If you are living in Australia under a temporary visa, you should renew it before it expires. If you fail to do so, the government may label you as an unlawful non-resident, and you may be detained or removed from the country. If your visa has already expired, here's what you need to know:
1. An expired visa restricts your ability to apply for new visas.
The Australian government does not encourage immigrants to let their visas expire, and an expired visa makes it very hard to apply for new visas or extensions. In short, the immigration process is extremely hard with an expired visa, and you may want to work with a professional to guide you through the process and boost your chances of renewing and extending your visa.
2. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection advises immigrants with expired visas to contact the department as soon as possible.
When you contact immigration officials, you receive your options regarding leaving the country, and in some cases, you may be allowed to apply for a Bridging Visa E. This temporary visa allows you to stay in Australia while the Department of Immigration and Border Protection reviews your new visa application and decides your immigration status.
3. Expired visas may result in detention and removal from Australia.
If you are found in breach of the terms of your visa, the Australian government reserves the right to hold you in a detention centre while it decides your immigration case. For example, if your visa has expired and you don't have a Bridging E visa, you may be sent to a detention centre.
4. Detention centres have been linked to high risk of mental trauma for children.
If you have children with you, and their visas have expired with yours, you want to do everything possible to avoid staying in a detention centre. The immigration detention facilities in Australia have always been subject to a great deal of justified criticism, and new findings indicate that these facilities may be especially harmful for children.
Over 15 percent of children in detention facilities present some mental health issues, and 41.3 percent of children ages 11 to 14 have received a mental health diagnosis. Experts claim these children are staying in the detention centres for an average of 445 days, and their symptoms are likely to be tied to long term scars.
If your visa has expired and you want to get help so that you can avoid being detained or deported, contact an immigration specialist today.
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