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  Attention: All information in this topic is to be taken as a guide only and may be outdated. The Department of Immigration of Australia, constantly modify and update the rules for most types of Visas. For actual and correct information, please consult the official website of the Department of Immigration.

Extension of Visas in Australia - can be easy to get if you provide the Immigration Department with evidences that you need to stay longer for some special reason, AND also show to them you have enough financial situation to support yourself during this new period. But there are some situations in which there are written rules about that class of Visa that will restrict the edition of a new Visa, and the person will have to leave Australia to re-apply from overseas. It doesn't matter which class of Visa you are, the most important of all is to have a chat with an Immigration Officer BEFORE your Visa expires. One of these situations is when you get a stamp in you passport, saying "Condition 8534 or 8535. It means " NO Further Stay". Over staying a Visa as it is called, is considered a serious offence by the department, and can lead to fines and even deportation. So to evict troubles, the best thing to do is to call the Immigration Department, explain your situation, and hear what the Officer have to say.

Usually a standard tourist Visa allows a maximum of 3 months in Australia, but in some cases a person can get 6 months or more, depending about the intentions and the financial situation, e.g.: someone who wants to buy a Motor home or Caravan and circle Australia. This trip may require at least 6 months, and to get this extension the applicant will need to write a letter to the Immigration Department explaining all the plans, providing evidences of financial support for the trip. Note: The Working Holiday Visa is the only Visa that allows you to do Tourism in Australia and work at the same time for a longer period. The pure Tourist Visa doesn't allow work to finance the trip. Note also that in case of re-applying for a Visa, the same documents required at first instance may be required again and all have to be in English (or officially translated to).

To renew any Visa in Australia you'll have to ring the Immigration Department nearest to the city you are, and appoint an interview. Don't forget to take your passport and the necessary documents. If your application (for the renew) is accepted, you will have to pay a new tax for the new Visa. If for some reason it is going to take a while to unite documents and other, ask the officer if you can get a "Bridge Visa" (a temporary Visa) while the other one is processing, but DO NOT stay in Australia without a valid Visa.

Changes of the status of the Visa are allowed only for countries considered "Level 1" (see topic Level by Country). Example: Once in Australia a person wants to change from a Tourist Visa to a Student Visa or vice-versa. Anyway, it is not automatic and you'll probably need to supply the Immigration Department with new documentation.

International Students are allowed to have one month extra in Australia after they finish their courses (and the Visa will expire as soon as the course ends). To re-new the student Visa, the person in question will have to be enrolled in another course and supply the Immigration Department with all documentation requested, including the cost of the new Visa.

Note: The Officers at the Immigration Department are very nice people and are ready to help you with any orientation regarding your Visa situation in Australia. The only thing they don't want is for you to stay Illegal in Australia (neither we). So, if you have any concerns about your Visa situation, they are the best people to consult. The only thing you can not do is to overstay your Visa, or ....Hasta la Vista Baby!

Some tips: As said above the Immigration Officers are the best people to inquire about Visa situation and most of them will help you to stay longer in Australia legally, but they are very busy workers. So, before you drop at the Department, it is good idea to ring them first (phone: 131881) to ask basic questions, and only after you know what have to be done and how, them you appoint the interview. For example, You can download a form from their website, instead to wait in a line just for that. Wednesday the Immigration Department is open only half of the day.

Some people may have difficulties to talk with the Immigration Officer.

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