Section 48 Bar

About section 48 bar

The Section 48 bar applies to individuals in Australia who have had a visa cancelled or refused and are either unlawful or on a Bridging Visa. This restriction typically requires them to leave Australia to apply for most visas. 

However, since November 13, 2021, a waiver for the s48 bar is available for specific skilled visa subclasses: the 190 Visa, 491 Visa, and 494 Visa. This waiver allows eligible individuals to apply for these visas while in Australia. It’s crucial to note that overstaying a visa can impact future applications and citizenship eligibility.

Trigger Conditions for s48 Bar

Visa Refusal or Cancellation Onshore
The Section 48 bar is activated for individuals who have a visa application refused or a visa cancelled while they are in Australia.

Status at the Time of Refusal or Cancellation
It specifically applies to those who, at the time of their visa refusal or cancellation, are either holding a non-substantive visa, such as a Bridging Visa, or are in an unlawful status in Australia.

s48 Bar waiver

The Australian Government amended the Migration Act 1958 to enable applicants under a Section 48 bar to lodge certain skilled visa applications from within Australia. 

Since November 13, 2021, this applies to 3 visas below:

  • Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491),
  • Skilled Nominated (subclass 190),
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (subclass 494) 

This change allows skilled migrants in South Australia who are subject to a Section 48 bar to apply for state nomination without the need to travel offshore. This legislative update significantly eases the process for skilled migrants in these specific categories.

Exceptions to s48 Application

Section 48 does not apply in certain situations, such as when a visa application is deemed invalid due to incorrect payment, or if a substantive visa was held at the time of the refused application. Additionally, applications made from outside Australia are exempt from the Section 48 bar. These exceptions are important to consider for individuals navigating the complexities of Australian immigration law.