Publish Date: Sep 18, 2014
Last week, Australian immigration officials visited Griffith in south-western New South Wales to provide information for individuals who have overstayed their visas.
The visits are part of an outreach programme for workers who are located in regional areas and may need to talk over the issues associated with their immigration status.
The outreach programme also offers an opportunity for individuals to speak to immigration officers about specific issues they might be facing, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
"People must have a valid visa to remain in Australia and this is an opportunity for people to get their visa status in order before they are detected in a compliance operation," said the spokesperson in a press release of 3 September 2014.
"In addition to providing information, DIBP staff will, where appropriate, be able to grant a short-term bridging visa to people while they work through their immigration matter."
A bridging visa allows an individual to remain in, or travel to, enter and remain in Australia during a specified period or until a specified event happens, for example, while an individual's substantive visa application is being processed.
There are currently seven classes of bridging visas, commonly known as bridging visas A, B, C, D, E, F and R. An individual's eligibility for a bridging visa, including which class of bridging visa, will depend on the specific situation that they are in. Each bridging visa has different rights and conditions associated with it. Bridging visas are complicated and individuals should contact a law firm with experience in this area for assistance.
The recent outreach programme by DIBP also highlights the need to address any issues that might arise around an individual's immigration status before they become major problems. It is important for individuals who are visa-holders in Australia to get expert advice on their immigration status and to be proactive if there are any issues.
In recent months, immigration officials have made a number of visits to rural Australia to offer these services. In March and June of this year, DIBP officials visited Griffith, while similar outreach sessions have occurred in South Australia and other parts of south-western New South Wales in the last 12 months.
A number of different services have also been offered recently to those who have migrated to rural areas of Australia. For example, the Australian citizenship test was recently made more accessible for those living in rural areas and who wish to become Australian citizens.
However, for individuals who are concerned about their immigration status, the best solution is to contact a law firm that is able to advise on visa issues. This will give you the peace of mind that your case will be handled effectively.