The Pitfalls of Switching to a Visitor Visa to Work in Australia

Australia, known for its stunning landscapes, multicultural cities, and quality of life, has become a popular destination for students and young professionals from around the world. Many are lured by the prospects of studying and working Down Under, and rightfully so. The country offers a plethora of opportunities. But, navigating the intricate visa system and abiding by its regulations is crucial for those wishing to extend their stay.

From Working Holiday or Student Visa to Visitor Visa: Why It’s Not a Good Idea

If you’re a student or a holder of a working holiday visa in Australia, it might seem tempting to switch to a visitor visa in order to prolong your stay and continue working. However, this isn’t a viable or legal solution.

Here’s why:

1. Mandatory Departures: The visitor visa stipulates that you must leave the country every three months. This not only incurs additional costs but also disrupts any consistent employment you might have.

2. Increased Scrutiny: Customs and border protection officers are vigilant. If you’re found repeatedly exiting and re-entering Australia on a visitor visa, this could raise red flags. After one or two visa runs, there’s a high likelihood you’ll be stopped and thoroughly investigated.

3. Consequences of Non-compliance: If during their investigations, customs officers unearth suspicious information or evidence pointing to illegal work arrangements, the consequences can be dire. Your visa can be cancelled immediately, and you’ll be deported to your home country. Moreover, a ban will be placed on your ability to apply for Australian visas, including visitor, student, working holiday, and other short-stay visas, for at least three years.

Learn from Others’ Mistakes

It’s worth noting real-life examples to underscore the severity of non-compliance. Take Jennifer, for instance. She was an ambitious young professional who initially came to Australia on a working holiday visa. Captivated by the country’s charm and its opportunities, she decided to stay longer by switching to a visitor visa, hoping to continue her employment discreetly.

Her plan worked for a short while, but after her second visa run, she was stopped by customs officers. Subsequent investigations revealed her covert work arrangements. Not only was she immediately deported, but she was also slapped with a three-year ban on re-entering Australia.


While Australia certainly has a lot to offer, it’s crucial to respect and abide by its laws and regulations. Flouting visa rules might seem like a short-term solution, but the potential long-term repercussions can be devastating. Before making any decisions, it’s advisable to consult with a migration agent or legal advisor, to ensure t

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