'Simple' but crucial detail that saw UK expat refused entry into Australia

Australia is known for being one of the strictest countries in the world when it comes to border control and visa applications.

Social media personality Mark is seen in a still from his TikTok video beside an image of him and Nadine in Thailand.
Social media personality Mark said he was refused entry to his Perth-bound flight from Thailand over a missing detail on his visa. Source: TikTok/@markandnadinetravel

A UK expat who works in Australia has revealed the "simple" but critical "oversight" he recently made on his visa that saw him refused entry back into the country from Thailand — where he lives with his partner Nadine.

Social media personality Mark, who runs an online travel blog alongside his new wife, said he was due to fly back into Perth over the weekend to start work again "next Tuesday", but missed a crucial detail that saw him "refused entry on my flight", forcing him to remain in Phuket.

"I'm meant to be working next Tuesday... I'm in the process of getting my second working-holiday visa approved, so I can carry on working out in Oz," Mark said in a video posted over the weekend.

He explained his Working Holiday visa (WHV) year 1 "was expiring and year 2 was still processing" so a bridging visa was needed, which he thought he'd applied for, but "not the right one".

Left, a plane in the air. Right, Mark and Nadine on a beach in Thailand.
Mark said that while he planned to work next week in Perth, an 'oversight' prevented him from being allowed back into Australia. Source: TikTok/Instagram/@markandnadinetravel

"But because I left the country — because we just got married — you need to ensure you have the right bridging visa," he said. "I had one granted, but there's a seperate bridging visa for when you're application's being processed for when you're out of the country.

"So, they wouldn't let me board, they said my visa's no longer valid."

Between the first and second year of a WHV, applicants can apply for a bridging visa if they want to leave Australia to holiday or visit their country of origin. What Mark should have done, but failed to, was submit an application for a Bridging visa B (BVB), according to the federal government, which costs $185.

Under the terms of the BVB, applicants can "leave and return to Australia during a specified travel period while your application for a substantive visa is being processed".

"With this visa, you can leave and return to Australia within the defined travel period while your application for a substantive visa is being processed," the Department of Home Affairs stated online.

While Mark said he lost his flight fare, and will have to book another out of his own pocket, he's hopeful of a positive outcome.

"Thankfully, I went to the Australian consulate after the airport, got through to Home Affairs in Australia and they basically said I need to apply for a different visa [the BVB] and then go to the immigration office when I'm there and it should still be processed," he said.

"They said there's — technically — no reason to refuse my second year, which is great."

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