Visa overstay in Australia and leaving the country

This is a discussion on Visa overstay in Australia and leaving the country within the Deportation & Removal Issues forum, part of the Other Immigration Law & Visas category; If someone overstayed in Australia for about 5-6 years and now willing to leave Australia voluntarily, would there be any ...

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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 09:56 AM   #1
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Default Visa overstay in Australia and leaving the country

If someone overstayed in Australia for about 5-6 years and now willing to leave Australia voluntarily, would there be any problem? Is there anything to be done ,like contacting immigration beforehand? What would happen if the person just buy a ticket, go to the airport and leave? The main concern is just to leave Australia without ending up in jail or paying a huge fine.

Here are more details...

This person came to Australia as a student. His family only have little money to support him for a few months. The plan was to stay with his uncle's family and they will help with the tuition fee.

It turned out to be a scam. His uncle never helped but instead forced him to work for his business, without payment. This person doesn't speak English and had no choice. His uncle often threaten him that he'd end up in jail if he tried to leave.

5 years have passed and now he wants nothing but escaping back to his country.

He also would like to sue the uncle and get at least some money for 5 year work, if that is possible. But the main concern is just to leave Australia safely, preferably without having to answer any question, since he can't speak English.

Any information is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 12:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Visa overstay in Australia and leaving the country

Hi,

Goodness what a terrible story!

First, the law (and I am quoting from the Department of Immigration website directly):

People who have overstayed their visa or had their visa cancelled because
they have breached their visa conditions and have no further entitlement to remain in Australia are expected to leave. They may be detained and removed as soon as practicable.

Overstayers can be given temporary lawful status through the grant of a bridging visa.

This allows them to make arrangements for their departure from Australia, or to seek a further visa, if eligible.

Persons who overstay their visa by more than 28 days become subject to an exclusion period that prevents them from being granted a temporary visa to travel to Australia for three years. This exclusion period applies whether they leave voluntarily or not.

Even after the exclusion period has finished, the person cannot be granted a visa unless they repay any debt they owe to the Commonwealth, including for costs of removal and detention, or they make satisfactory arrangements to repay their debt.

So that is how the law stands.

What should this student do?

He has 2 choices:

1) He can buy his ticket, get ready to leave, book his ticket, and go to the airport. He will have to fill in the exit card and I imagine that this will raise quite a few eyebrows and will lead to questions right at the airport.

The Australian Government wants to get rid of overstayers as quickly as possible and with as little cost to the government as possible. So his voluntary departure will not be a problem. Of course he will be barred from re-entering Australia for 3 years.

2) He can call the DIAC (Department of Immigration) or rather, you or whoever he can trust, can do this for him. The situation should be explained in detail. If he says that he wants to apply for a bridging visa so that he can prepare to leave they will probably give him a bridging visa to be able to do that. If you go there in person there is a chance he will be detailed straight away. So do not do that unless he is well and truly ready to go.

Also, if you do go there in person, and they decide to detain him, he may end up getting put into a detention centre. You really do not want that to happen. It is depressing and would just make his bad experience even worse. (I am sure you have heard the dreadful stories about Australian Detention centers.)

I would make an anonymous phone call, I would explain the situation, and ask for advice, making it clear that he knows he is in breach and he is willing to leave.

Now, the dreadful uncle! He has breached many laws. I am not sure about how or what should be done to sue him for the money he owes the boy, BUT he is certainly guilty of knowingly employing an illegal worker! If you tell the Department of Immigration the circumstances of the case, he will certainly be prosecuted by the Department.

A couple of months ago a couple in Queensland were found guilty of slavery! ie: forcing a person to work for them without pay. This case sounds identical. So there is certainly lots of legal scope for action.

You can seek free advice on all issues from Legal Aid (there are offices in every state), but I am not sure how willing they will be to help an illegal person.

As for calling the Department of Immigration, the Department operates a national telephone service inquiry line.
Telephone: 131 881

I hope that helps.

Best of luck to the boy and to you for helping him out.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 03:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Visa overstay in Australia and leaving the country

Hi Veronika. Thank you so much for your help

I admit that I don't really know much about law or things like this. I am an international student myself and I am going back to my country next month. This boy used to be my boyfriend's classmate. He isn't allowed to use the phone or go out. I guess he just simply can't stand this horrible situation anymore. He had to sneak to a public phone while doing grocery shopping for his uncle and call my boyfriend asking for help. I just heard about this today and began searching for information. His story is really distressing and we'll try our best to help him out. Although I have no idea how we can contact him and discuss the options. We'll just have to wait until he has a chance to call again.

I think we might have to go for option 1. I wouldn't want to risk putting him into any more trouble. I live in a different state, and I am going back soon. We just want to make sure that he won't get into a detention at the airport, since I might have been gone already by that time and no one will be able to help. I've been thinking about this before posting here. Why would the government bother putting him into detention when he's about to leave? Hope I'm right....

Thank you again Veronka for your help. =)
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 11:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Visa overstay in Australia and leaving the country

Yes it was helpful for several people, thanks for the input!
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 03:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Visa overstay in Australia and leaving the country

If he is at the airport, ready to leave, there is no reason to put him into detention, I completely agree. Detention costs the Government money and gives them bad press, so he should be ok.

But they will undoubtedly question him!

In this day and age it is incredible that things like this still go on.

I would love to hear the outcome of this story. Please keep us posted.

Cheers,
Veronika
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 01:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Visa overstay in Australia and leaving the country

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veronika View Post
If he is at the airport, ready to leave, there is no reason to put him into detention, I completely agree. Detention costs the Government money and gives them bad press, so he should be ok.

But they will undoubtedly question him!

In this day and age it is incredible that things like this still go on.

I would love to hear the outcome of this story. Please keep us posted.

Cheers,
Veronika
Hi Veronika,

In fact I was held in a detention center for almost 2 years and was deported from Australia more than 5 years ago ever since I have been living with my Australian wife overseas my wife has always been able to visit her family but I haven't tried to aply to get the visa do you think that I have got any hope of visiting Australia Again, before I was deported I was told that I owe th commonwealth government about $80000 I visited the Australian Consolat in 2006 and was told that I owe the commonwealth government 46000 please let me know if you have any information that might be helpful since it is getting really hard for both me and my wife to maintain this life style of hardship.

Thanks alot

Regards
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 06:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Visa overstay in Australia and leaving the country

hi people,
i have to bring this thread up. This is a particularly similiar situation an asian mate of mine is in. He worked for minimum wage, hasnt got paid n has overstayed for 6years. But just few months back he felt sick n the doctor told him hes got cancer and need treatment. Will our australian government give medicare help? he has no money and will probably die if he was sent home to sri lanka. Any advice?
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Old Dec 6th, 2008, 05:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: Visa overstay in Australia and leaving the country

What if you Are on an ETA to Australia and are due to leave in 3 months . What if you overstay that 3 months by less than 28 days ?
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Old Dec 6th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Visa overstay in Australia and leaving the country

Can anyone tell me plz but i need fast reply what happen if u overstay ur visa for less than 28 days
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Old Dec 22nd, 2008, 03:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: Visa overstay in Australia and leaving the country

My boyfriend was banned for 2 years for overstaying around a week longer than his visa permitted. Due to circumstances this didn't effect our relationship as i have been living in his country legally for a year.

But, for any information regarding overstays, visa's and all else related to Australian policies i'd strongly suggest you visit the Australian embassy web site or just call because the information there is correct with no bull**** "guess-ti-mates" or theories. If you want the real deal go check it out.

But, you should know that at the end of the day the government should be scared of us not us being scared of them.... pull your thumb out ask some questions to those that should know best and if they give you a **** answer question them some more.. don't be a smart ass though, just be smart.

Thats what we did and we will be heading to Australia next year.. i guarantee that.

Regards,

Ramana
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