Student & Voluntary Visa Cancellations – Important Considerations
There are many reasons to cancel your Student visa, one being that you have applied for another substantive visa in Australia. You possibly want to cancel your student visa as you have just applied for an Onshore Partner visa (subclass 820/801) and no longer wish to study.
There are some factors which you should be aware of before cancelling your student visa in order to stay in Australia lawfully and not let it affect future visa applications or your ability to work lawfully in Australia.
Will I remain on my Bridging Visa A after I cancel my Student visa?
When you apply for a substantive visa in Australia (let’s use a Partner (subclasses 820 & 801) for this example), you will receive a Bridging Visa A (BVA) which would normally sit in the background until your current visa, the Student Visa, expires. You would then normally move onto this Bridging Visa A to keep you lawfully in Australia until a decision is made on your partner visa application.
Once you apply to cancel your Student visa after applying for another substantive visa in Australia, your Bridging Visa A which was attached to that Partner visa application will also be cancelled as it was granted on the basis of you holding that Student Visa.
What visa do I stay in Australia on once my Bridging Visa A is cancelled?
After you cancel your Student visa and subsequently, your Bridging Visa A is cancelled, you will become unlawful. You will then need to make an application for a Bridging Visa E (BVE). A BVE requires an interview with the Department, has no travel facility, and does not automatically come with work rights.
In order to gain work rights on your BVE you may need to prove financial hardship and that you have an explicity need to work in order to cover your living expenses. This can be a tricky step, as when you applied for your Partner visa, your partner was required to agree to supporting you financially if required.
Other conditions associated with my Bridging Visa E
Firstly, as outlined above, Bridging Visa E’s do not come with travel rights. This means that you will need to stay within Australia for the processing time of your Partner visa. This may be quite a long time, upwards of 12 months. If you leave Australia on your BVE, you will not have a valid visa to return to Australia on.
- This can be problematic when you have a requirement to be in Australia for your Partner visa to be granted which is the case for the Partner (subclasses 820 & 801) visa.
Secondly, you will also need to state on future visa applications that you have had a visa cancelled. This includes your future application for citizenship along with visas for other countries. You will need to justify why your visa was cancelled and provide substantial reasons.
Thirdly, the BVE may cause a delay in you gaining your citizenship later on down the track. If you become unlawful in between the period in which your BVA was cancelled and the BVE is granted, your ‘time in Australia’ clock will reset, meaning you may be waiting longer than originally to apply for citizenship in order to fulfil the requirement of living in Australia for 4+ years.
What to do if I wish to cancel my Student Visa?
If you are considering cancelling your Student visa, we highly recommend speaking with an immigration lawyer first to fully assess your circumstances and provide you advice on any implications of the cancellation and put in place the most appropriate strategy moving forward. We need to understand and put in place the most beneficial strategy for you.
Ethos Migration Lawyers specialise in Australian Migration Law and are equipped to consult with you regarding voluntary visa cancellations.