Have you overstayed your visa?
Over 50,000 people are in Australia without a visa at any given time. Immigration officers and even police officers must detain people without visas if they are found to be illegally in the country.
If your visa has expired, you may be worried about contacting someone to legalise your status. The best first step is seeking confidential advice from immigration lawyers about your options; our conversations are confidential and are protected by "Legal Professional Privilege", meaning you can speak freely and without fear of disclosure.
Should I go to the Department of Immigration or seek legal advice first?
We always recommend seeing a lawyer first so you are aware of your rights, your options and the consequences of your actions before contacting the Department of Immigration. Contacting the Department without proper advice may limit your options of remaining legally in Australia.
What happens if I go straight to the Department of Immigration?
If you do not have a visa and present yourself to the Department of Immigration's Community Status Resolution Service (CSRS), you will either be placed in immigration detention or you will be granted a Bridging visa E (usually only if you are making arrangements to leave Australia within a short period of time).
Once a person is granted a Bridging visa E, their options for remaining in Australia are very limited. Bridging visas E are also more easily cancelled than other visas.
If you do not currently hold a valid visa, we highly recommend contacting our lawyers now for a confidential consultation.