June 2018 | What it's like to be a visa overstayer in Australia

Date: 5 June 2018

Source: SBS

Ramesh* barely leaves his home in Western Sydney, except to go to work.

Even then, the 28-year-old is on edge, especially when he sees the police.

“I get nervous, I get scared, like, you know … traumatised,” he told SBS News.

He is one of around 62,000 people living illegally in Australia after overstaying their visas, according to the Department of Home Affairs.

Where once British backpackers topped the list, it’s now Malaysians like Ramesh who make up the biggest cohort.

The department says 10,000 Malaysians overstayed their visas between 2016 and 2017. Those from China (6,500) and the US (just over 5,000) followed.