If you are in Australia, you must hold a valid visa for the duration of your stay and comply with the conditions of your visa. You must depart Australia no later than on the day on which your visa expires.
If you are in a situation where your visa has expired while you are in Australia, you can still depart. If you stay in Australia after your visa has expired, you become an 'unlawful non-citizen'.
Risks of becoming unlawful
The Australian Border Force (ABF) conducts visa compliance activity in the community. If you are found to be in the community without a valid visa:
- you risk being detained and removed from Australia
- you might have to pay the Australian Government for the cost of removing you from Australia
- you could be banned from returning to Australia for up to three years – this is called a
If you need some time to arrange for your departure, you need to apply for a Bridging visa E (BVE) immediately in order to become lawful.
A BVE is a short-term, temporary visa that allows you to stay in Australia lawfully to make arrangements to depart Australia. Like any visa, there will be certain conditions attached to your bridging visa that you must follow. You can apply for this visa through the
Bridging visa E – BVE webpage.
If you don’t have the right to remain in Australia, you must depart.
| What are the benefits of choosing to leave?||What are the risks of not leaving?|
|You can depart as a lawful visa holder and decide when and how you leave Australia.|
If you don't maintain a valid visa, or you breach your BVE's conditions, you could be detained and removed.
|You would not incur a debt to the Australian Government for the cost of removal.||You could incur a debt to the Australian Government for the cost of your removal.|
|You might be able to avoid a ban on re-entering Australia.||You could be banned from returning to Australia for up to three years.|
|We can refer you for help with travel arrangements, including an air ticket.||We can obtain travel documents on your behalf and seek to enforce your departure.|
|You will stay in control of your own departure arrangements and circumstances.||Your future will remain uncertain while you do not have an ongoing right to remain in Australia.|
I need help departing Australia. Who can I contact?
In some cases, the Department can refer people to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM is an International organisation that can provide you with independent support and information about how you can return home. For more information call IOM directly on 1300 116 986 or check the
International Organization for Migration website.
In most cases, you can resolve your immigration matter quickly and easily through this webpage. If you need additional information, visit the
Status Resolution Service webpage.