I am currently living in Melbourne and working in the Northern Territory.
I am scheduled on at this job until 3 days before my visa expires. I want to know what the rules are with staying in the country for a few weeks after my visa expires. Just as a tourist to travel around a bit y'know.
Can I just stick around and leave when I am ready or do I need to let immigration know what I am doing?
This page on the DIAC website may be of some help to you. When your visa expires, if you remain in the country you become an "unlawful non-citizen". Best to either leave the country & come back (e.g. to New Zealand), or contact DIAC and see if you can obtain a visa of some kind.
I am a migration agent and I get lots of clients who over stay, not realising that overstaying even by a day means that you will be excluded from returning to Australia for up to 3 years! Unlike the UK, Australia logs your entry and departure and the customs officers are very strict in enforcing the law. So please don't overstay. As someone else said, fly to New Zealand, apply for a tourist visa (ETA) and re-enter on that.
Also, after just watching "Nothing to Declare", you should make sure that you can prove that you have the funds to either support yourself through your 3 month holiday visa or have someone that is willing to say that you are staying with them and they are supporting you.
They sometimes think that your coming back in to carry on working. Some people have been known to head back to the same job as they were doing on there WHV.
Unlike the UK, Australia logs your entry and departure and the customs officers are very strict in enforcing the law.
The UK has started to roll out logging entries to the UK, and will soon log exits as well I believe. Certainly last year (June 2007) the passports of myself (British) & my wife (Australian) were scanned and logged on entry.
I phoned the Immigration department. All I have to do is fill out form 601 to extend my stay with a tourist class visa which can be valid up to 6 months after my last entry into Australia. Luckily I went home and came back in April so I can stay into October.
Its a small hassle to fill out a form and go in for an interview but this means that I wont mess up my chances for being sponsored by my company when I return.
No charge either. More people should realise this is an option I guess.
Thanks for the replies.
That's great - always best to be honest with immigration!