiver request to the Department of Foreign Affairs. Complete a waiver form online so you can apply for the waiver request. If you are unable to complete an online form, then you may download the pdf version, print it, and fill it in. The following documents will be required for both forms:

  • A copy of your passport bio page.
  • Evidence that you require a waiver. It can be a medical report, death certificate, university record, or alike.

Check the Waiver Decision

After submitting request for waiving the “no further stay” condition, you have to wait a while till the Department processes your request. If you get the grant to waive of, you can apply for a new visa. However, if the situation is otherwise, you cannot apply for a new visa, and if your visa expires after your waiver request denies, you will have to leave and fly back to your home country ASAP.

Apply for a New Visa

After the condition, “no further stay” is waived, you can apply for a new visa to continue staying in Australia. Applying a new visa is required after your existing visa expires because it is legally not allowed to use the expired visa for stay. So, you can apply for the same visa that you had or apply for another visa.

What is the Eligibility Criteria for Extending Australian Visa?

Following are the eligibility criteria for who can extend Australian visa:

Validity: Ensure that your current visa is still valid or is expired in the last 28 days to be able to apply for a visa extension.
Genuine intention: Your intention to stay longer in the country must be genuine.
Comply with visa conditions: Ensure that you have abide by all rules and regulations mentioned in your visa.
Health and character: ensure you meet health and character requirements set by the Australian government.
Sufficient funds: Ensure you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your extended stay in the country.
No previous visa cancellations or refusals: Ensure that you never had visa cancellation or visa refusal to be able to apply for a visa extension.

What are the Processing Times for Australian Visa Extensions?

The processing times for visa extensions in Australia depends on the type of visa and the complexity of your profile. Usually, it takes about two to four weeks for the Department of Home and Affairs to process a visa extension application.

What are the Steps to Apply for Visa Extension?

If you are applying for visa extension in Australia, consider the following points:

  • The first step is to go through the conditions of your existing visa. 
  • It is important to apply for an extension before your existing visa expires i.e., within 28 days.
  • Gather all the necessary documents and complete paperwork for your visa extension application. 
  • After gathering all the necessary documents, get assistance in completing the visa extension application form. 
  • Pay the application fee while submitting your visa extension application.
  • Wait for the decision to be made by the Department of Home and Affairs.

Key Points

Visa extension is a tricky process and you must do it with the guidance and support of a professional migration agent. Asia Pacific Group has a decade over experience in this field and assures you the best immigration experience. So, if you are in need of visa extension in Australia, contact our experts today to know more about the process.