Overview

Bridging visas are transitory visas which permit you to remain in Australia while you are waiting for an application to be processed, or to provide lawful status while you wait for your appeal at Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) or while you make arrangements to depart the country. Generally, bridging visas follow the expiration of your current substantive visa.

Bridging visas are only granted and valid while you are in Australia. Once you decide to travel overseas Australia they will cease when you leave the country. The only exception to this rule is BVB that has a travel facility attached allowing you to travel overseas and come back.

Eligible family members who were applying for a substantive visa together with a primary visa holder will be granted the same bridging visa as the primary applicant.

Types of Australian bridging visas

There are six bridging visa types with slightly different entitlements attached to them. Generally, your migration status previous to being granted a bridging visa will affect the bridging visa type you are granted as well as the rights which are attached to the bridging visa.

  • Bridging visa A (BVA) – subclass 010
  • Bridging visa B (BVB) – subclass 020
  • Bridging visa C (BVC) – subclass 030
  • Bridging visa D (BVD) – subclass 041
  • Bridging visa E (BVE) – subclass 051

Bridging visa A (BVA) – subclass 010

This temporary visa is the most common bridging visa. It is granted automatically when you make a valid application for a substantive visa while being in Australia.

The Bridging visa A (BVA) allows you to stay in Australia lawfully after your current substantive visa ceases and while your new substantive visa application is being processed. If you hold a substantive visa when your BVA is granted, you must continue to comply with the conditions of the substantive visa. When your substantive visa ceases, the conditions of your BVA will apply.

A BVA will end immediately if the following situations occur:

  • you leave Australia while your BVA is in effect
  • you are granted the substantive visa you applied for
  • you are granted another Bridging visa (such as a BVB) in relation to the same substantive visa application that this BVA is associated with
  • the Department of Home Affairs cancels either your BVA or the substantive visa that you held when you were granted the BVA.

Working rights

You might be allowed to work in Australia depending on the visa conditions that apply to your BVA.

If your BVA does not let you work, or has restrictions on working, you can apply for another BVA that lets you work. To be considered for a BVA that lets you work, you will usually have to demonstrate that you are in financial hardship.

You cannot be granted a new BVA that lets you work if your current BVA prevents or restricts you from working in Australia and either:

  • your current BVA was granted to you because you have applied for judicial review of the decision made on your substantive visa application, or
  • you have applied for a protection visa.

Travel rights

You are not allowed to travel with this visa. If you leave Australia while holding a BVA you won’t be able to get back in.

For more information visit: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au.

These are some of the common eligibility criteria:

  • you must hold or have held a substantive visa
  • you need to be in Australia when you apply
  • you must have made a valid application for a substantive visa or judicial review within the prescribed timeframe
  • you must meet character requirements.

It is granted automatically when you make a valid application onshore for a substantive visa while still holding a valid previous substantive visa.

The BVA is free.

Bridging visa B (BVB) – subclass 020

This is a temporary visa generally valid for three months.

The BVB is the only bridging visa that allows you to leave and return to Australia during a specified travel period while your application for a substantive visa is being processed. If the travel facility has ended or does not have sufficient validity remaining to cover your proposed journey, then you will need to apply for and be granted a new BVB prior to leaving Australia.

Please note that it is not possible to apply to change conditions on your BVB. If you want to change visa conditions, then you will need to consider applying for a Bridging visa A (BVA).

Working rights

You might be allowed to work if the substantive visa you had or the visa you applied for lets you work.

If the visa you had, and the visa you applied for have work restrictions you will not be able to work with a BVB.

If you are the holder of a BVB that does not permit work, and you are seeking to change conditions, you will need to consider applying for a BVA. As part of this process you will need to demonstrate that you are in financial hardship.

For more information visit: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au.

These are some of the common eligibility criteria:

  • you must have held a substantive visa
  • you must already hold a BVA or a BVB
  • you need to be in Australia when you apply
  • you must have made a valid application for a substantive visa or judicial review within the prescribed timeframe
  • you must have a substantial reason for wanting to leave and return to Australia
  • you must meet character requirements.

Processing times are not available for this visa.

This visa costs AUD$155.

Please note that the above amount does not include professional fees to get assistance with the visa application process from an immigration lawyer/agent.

Bridging visa C (BVC) – subclass 030

If you are an unlawful non-citizen and you lodge a valid application for a substantive visa you will be granted a BVC.This temporary visa generally allows you to stay in Australia while your new substantive visa application is being processed.

A BVC will end immediately if the following situations occur:

  • you leave Australia while your BVC is in effect
  • you are granted the substantive visa you applied for
  • you are granted another bridging visa in relation to the same substantive visa application that this BVC is associated with, or
  • the Department of Home Affairs cancels either your BVC or the substantive visa that you held when you were granted the BVC.
  • Working rights

    Working rights for this visa are very similar to Bridging visa A. If your BVC does not let you work, or has restrictions on working, you can apply for another BVC that lets you work. To be considered for a BVC that lets you work, you will usually have to demonstrate that you are experiencing financial hardship.

    Travel rights

    You are not allowed to travel with this visa. If you leave Australia while holding a BVC you won’t be able to get back in.

    For more information visit: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au.

These are some of the common eligibility criteria:

  • you must not hold a Bridging visa E (BVE) and you must not have held a BVE since you last held a substantive visa
  • when you lodged your application for a substantive visa, you must not have held a substantive visa
  • you will need to be in Australia when you apply
  • meet character requirements.

Processing times are not available for this visa. Depending on your situation BVC is granted automatically or you can also apply on a special form.

The BVC is free.

Bridging visa D (BVD) – subclass 041

The BVD is a short term bridging visa (valid for 5 days) and it is granted to people with no valid substantive visa or someone whose substantive visa is about to expire in 3 working days.

A BVD will let you stay in Australia lawfully for a short time until you are able to make a substantive visa application, make arrangements to leave Australia or are granted a Bridging visa E.

Working rights

This visa does not offer work rights under any circumstances and if you do work, your BVD may be cancelled.

Travel rights

You are not allowed to travel with this visa. If you leave Australia while holding a BVD you won’t be able to get back in.

These are some of the common eligibility criteria:

  • you must be present in Australia to be able to apply for this visa subclass
  • you must not already be holding a substantive visa or the substantive should be expiring within the next three working days after you have applied for a BVD.

The Bridging visa D has no particular defined processing time. It depends on the individual case basis.

The BVD is free.

You may have to pay additional fees if you require professional assistance with the visa application process from an immigration lawyer/agent.

Bridging visa E (BVE) – subclass 051

If your substantive visa expires, this visa lets you stay lawfully in Australia while you make arrangements to leave, finalise your immigration matter or wait for an immigration decision.

This temporary visa is commonly used to rectify your immigration status, generally if you are currently unlawful.

Working rights

You might be allowed to work if you can prove financial hardship.

Travel rights

You are not allowed to travel with this visa. If you leave Australia while holding a BVE you won’t be able to get back in.

For more information visit: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au.

These are some of the common eligibility criteria:

  • you must be an unlawful non-citizen, the holder of a BVE (subclass 050) or the holder of a Bridging visa D (BVD) (subclass 041), when you apply for this visa
  • meet character requirements.

Processing times are unavailable for this visa.

The BVE is free.

You may have to pay additional fees if you require professional assistance with the visa application process from an immigration lawyer/agent.

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