I’ve just returned to Ireland from from Australia. When leaving, at the airport I was unexpectedly issued with a three-year re-entry ban as, unbeknown to me, my visa had expired in August. I’ve been on a student visa for more than two years. I followed all my student visa conditions and paid fees and kept up attendance. During my studies I had to move to a new college but the education office didn’t mention anything about extending my visa and I was not aware that visas and college courses did not go hand in hand. I had no idea I was in danger of not being allowed to return until I got to the airport and was told my visa had expired. Is there any chance of me being able to return?
Three year re-entry bans are typically issued to people who have overstayed their Australian visa by more than 28 days.
A three year re-entry ban is for temporary visas only.
So it may be possible to look at permanent visa applications such as partner, skilled or employer nominated visas.
Getting a three year re-entry ban waived to return as say a student or temporary worker is very difficult.
Student applications are subject to public interest criteria 4014; this means there must be compassionate or compelling circumstances to grant a new temporary visa to someone who has a ban period.
The Department of Immigration (DIBP) might consider waiving the exclusion/ban period, depending on the reason why the re-entry ban was imposed.
To claim this waiver, the factors in support of a return to Australia must outweigh those in favour of the exclusion from Australia.
DIBP will consider factors, such as compassionate or compelling circumstances that affect an Australian citizen, or compelling circumstances that affect Australia as a country. Generally, considerations such as illness, pregnancy or other circumstances where assistance is required will be also taken into account.
DIBP will not accept a visa holder /unlawful citizen’s lack of knowledge or understanding of the law as an acceptable reason for having allowed their visa to expire.
DIBP considers this your responsibility.
If you are subject to a re-entry ban and you do not have evidence to prove compassionate or compelling circumstances, so that a waiver of the ban can be considered, you need to wait until the exclusion period expires before you lodge another temporary visa application.
While you can, in theory, lodge a valid visa application during the exclusion period, it is likely to be refused and visa fees will not be refunded.
When looking to study in Australia, it’s important to remember that education agents can assist people to find study courses and colleges to suit their needs. However, they are not permitted to give immigration or visa advice unless they are also a registered migration agent.
Applying to have a re-entry ban waived is a complex.
Before committing expensive visa fees, consider asking a migration agent for detailed advice about your eligibility for a particular visa type.