15 Dec 2021

Bridging Visa Holders and Others With a Section 48 Bar now eligible to apply for Skilled Permanent Residence

Non-citizens with a Section 48 Bar are now eligible to apply for some Skilled Visas to remain in Australia following Government legislative changes on 13 November 2021. Here’s what employers and visa holders should know.

What is a Section 48 Bar? What has changed? | Bridging Visa Australia

A Section 48 Bar is a law that in some circumstances restricts a person from applying for all but a few eligible visas while they are in Australia. It applies to non-citizens that:

Do not hold a Substantive Visa (this includes people who hold a Bridging Visa*, Criminal Justice or an Enforcement Visa)

Have had a visa refused or cancelled since last entering Australia

Previously eligible visas were limited to some Partner/Family Visas, Protection Visas, Retirement Visas and Bridging Visas.

From 13 November 2021, non-citizens with a Section 48 Bar have also been able to apply for a:

Subclass 494 Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa

Subclass 190 Independent Skilled Visa

Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa

Of course, standard eligibility requirements apply relating to the applicant’s skills and experience. 

*A Bridging Visa is a Temporary Visa issued in certain circumstances to allow you to remain in Australia lawfully while awaiting a visa decision. 

How This Impacts Businesses and People With a Section 48 Bar | Bridging Visa Australia

In the past, many people subject to a Section 48 Bar were forced to leave Australia because they were not eligible to apply for the limited number of visas to which the bar did not apply (such as Partner Visas).

The changes provide visa holders with a Section 48 Bar (many of whom are already working in Australia) the option to apply for Skilled Visas to remain in the country. The benefits are that:

Visa holders with a Section 48 Bar no longer need to depart Australia at a time of COVID-19 travel restrictions to apply for some Skilled Visa and businesses can engage these visa holders for work without the uncertainty of travel arrangements.

These visa holders can now apply for a Permanent Residence (PR) pathway through the 190 and 491 Independent Skilled Visas or the 494 Employer-Sponsored Regional Visa while they are in Australia. PR pathways have become even more valuable to migrants during the pandemic and are an option for businesses needing to retain global talent – particularly if they are facing skills shortages.

Immigracious | Migration Connections Made Simple

As you would know, Australia is moving towards re-opening its international borders.

Should you wish to get advice on your visa and travel options, we encourage you to contact Immigracious’ Migration Agents.


Immigracious’ Migration Agents
The Department of Home Affairs
Migration Institute of Australia

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Uncategorized


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