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Leaving Australia while your application is being processed

Guys, today, when the world borders are open for travelling, we are pretty often receiving questions about entering and leaving Australia while the Department is making decisions of visa or citizenship application. 

Let’s discuss this subject together. I will also provide you with recommendations and tips to help and avoid delays in application processing or unwanted expenses.

If you applied for a visa from Australia and you are waiting decision:

  • Check your current visa – you can enter and leave Australia following conditions of your current visa while you are waiting for the Department’s outcome.
  • If you were granted Bridging Visa A at lodgement of your application, your BVA will automatically become active when your current visa expires and BVA will be valid until a final decision is made. 
  • If you need to leave Australia, you should apply for Bridging Visa B, which can be valid for 1 year. However, keep in mind you cannot extend this visa from overseas; so you’ll need to return to Australia. On the other hand, if you miss the expiry of the Bridging Visa B, you can try to apply for a Visitor visa to enter the country and reinstate your Bridging Visa. As you may understand, this is a risky option since no one is secure from potential Visitor visa refusal.

Additionally, let me remind you, some Australian visas can only be granted if the applicant is onshore. For example, the Parent Aged Visa subclass 864 / 804 or the Partner Visa subclass 820. Therefore, I strongly recommend our clients to get a visa and then travel abroad.

If you are waiting for a citizenship by conferral:

  • You may leave Australia for short terms. In such cases, I recommend informing the Department of your departure and providing approximate dates for your return. 
  • Never leave for an indefinite period while the citizenship processing is ongoing. If you are abroad for a really long time, the Department may assume that you won’t return, and there’s no point in granting you citizenship. The primary basis for obtaining citizenship is solid evidence that you genuinely intend to live in Australia.

There was a case in my own practice, where a man applied for citizenship and then found a job as a flight attendant for an international airline company. After extensive correspondence with the Department, he insisted on involving me in this case, and we resolved it without a Tribunal hearing. However, it required quitting his job and returning to Australia because the officer didn’t believe he would return to live here.

I’d like to remind you of the standard conditions for obtaining citizenship: reside in Australia for 4 years, with an absence of no more than 12 months during that period; have a Permanent Residency visa during the last year, with no more than 90 days of being overseas.

The steps for obtaining citizenship in general are as follows:

  • Submit an application on the Department’s website.
  • Application processing.
  • Invitation to the test.
  • Test is passed successfully.
  • Citizenship confirmation letter.
  • Invitation to the citizenship ceremony.
  • A formal ceremony to receive the citizenship certificate with the pledge.
  • Now you’re officially an Australian citizen! Congratulations!  Now you can apply for your Australian passport!

Dear future Australians, I would like to remind you that my team is ready to assist you not only with immigration, visitor, or study visas but also with consultations and citizenship application preparation. Many of you might say that for such a straightforward procedure, an agent service is not required. 

And I’ll reply, “The process of obtaining citizenship is not always transparent and straightforward.” Some cases have their peculiarities (frequent business trips, family circumstances) and require prior consultation, a detailed calculation of days of staying onshore, and/or the preparation of solid evidence.

If this is your case, please don’t hesitate to contact us for advice, and don’t let the matter escalate to Tribunal intervention because it will cost you 20 times more of financial expenses and 500 times more in negative mental experience.

Always attentive to your questions, Yulia Moiseeva & Associates team.

You can ask me questions at any time.

Just email me at office@yuliamoiseeva.com.au and describe your migration issues!

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