It is sometimes said by applicants that a person who remains in Australia after their student visa expires has a 28-day "grace period" during which they remain lawful non-citizens. We explain why that is not the case.
Although it is true that the relevant legislative provisions contain a 28-day rule for individuals who apply for a subsequent student visa while in Australia without a visa, that does NOT mean that those applicants remain lawful non-citizens during that period.
On the contrary, once a visa expires, if the former visa holder remains in Australia without having been granted another visa, they simply become "unlawful non-citizens" and liable for detention and removal.
We explain below the source of the myth and why it is wrong.
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