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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Information About Expired Visas

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How do I know if my visa has expired?

You can check your visa information online at any time through Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO). This will give you information about your visa's expiry date as well as any conditions attached to your visa or other requirements.

It is important that you are aware of your visa's expiry date. Your visa expiry date is also shown on the notification you received when your visa was granted.
Note: employers and other organisations are also commonly required to check a person's visa status and conditions, including their right to work in Australia.

My visa has expired but I'm still in Australia. What should I do?

If your visa has expired, you must visit an immigration office immediately.

You should bring your passport or other identity documents, proof of residential address and, if you are intending to depart, evidence of any airline bookings you have made.

Community Status Resolution Service (CSRS) officers can grant you a bridging visa while you work with us to finalise your immigration matter. A bridging visa is a short-term, temporary visa that allows you to stay in Australia lawfully until your immigration matter is finalised.

If you remain in Australia without a valid visa you risk being placed in immigration detention and removed if you are located as part of the department's compliance operations. It is important you take action and contact the CSRS.

Illegal maritime arrivals living in the Australian community on a Bridging visa E cannot apply for a further bridging visa. Only the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection has the power to grant a BVE to illegal maritime arrivals. For this reason, it is very important to inform us of changes to contact details so we can contact you.

If I come into an office, will I be detained?

The department generally does not detain people if they work with us toward finalising their immigration matter.

The Australian Government established the Community Status Resolution Service (CSRS) to give people living or working unlawfully in Australia the chance to re-engage and resolve their immigration status. This approach is provided as an alternative to immigration detention for people working with us voluntarily.

In these circumstances, we could grant you a bridging visa to allow you to remain in the community temporarily until your immigration matter is finalised.

Don't you just want to make people leave Australia?

No, our goal is to ensure that you maintain a lawful visa status while you are in Australia.

Community Status Resolution Service (CSRS) officers will clearly explain immigration or departure options. This includes realistic information about your eligibility if you intend to apply for a visa to remain in Australia. However, you need to be prepared that if you apply for a visa and it is refused, you will be expected to depart.

What do I do if my passport has expired?

You do not need a valid passport or travel document to contact the Community Status Resolution Service (CSRS). If you do not have a valid passport or travel document, you will need to organise one through your country's embassy or consulate as soon as possible. If you need help and you do not hold a visa or only hold a Bridging visa E (BVE), you should contact the CSRS.

Do I have to pay to speak to a Community Status Resolution Service (CSRS) officer?

No. You do not have to pay to speak to a CSRS officer.

If I don't have a visa and try to leave Australia, will I get stopped at the airport?

You can leave Australia without a valid visa. However, you may be counselled by immigration officers at the airport before your departure.

What if I don't have a visa to stay, but I'm not sure about going home either?

You may benefit from talking with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM is an independent, global organisation which has provided impartial information to many people in this situation. IOM can help you be sure you have all the information you need to make a decision about returning home.

For more information, you can contact IOM - International Organization for Migration directly from anywhere in Australia.
Telephone: 1300 116 986 (local call cost)

I want to leave Australia, but I can't afford it. What can I do?

In the first instance, the department expects people to make arrangements to pay for a ticket home, which may mean seeking assistance from family or friends. Where this option has been unsuccessful, in some circumstances, we may be able to refer you to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM can help eligible people who want to leave Australia but who need some assistance to do so. You can visit IOM - International Organization for Migration for more information.

Can I just stay in Australia on a bridging visa?

No. A Bridging visa E (BVE), like all bridging visas, is a temporary short-term visa granted by the department while you resolve an outstanding immigration matter. It is not an immigration solution. There will be certain conditions attached to a bridging visa that you must follow.

Can I contact the Community Status Resolution Service (CSRS) anonymously?

Yes, you can call the CSRS phone line on 1300 853 773 anonymously and request general information. If you want to know more specific information about your situation, you will need to provide some details to the operator.

If you do not currently hold a valid Australian visa, you will need to come into an immigration office to be able to apply for a bridging visa. A list of offices in Australia is available.

Last reviewed Wednesday 27 August 2014