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Assuming one has a working visa in Australia (class 457) and a valid tourist visa (class 600), can they combine the two stays by staying past the work visa's expiration date? Or would you need to fly out of Australia and return in order to 'activate' the tourist visa?

Same question applies for executing the 'change of status' in the other direction - flying into Australia on a tourist visa before your work visa begins.

Related Expats question

  • There's another possibility. There could be a process for a formal application for change of status while remaining in the country. Such a process exists in many countries, though I do not know whether it exists in Australia. This seems like an Expatriates question, though. – phoog Feb 15 '17 at 14:34
  • @phoog there is an option to get a tourist visa while inside Australia, but it seems easier to me to have everything done in advance. The contract will be for only 6 months and who knows how long it would take to get a 'tourist' extension. – JonathanReez Feb 15 '17 at 14:38
  • If the Australian rules are the same as other countries' rules I'm familiar with, you need to leave the country or to apply formally for the change of status, but if you do the latter and then leave before the change is approved then you are essentially in compliance, so the fact that the status change might take months is not particularly problematic. – phoog Feb 15 '17 at 14:43
  • @phoog there is also the issue of 'pre-padding' - entering Australia before on a tourist visa before the work visa. I will expand the question now. – JonathanReez Feb 15 '17 at 14:45
  • Do you have Condition 8503 (no further stay, that is you cannot apply for another visa in Australia) on your Class 457 authorization? – user 56513 Feb 16 '17 at 21:13
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Confirmed YES you can change from class 457 visa to a tourist visa. Someone did it before. Scroll to last posting at bottom of page in link.

However you have to apply for the change, not just combine it by yourself. If approved you would not need to fly out and return to activate it.

Per Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s (DIBP),

If you want to stay in Australia longer than your original visa lets you, you will need to apply for a further visa of the same kind or another visa. How much longer you can stay in Australia will depend on the visa that you have, or the visa that you apply for. If you have a ‘No further stay’ condition on your visa, you cannot apply for a new visa while you are in Australia.

To change the type of visa you have in Australia, you will need to contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship at least 14 days before your current visa expires. You might be granted a new visa if you fulfil all requirements and you have followed the rules of your current visa. Source

In reality immediately you make that application, you would automatically be deemed to have applied for a bridging visa so you maintain legal status while your petition is adjudicated. You should however still be in good status with your current 457 to be eligible.

Best

  • But what if I already have a 600 (tourist) visa? Do you still have to apply for one and fly out? – JonathanReez Feb 17 '17 at 13:03
  • @JonathanReez Reread my answer. I never said that. You need approval to SWITCH to it. – user 56513 Feb 17 '17 at 13:12

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