s48 barred applicants may now apply for Subclass 190, 491 and 494 visas onshore

Updated: 4 November 2021

Section 48 of Migration Act 1958 is aimed at preventing visa applicants from lodging successive visa applications in Australia, in order to remain in Australia indefinitely. 

Section 48 specifies that a non-citizen in Australia, who doesn’t hold a substantive visa, and was refused a visa since last entering Australia, can only apply for limited number of visas specified in Regulation 2.12. Some of the visas specified includes Partner, Protection, Medical Treatment and various bridging visas.  

Prior to the pandemic, s.48 barred applicants who were invited to apply for a skilled visa, would leave Australia and lodge a valid application offshore. If the option was available to them, they would be able to go offshore on Bridging Visa B, lodge the visa offshore and return to Australia. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions made departing and re-entering Australia challenging and extremely expensive.

The new instrument Registered on 30 October 2021, have added subclasses 190, 491 and 494 to the list of visas specified under Regulation 2.12. This means that visa holders in Australia who are currently s48 barred and have received a State/Territory invitation for subclass 190/491 or a regional employer sponsorship will be able to lodge their application in Australia from 13 November 2021.

This also means that State/Territories will now consider applications made by s.48 barred applicants for subclass 190/491 visas. Regional employers experiencing skilled shortages will also be able to sponsor s48 barred applicants in Australia on subclass 494 visas.

If you were impacted by s48 bar and want to understand how these changes might impact you, please contact AMES Skilled Migration Service and speak to one of our Registered Migration Agents.