Although you should always only apply for a visa when you know you meet the requirements, sometimes, due to circumstances outside of your control you might find yourself in a situation where you need to withdraw your visa application. If you find yourself in this situation you might have a few questions: how do I withdraw an application? What will happen when I withdraw my application? Can I do anything else? Can I have my money back? Some of these questions have an easy answer and some do not.
How do I withdraw my visa application?
There is one withdrawal form for all visa applications and it is freely available on the Department’s website: the Form 1446 (download here). The form has instructions on how to complete it and it’s not a particularly hard form to complete as long as you have all the necessary reference numbers for your application. You also have an opportunity why you wish to withdraw your application.
If you have applied for your visa online through ImmiAccount, you should upload a completed Form 1446 to your application in ImmiAccount. Another option is emailing the completed form to the processing centre that has your application – that is, if you know the correct email address. If you have lodged a paper application, you should post the completed form and relevant documents to the relevant Departmental office (Department’s website directory here). There is no charge to withdraw your application.
How long does it take?
There are no standard processing times for the withdrawal of a visa application, although the Department usually processes withdrawal requests quite quickly once they have received it. When the application has been withdrawn the Department will send you notification to confirm the withdrawal.
When can I withdraw my visa application?
You can only withdraw an application after it has been received and acknowledged by the Department as a valid application (i.e. after lodgement) and before it has been finalised (i.e. granted or refused). If your visa has been granted you cannot withdraw it.
What will happen once I withdraw my visa application?
If you are withdrawing an application that was lodged whilst you were outside of Australia, once the application is withdrawn and you have received a confirmation email from the Department, that is the end of the application.
If you are withdrawing an onshore application (i.e. you were in Australia when you lodged your application and were granted a bridging visa), then you will also need to consider your bridging visa. Depending on when your bridging visa was granted, your bridging visa will either expire 28 days or 35 days after the application has been withdrawn.
If your bridging visa was granted before 19 November 2016 – your bridging visa will expire 28 days after the withdrawal.
If your bridging visa was granted on or after 19 November 2016 – your bridging visa will expire 35 days after the withdrawal.
If you are in doubt, it is best to check your visa details using VEVO (link to VEVO here).
Can I withdraw an application for someone else?
No, you cannot withdraw a visa application for another person. The Form 1446 does, however, allow you to withdraw a visa application for multiple applicants who have made a combined visa application, but they must all agree to withdraw their application. If you have included your family in your visa application and you all wish to withdraw your visa application, you are able to do it using one Form 1446.
It is important to remember that the withdrawal of a visa application by one applicant (i.e. the main applicant) does not constitute withdrawal of the visa application of other applicants – you must list all applicants wishing to withdraw their application.
Can I apply for another visa after I’ve withdrawn my application?
Having a withdrawal does not prohibit you from applying for another visa, but it is important to work out whether you meet the requirements for the particular visa you are hoping to apply for. For example, if you are on a bridging visa you should check whether you can make a valid application for a particular visa while on a bridging visa. If you are unsure, consider booking an appointment with a registered migration agent to discuss your circumstances.
Can I get a refund?
Once you have withdrawn your application you have the ability to request a refund of the visa application charge. You can request a refund request by completing the Form 1424 and then sending it to office that was processing your application. If you don’t know the office that was processing your application you can send the completed Form 1424 to the nearest Departmental office (Department’s website directory here).
It is important to understand that there is a distinction between being able to apply for a refund and actually being eligible for a refund. The Department will only approve a refund in certain circumstances: for example, if the visa applicant has died before the application was finalised. The Form 1424 lists the circumstances where the Department will consider a refund, so it is important to see whether your circumstances fit within one of these circumstances.
There are no standard processing times for a refund request application.
Withdrawing a visa application can have many consequences. If you want to know what the consequences will be for you then consider booking a consultation with a registered migration agent.