Can a Visa Refusal Affect a Future Visa Application?


In short, a visa refusal will likely affect a future visa application.

Having a good immigration history without a visa refusal and/or cancellation, alongside general visa condition compliance, are important factors that the Department of Home Affairs (Department) take into consideration when deciding to grant a visa.

Section 48 of the Migration Act prevents individuals from applying for a visa onshore if their previous application has been refused or cancelled by the Department since their last entry into Australia.

This is known as a ‘section 48 bar’.

Therefore, having a visa refused by the Department is likely to affect a future visa application, particularly if the applicant is onshore at the time that the visa is refused.


Section 48 Bar


The applicant is likely section 48 barred if their visa application has been refused by the Department since last arriving in Australia and they no longer hold a substantive visa.

This means the applicant cannot lodge another substantive visa application while in Australia.

Similarly, if the applicant is holding a bridging visa when their visa application was refused, it is also very likely that they are section 48 barred.

The applicant will need to travel offshore to lodge a new visa application.

Furthermore, the reason for the visa refusal is also likely to affect future applications, whether lodged onshore or offshore.

This is particularly the case if the Department refused the application on character grounds or if the applicant did not meet the eligibility criteria at the time of the application.

It is strongly recommended that applicants disclose any previous visa refusals and/or cancellations when submitting a new visa application.


Visa Status after a Refused Visa


Bridging visas usually expire 35 days after a visa application has been refused by the Department.

This means all applicants holding a bridging visa related to a visa that has been refused must depart Australia before the bridging visa expires.

Remaining in Australia unlawfully can further impact any future application and may result in an exclusion period upon departure from Australia if a substantive visa is not held at the time of departure.


Visa Refusal Appeal


If a visa has been refused, the applicant must act quickly to determine if the visa decision is eligible for a review as there are strict time periods.

If the decision is eligible for review, the applicant may apply for a review through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) if all other appeal requirements are met.

Nonetheless, not all visa refusals can be appealed or reviewed by the AAT.


Strategies to Mitigate the Impact of a Previous Refusal


To avoid the complications associated with visa refusals, applicants must understand the common reasons for refusals and adopt best practices in the application process.

Ensuring completeness and accuracy of the application, providing supporting documentation that meets the visa criteria, and seeking professional advice can significantly enhance the chances of approval.

If a visa has been previously refused, applicants should consider the following strategies to strengthen their subsequent applications:


Comprehensive Explanation

Provide a detailed explanation addressing the reasons for the previous refusal.

This should include any changes in circumstances or additional information that counters the reasons for the previous refusal.


Professional Consultation

Engaging with a registered migration agent can provide professional guidance tailored to the individual’s situation.


Reassessment of Visa Type

Sometimes, opting for a different visa type that better suits the current qualifications or circumstances of the applicant might increase the chances of approval.


Contact Us


For professional consultation on how a visa refusal can affect future applications, contact Bambrick Legal today:

Please note: Our migration and citizenship consultations are provided on a fee basis.

Related Blog – Applicant’s Australian Citizenship denied due to IVO & Domestic Violence convictions

Send us a message

For enquiries, please fill in the following contact form