Apr 15, 2020

‘My visa has expired, and I can’t leave Australia due COVID-19’

Expired within 28 days

If your visa has expired, you need to apply for a Bridging visa E (BVE) immediately in order to become lawful. A BVE is a short-term visa that lets you remain lawful while you make arrangements to leave Australia.

How long you can stay in Australia with a BVE

This visa is valid until a specified date, or for a particular time period, or a specified event happens.

Your BVE will also end if:

  • you leave Australia
  • you are granted a substantive visa
  • your BVE is cancelled


There is no fee for a BVE application.

Working in Australia while you hold a BVE

Your grant letter will tell you if you are allowed to work. If you work when you are not allowed to, your BVE can be cancelled and you could also be removed from Australia.

If you are not allowed to work, there are only some situations where you might be able to apply for a new BVE that does allow you to work. For example, you might be in financial hardship if you cannot pay for the reasonable cost of your living expenses.

The Department of Home Affairs will assess your situation to see if you meet the requirements. If you do not meet the requirements, you won’t be granted a new BVE that allows you to work.

Stay longer

You cannot stay in Australia longer by extending this visa.

If you want to stay longer in Australia, you must apply for a new visa. Your circumstances will determine your visa options and what you must do to remain lawful while you apply for a new visa.

Some services relating to the visa application process (such as medical checks and biometric collection) may be impacted by COVID-19. Applicants will be given additional time to complete checks and provide the requested information if the service is not available at the moment.

Expired more than 28 days ago

If your visa expired more than 28 days ago, please contact the Department’s Status Resolution Service (SRS).

SRS officers can explain your visa options and tell you how decisions you make now can affect your options later on. They can also help you plan your departure from Australia and refer you to other services where necessary.

For more information visit: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au

VisAustralia still open and working at full throttle

VisAustralia, like the Department of Home Affairs, is continuing to work at full throttle.

We are keen to push the applications of our overseas based clients forward and ensure visas are granted in the shortest possible time. This on-going work will allow you to move to Australia as soon as the travel ban is lifted.

We are also keen to assist people facing visa issues in Australia because of the travel ban. If your visa is expiring, or you have other questions about the impact of the ban on your visa process, please do not hesitate to contact VisAustralia.

We want to reiterate that the travel ban is a short-term measure not related to the process of applying for a visa under the Migration Act 1958. The Australian migration program has a long and stable history and visa processing system will continue. People will continue to be able to migrate to Australia and study in Australia. The closure of the border represents a short-term policy response to what we all hope is a short term health issue.