Bridging visas are issued to allow you to stay in Australia while your application is being processed, or to offer legal status while you make plans to leave the country.
If a BVB expires before the holder may return to Australia, they must apply for a new visa (such as a short-term Visitor visa) after the travel restrictions have been released. Visitor visa applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. To remain lawful after the Visitor visa expires, the person must apply for a BVA once ashore.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BRIDGING VISAS AVAILABLE IN AUSTRALIA?
Bridging Visa A
If you have a substantive Australian visa and apply for another substantive visa, you will be given a BVA, which will allow you to remain lawfully in Australia while your application is processed.
A few things to keep in mind with a BVA:
- This visa does not grant you any travel rights, therefore if you leave Australia, you will be unable to return. You may, however, apply for a BVB to get travel privileges (see below).
- If you travel on your existing substantive visa after submitting an application for a new substantive visa, the BVA will end once you leave Australia. This means that when you return to Australia, you will need to apply to have your BVA reactivated. You will be ineligible if your BVA is not reinstated before your current visa expires.
- Unless you apply to the Department for another BVA with no work limitations, you will not have work privileges on a BVA. To qualify for assistance, you must usually demonstrate that you are experiencing financial difficulty.
- Work rights will be granted automatically if you have been nominated or sponsored by an employer for a substantive visa on skills grounds and appear to meet the requirements for the visa.
- Additionally, if you apply for an onshore partner visa (sc 820), you will be granted work privileges automatically while your visa is being processed.
Bridging Visa B
You will need to apply for a BVB if you want to go outside of Australia and prevent having your BVA canceled while your substantive visa application is being processed.
A few things to keep in mind with a BVB:
- This visa is usually only valid for three months, therefore once it is issued, you must return to Australia before the three months are over.
- Due to the three-month time limit, you should apply for the BVB no more than 2-3 weeks before your trip.
- You must complete a simple form and submit it to the Department, which will process the visa within a few days and notify you if it has been approved.
- A BVA and a BVB can both be held at the same time.
- There are costs involved.
Bridging Visa C
A BVC will be given to an unlawful non-citizen who submits a proper application for a substantive visa. This is true if you have overstayed your visa and are now ineligible, but have filed a legal application afterward.
A few things to keep in mind with a BVC:
Right to travel
- You do not have any travel rights, thus if you leave Australia while on this visa, you will be unable to return. You can’t apply for travel rights on a BVB while you’re on it, therefore you can’t leave Australia legally (if you have an urgent need to travel you will need to contact your case officer).
If you applied for a substantive visa in Australia, you may have been automatically granted a BVC; if this is the case, the Department will notify you. If that’s the case, you won’t need to fill out another form.
- Unless the substantive visa you have filed for is one of the following SkillSelect visas, the initial BVC issued to you when you apply for your substantive visa will not allow you to work.
- Visa for Business Talent (subclass 132)
- (Provisional) visa for business innovation and investment (subclass 188)
- (Permanent) visa for business innovation and investment (subclass 888)
- Visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
- Visa under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187)
- Skilled – Self-sufficient visa (subclass 189)
- Nominated visa for skilled workers (subclass 190)
- Regional (Provisional) Skilled Visa (subclass 489).
- If your BVC does not allow you to work in Australia, you can apply for a different BVC that does. To be eligible for a BVC that allows you to work, you must normally show that you are in financial distress.
Bridging Visa D
- If your substantive visa has expired, a BVD will allow you to stay in Australia lawfully for a limited period of time until you may apply for a substantive visa, make travel plans, or be granted a Bridging visa E. There are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with a BVD:
Limitations on time
- If you are granted a BVE within those 5 days, your BVD will expire five working days after it was granted or five days after the date your substantive visa expired.
You must either submit a proper application or make plans to leave Australia within those five days.
Right to travel
- There are no travel privileges because you cannot re-enter Australia on this visa.
- Under no circumstances does this visa allow you to work, and if you do, your BVD may be revoked.
Bridging Visa E
This visa permits you to stay in Australia lawfully while you make arrangements to leave, finalize your immigration matter, or await an immigration judgment if your substantive visa has expired.
A few things to keep in mind with a BVE:
Right to travel
- Once you leave Australia, your visa expires, and you will be unable to return unless you are given a new substantive visa.
- If you are authorized to work, it will be stated in your award letter. The Department can cancel your BVE and detain you if you work when you’re not supposed to. It’s also possible that you’ll be deported from Australia.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE A SUBSTANTIVE VISA?
Any visa that isn’t a bridging visa, a criminal justice visa, or an enforcement visa is referred to as a substantive visa.
WHY SHOULD I TRY TO AVOID ACQUIRING AN ILLEGAL STATUS?
You are an illegal non-citizen if you are in Australia without a visa. This can result in issues for you, such as:
You run the danger of being arrested and deported from Australia.
- After you depart Australia, you may not be given another visa for three years.
- You may owe the Australian government money for the expense of your relocation.
This BVA permits you to stay in Australia for the following reasons:
following the expiration of your existing visa
- Whilst your application for a new visa is being handled
The current travel restrictions must be followed by all visa holders.
The most important priority is public health. You must follow public health advice regardless of your visa circumstances. Quarantine or self-isolation are examples of this.
If your visa expires during this time, you must do the following:
- emigrate from Australia as quickly as possible, or
- Make an application for a new visa.
Depending on the visa rules that apply to your BVA, you may be able to work in Australia.
If your BVA prevents you from working or restricts your ability to work, you can apply for a new BVA that allows you to work. To be eligible for a BVA that allows you to work, you must normally show that you are in financial distress.
If you are still qualified for a BVA but do not complete the work requirements, DHA will issue you a new BVA with the same terms as your prior BVA.
If your current BVA prevents or limits you from working in Australia, you cannot be given a new BVA that allows you to work.
- Your present BVA was granted to you because you requested a judicial review of the decision made on your substantive visa application, or because you asked for judicial review of the decision made on your substantive visa application.
- You’ve submitted your application for a protection visa.
If you wish to stay in Australia after your visa expires, you’ll need to apply for a new one.