Can a person hold 2 substantive visas at once?

Tip Series - Common mistakes: many RMAs say that a person cannot hold 2 substantive visas at once. One of the reasons would be s 82 of the Migration Act. The other reason would be the fact that one visa could allow the person to work while the other could prohibit work, thus resulting in a deadlock. With respect, those assertions are wrong ...

The mistake

Many RMAs commonly say that the law does not allow a person to hold 2 substantive visas at the same time. One of the reasons would be s 82 of the Migration Act 1958. The other would be the fact that, for instance, if one visa allowed the person to work and the other prohibited work, the holding of 2 substantive visas at the same time would result in a deadlock. With respect, those assertions are wrong for the following reasons.

The law

Subsection 82(2) of the Migration Act 1958 does read as follows (emphasis added):

(2)  A substantive visa held by a non-citizen ceases to be in effect if another substantive visa (other than a special purpose visa) for the non-citizen comes into effect.

According to the above provision, it is true that if a person holds a substantive visa, that visas ceases to be in effect upon the grant of another substantive visa. However, that does not necessarily mean that a person cannot hold 2 substantive visas at the same time. A closer look at the above provision reveals ...

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