Why is it not recommended that you ‘voluntarily cancel’ your student or 457 visa?

We have received so many questions about voluntary cancellation particularly in the case of student visas or 457 visas for applicants who have applied for another visa, eg permanent residency.

It is important to be aware that you may create serious complications and stress for yourself if you cancel your visa for the following reasons:

  • If you cancel your student or 457 visa when you have applied for another visa, the Bridging Visa A associated to the new visa you have applied for will also be cancelled. This means that you will not automatically get the BVA with work rights as it will cease due to the cancellation. You will then need to lodge an application for a Bridging Visa E which does not have work rights. To apply for work rights you will also need to lodge an application requesting work rights. In order to obtain work rights you will need to prove that you are in ‘financial hardship’ and specific criteria applies to prove this.
  • Applicants who hold a BVE will have extra conditions to comply with and may receive check-up and monitoring calls from immigration. Regular attendances in person at the Department of Immigration may also be required.
  • The BVE does not provide you with the permission to travel and it does not allow you to apply for a Bridging visa B to travel.
  • From when the visa is cancelled, you may risk being unlawful until a BVE is granted
  • If you are unlawful for any period of time due to cancellation, this will effect general residency requirements when it comes time to applying for citizenship which means that your time in Australia will be reset from when you obtain a new visa to meet the requirement for citizenship. So for example, if you have already been in Australia for 4 years, you will need to wait another 4 years to meet the residency requirement for citizenship from when your new visa is granted.
  • A record of cancellation or unlawfulness will create complications for future visa applications in Australia and also other countries as you will need to justify why your visa was cancelled or why you were unlawful, extra criteria will need to be satisfied in order for future visa applications to be approved.
  • Please note, if you quit your job whilst holding a 457 visa or quit your study whilst holding a student visa and then decide to go back home, that is, back overseas, your visa will then be cancelled at some point. However if you later decide that you wish to come back to Australia, it is unlikely that you will have any issues for future visa applications in this case as you had not breached conditions of your visa but rather decided to return home.

If you are not sure about your options and the requirements for your situation, we recommend you arrange a migration assessment. A migration assessment will include a full assessment of your personal situation, discussion regarding different visa options and an explanation of requirements and the visa application process. Contact us to arrange an appointment.