Section 48 Bar – What Can I Do?

If you have your visa refused since you last entered Australia and hold only a bridging visa, or no visa, you have what is called a Section 48 bar. If you still hold a valid visa, you can leave and return to Australia to prevent the s.48 bar from ever activating.

The s.48 bar prevents you from applying for most other visas whilst you are inside Australia.

There are still some visas you can apply for where the s.48 bar does not apply.

  • Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated
    • This is a State sponsored visa
  • Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional
    • This is a Regional sponsored visa
  • Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional
    • This is a Regional employer sponsored visa
  • Partner visa
  • Child visa
  • Medical treatment visa
  • Protection visa
  • Retirement/Investor Retirement
    • only if you previously held this visa

Shaking the s.48 bar

If you don’t meet the requirements for any of the visas above, you can look at alternate ways to lodge a visa. Some very common scenarios are listed below.

  1. Leave and return on your current visa

If you still hold a valid visa, you can leave and return to Australia on this visa. This prevents the s.48 bar from ever activating.

2. Lodge a visa from outside Australia

You can still lodge a visa from outside Australia. You can choose to either wait outside of Australia for the outcome, or return to Australia.

If you plan to return to Australia to wait for the outcome, you need a Bridging Visa B before you leave Australia. This will let you return to Australia during the processing period.

3. Return on a different visa

You can leave Australia and return on a different visa. This will remove the s.48 issue.


You should consult with a migration agent before making any visa or travel plans.

  • 3 Year Return Issue
    • You may have a 3+ year issue on visa grants if your visa was refused for providing false and misleading information or documents. You will require a waiver to return any earlier, in most circumstances. 
    • You may have a 3+ year issue in grant of visas outside Australia if your bridging visa was issued a certain time after your last substantive visa expired, or if you leave more than 28 days after your last substantive visa expired.
  • Schedule 3 – Partner Visa
    • If you are lodging a partner visa from inside Australia when you hold no visa, or only a Bridging Visa, your application needs to pass additional requirements.

These issues can become complex and are not described on the immigration websites.

If you have had a visa refused and want to apply for another visa, please book a consultation with our migration agents to go over your options.

#regionalmigration #s48bar #immigration #registeredmigrationagent #visarefusal

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