How can I change visa class?

Publish Date: Jun 26, 2015

There are a range of visa classes that individuals can apply for when they move to Australia. Student visas, working visas and sponsored migration are just some of the main visa categories that are open to people migrating to the country.

Importantly though, there are a number of avenues for individuals who are on one visa category to move to another. Here's what you will need to know about making this shift from one category to the next.

Subsequent visas will depend on your current category

The avenues to move onto another class of visa will depend on the one you are currently using to enter and live in Australia. For example, those entering on a student visa may have the option to transition to a different visa class once they have graduated - allowing them to start their career in the country.

In other situations, individuals will need to apply for another visa category in order to stay in Australia. However, it is important to note that you can only hold one visa at a time that entitles you to remain in the country.

There is also the option to 'renew' an existing visa, again depending on the situation. On occasion, a visa will have a "No Further Stay" condition attached to it that means you cannot apply for another visa from within Australia.

What options exist when a visa is expiring?

If a visa is approaching expiry, individuals will need to begin the application for a new visa entitling them to stay. It is possible for individuals to receive a bridging visa that will temporarily allow them to remain in the country while a new visa application is processed.

Bridging visas come in five varieties - assigned a letter from A to E - with each depending on the specific situation of an applicant. For example, one of these classes contains a provision where individuals can leave Australia and reenter on the bridging visa alone.

One of the instances when a bridging visa E will be issued is when an individual isn't applying for a further visa and instead needs a visa while they finalise their travel plans to leave the country.

To learn more about transitioning from one visa category to another, or to learn more about the specific considerations that come with each visa class, make sure to contact an immigration lawyer today.

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