Section 48 Bar: A Guide For Bridging Visa Holders Affected By Section 48 Bar Seeking 491, 494 and 190 visas

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Section 48 problem

If you are in Australia and since last arriving in Australia you have had a visa refused or a visa cancelled then you are subject to section 48 of the Migration Act. Section 48 significantly limits your ability to make any further application in Australia.

If you are lucky enough to receive an invitation to lodge a skilled migration visa, nominated by a state or territory, there is a real problem. You are likely not to be able to travel outside Australia because of travel restrictions because of COVID-19 or similar events.

If you are unable to exit Australia to lodge your offshore application, you might run out of time to accept the invitation to apply and make the required skilled migration application.

The big s.48 change

On 28 October 2021 and section 48 problem was significantly changed. Some relief was afforded to people who are invited to lodge a subclass 491 or subclass 494 or subclass 190 Visa.

Being able to lodge a visa is only one step. You’ll also need to meet criteria at the time of application. You’ll then have to meet another set of criteria at the time a decision is made on your visa application.

If you hold a bridging visa BVE and BVB and BVC holders this change will be very useful. If you hold a BVE, then this latest development would be very useful to you. (BVE is not a qualifying visa for 491, 494 or 190)


Remember that Section 48 only applies to applicants inside Australia and who do not hold a substantive visa. Don’t panic if you have a substantive visa! To discuss your section 48 problem, book a consult with me here.

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