If you are in Australia, leaving your visa application to the last minute is never recommended under any circumstances. In fact, if you’ve ever contacted the Department of Immigration by phone you may have heard their recommendation that applicants lodge their visas well in advance of their visa expiries.
The old adage of ‘Murphy’s Law’ is typically stated as – “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.
This could not be more true for one of our clients, who approached us at the last minute to lodge his visa application. By last minute, we mean we found ourselves trying to lodge his application on the date of his visa expiry.
Unfortunately, the Department of Immigration was undertaking routine system maintenance to their systems on that particular Saturday. The DIBP advertised that their systems will be unavailable between 2 – 2.30 pm, but unfortunately, their systems remained unavailable for that entire weekend!
For our client, this meant he and his family became unlawful non-citizens who were liable for detention and deportation at 12.01 am.
The Department of Immigration were understanding in circumstances outside of our clients control, and we’re pleased to advise his visa issues have been resolved and he is no longer unlawful. That is, not before we'd convinced immigration department to exercise their statutory discretion in favour of our clients circumstances.
The best way to avoid becoming unlawful is to contact a Registered Migration Agent well in advance of your visa expiry.