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Sometimes the 3 months that you are allowed to stay in Australia as a visitor is not enough for many reasons and the most obvious option is to extend your visitor visa.
Maybe you are visiting your family and you want to stay longer, maybe you fell in love with the country and you would like to explore much more, or maybe you are stuck due to the global COVID-19 pandemic that also is affecting Australia and you need to extend the visa to stay legally.
Whatever the reason is, the first thing you should do is make sure that your tourist visa doesn’t have a “no further stay” condition, because that will be the only limitation for you to apply for a new visa while in Australia.
If it doesn’t you can go ahead and prepare everything to extend your visa.
Visitor Visa 600
If you hold a visitor visa 600 is because you went to Australia for tourist or business purposes, and on this visa depending on these conditions you may have the possibility to stay 3, 6 until 12 months in the country.
However, it is a requirement for you to leave the country every three months even if your visa has a longer duration than 3 months, this can be very expensive and inconvenient.
This is why you may think about getting a visa extension or a different type of visa in order to stay longer depending on your needs.
Make a decision on how long you want to stay in Australia
Keep in mind that the longest you could stay in Australia under a visitor visa is 12 months. For this reason you have to be clear about the total length of your stay to know which visa would be the best option for you.
Also, when you already make one visa extension, it could be less likely to do this again, so the best thing you could do is to be clear about your objectives while in the country.
Check your visa expiry dates and conditions
Check when your visa expires, because the ideal thing to do is to apply at least 3 weeks before the expiration date. Remember that the quicker the better, if you already made a decision what we recommend is to take action immediately, check all your visa options and prepare the documents you need for your application.
Explore all your visa options
If your visa doesn’t have a condition to prevent you from further stay, then you can apply on a new visa even when your current visa is still valid. If you do this, you will most likely be issued a bridging visa A so you can stay lawfully in Australia while your other visa is still processing.
Remember that you can’t leave Australia on a bridging visa as it will cease the moment you leave the country, just wait patiently for your visa renewal.
Also, be sure to meet all the requirements before applying to extend your visitor visa. If you apply for another visitor visa, most likely you will need the same documents that you used to apply for your first visitor visa in the first place.
If you apply for another type of visa be sure to check what are the requirements before applying.
Choose the visa that suits you best
What are your new goals in Australia? Think carefully about this question to evaluate your visa options.
Maybe you want to stay longer because you feel your time in Australia was not enough, but you do not have any other purpose than to do tourism. In this case you will need another visitor visa 600.
Maybe you need to stay longer but you don’t have money. In this case you need to consider that the visitor visa doesn’t allow you to work or apply to a job, so you may have to apply to another type of visa.
Maybe you want to study in the country, then you will need to apply to the school where you want to study first and then make a student visa application.
As you can see, it all depends on your specific situation and if you have any question or doubt you can visit de Australian government website to find all the detailed information about types of visa and visa application.
Apply for your new visa
When you have all your documents ready you can go to the Department of Home Affairs website and apply directly. Also, they will give you 28 days to have a health check, which is also important to apply to a visa.
Remember that a visa to get processed may take from 10 to 30 days so you need to be patient. Don’t worry if your visa expires in the meantime because you will be granted a Bridging visa to stay lawfully in the country.
What to do if your visa already expired?
If you overstayed in Australia it is very unlikely that you will be granted a Bridging visa or a visa extension because you have broken the law.
The Australian government expects all visitors to leave Australia before the expiration of their visa and if you do not comply with this requirement there is not much more that you can do.
On the Covid-19 pandemic situation
As Australia closed their borders due to the covid-19 pandemic, they are allowing tourists with a “no further stay” condition on their visas to make a written request to have it waived. If this request gets approved, then you can apply to extend your visitor visa while they are still in Australia.