Australia - Bridging Visa

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Australia - Bridging Visa

Postby forumadmin » Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:42 am

AUSTRALIA BRIDGING VISA FROM A TO E AND PURPOSE OF ALL THESE VISAS ARE TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN YOUR PREVIOUS VISA TO NEW VISA APPLICATION BY ALLOWING TO LEGALLY LIVE AND IT CEASE WHEN NEW VISA IS ISSUED AND UNDERSTAND PURPOSE OF EACH VISA AND WHICH ALLOW YOU TO LEAVE OR NOT TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY AND FOR WHICH CATEGORIES OF VISA YOU WILL NEED AND ALWAYS EITHER REMAIN ON YOUR REGULAR VISA OR BRIDGING VISA

Quick facts: Bridging visas can be used for different purposes. They primarily let you ‘bridge’ the gap between your previous visa and a visa you are applying for by keeping you legally in Australia. Some bridging visas, however, can serve a different purpose such as by allowing you to stay lawfully while waiting for your appeal at Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). More details have been provided below.

Bridging visas are only granted and valid while you are in Australia. Once you decide to travel overseas Australia they will cease once 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.

There are ‘good’, ‘not so good’ and ‘bad’ bridging visas based on conditions attached to them and thus freedom they offer. BVA & BVB are considered ‘the best’ ones, while going down the alphabet each next one is worse than the previous one.

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.


Bridging visa A (BVA) – subclass 010



This is the most common bridging visa, most of the time sitting ‘silently’ at the back of your substantive visa application. Together with BVB also stands out as the most favourable type of bridging visa.

How to apply and when granted: It is granted automatically when you make a valid application onshore for a substantive visa while still holding a valid previous substantive visa. In certain cases you can also apply separately for BVA if you accidentally ‘lost’ it (see below)

Typical scenario: You are validly applying for 186 (ENS) visa while still being on 457 visa. Or you are moving from eVisitor (651) visa into a student visa.

You are can be also eligible for BVA after your substantive visa application has been refused and you are applying for a judicial review within prescribed time.

Working rights: BVA carries over working rights from your previous visa. So if your previous student visa had 20 hours limitation, so will your BVA. The exceptions are BVA’s in relation to the applications made in Australia for the visas below. Such associated BVA’s have no work limitations imposed:

Partner & Parent visas, namely:

Partner (Subclass 820);
Partner (Subclass 801);
Aged Parent (Subclass 804);
Contributory Aged Parent Temporary (Subclass 884); and
Contributory Aged Parent (Subclass 864).

Skilled & Business visas, namely:

Business Talent (Permanent) (subclass 132),
a Business Skills (Provisional) (subclass 188),
a Business Skills (Permanent) (subclasses 890/891/892/893),
an Employer Nomination (Permanent) [ENS] (subclass 186),
a Regional Employer Nomination [RSMS] (subclass 187),
a Skilled Independent (Permanent) (subclass 189),
a Skilled Nominated (Permanent) (subclass 190),
a Skilled Regional Sponsored (subclass 489),
a Skilled (Residence) (subclass 887)

How long is it valid? It ceases:

when your new substantive visa is granted
when new bridging visa is granted (e.g. BVB) in relation to the same substantive visa application
if your currently held substantive visa is cancelled so is your BVA at the same time once you leave Australia
28 days after your valid visa application has been withdrawn and there is no other substantive visa you currently hold.
28 days after your you have been notified that your substantive visa application is invalid
28 days after refusal of your substantive visa application
28 days after a decision of Administrative Appeals Tribunal (formerly Migration Review Tribunal) in case when you decide to appeal to case officer’s decision

Travel allowed: No

Visa fee: No


Bridging visa B (BVB) – subclass 020



BVB can be described as a ‘sibling’ of BVA as it shares majority of characteristics with BVA. The main distinction between them, however, is that BVB is the only bridging visa that lets you travel overseas and return.

How to apply and when granted: You have to apply on a special form while holding a valid BVA. BVB can be also granted after your substantive visa application has been refused and you need to urgently leave Australia while a judicial review that you have applied for is underway.

Typical scenario: After you have applied for a substantive visa you suddenly need to travel overseas due to urgent family event. If you expect to return to Australia after your current visa expires make sure that you apply for and are granted BVB before leaving Australia.

Working rights: Similar to the ones in BVA.

Travel allowed: Yes

How long is it valid: Apart from travel facility valid up to 12 months, BVB will expire in very similar circumstances to the ones listed for BVA.

Visa fee: Yes (refer to the Department of Immigration’s fee schedule)


Bridging visa C (BVC) – subclass 030



This is the first bridging visa in our listing that highlights problems in your visa situation (no current visa) and thus you’d better to avoid it. To be eligible for BVC you need to meet certain requirements:

be in Australia
apply for a substantive visa that can be granted in Australia
at the time of lodging the application have no substantive visa held
hold no Bridging visa E (BVE) at the time of applying for BVC



How to apply and when granted: Depending on your situation BVC is granted automatically or you can also apply on a special form.

Typical scenario: While in Australia you have just realized that your Visitor visa (subclass 600) expired 10 days ago. To extend your stay and to save yourself from more problems you are making a valid application for a student visa for a 6 months course. As a result you will be given BVC until a decision on your student visa application has been made.

Working rights: Conditions very similar to BVA.

Travel allowed: No

How long is it valid? BVC expires when:

you have been granted a substantive visa
you leave Australia on BVC
another bridging visa has been granted with relation to the same substantive visa application
your BVC has been cancelled
28 days after you withdraw your substantive visa application
28 days after you have been notified that your substantive visa application is invalid
28 days after you have been notified that your substantive visa application has been refused
28 days after a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (formerly Migration Review Tribunal) in case when you decide to appeal to case officer’s decision

Visa fee: No.


Bridging visa D (BVD) – subclass 040



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

The Bridging D (class WD) visa has two subclasses:

Subclass 040 Bridging visa (Prospective Applicant)
Subclass 041 Bridging visa (non-applicant)

The subclass 040 (prospective applicant) visa is available to people who:

have no visa at the moment or whose substantive visa will expire within 3 working days; and
have attempted to make a valid application for a substantive visa but was unable to do so; and
Will be able to make a valid application within 5 working days.

There is a limit of up to 3 BVD’s (subclass 040) that can be granted since last substantive visa held.

BVD is very often a step towards bridging visa E (BVE) in order to keep a person legally in Australia.

The subclass 041 (non-applicant) visa is available for people with no valid visa who:

either are unable or do not wish to apply for a substantive visa; and
There is no authorised officer available to interview them to check if they are eligible for a BVE.



How to apply and when granted? You can apply for BVD on a special form.

Typical scenario: While having a working holiday visa you made an application for a student visa, however you accidentally used a wrong form. Therefore you were notified that your application was invalid. You are applying now for 5-days BVD (subclass 040) to give you some time to prepare a correct student visa application.

Working rights: No

Travel allowed: No

How long is it valid? BVD typically expires when:

you have been granted a substantive visa; or
you have been granted another bridging visa (BVD or BVE); or
5 business days after grant

Visa fee: No


Bridging visa E (BVE) – subclass 050



Apart from BVA, this bridging visa is the second most popular visa. One of the reasons why it is so common is because of multiple scenarios when BVE can be granted, for example when:

you have overstayed your visa and are voluntarily making arrangements to depart Australia
you have applied, or are about to apply, for a substantive visa while having no valid visa at the moment
you have no valid visa have written to the Minister seeking Ministerial intervention
you are in immigration detention and satisfy the Minister that you are eligible for grant of a BVE
You have been located by Immigration without valid visa and the immigration officer determines that you are eligible for a BVE.

However, under some circumstances a person will never be eligible for BVE, for example:

at the airport, upon arrival in Australia when they have not been immigration cleared
their previous BVE has been cancelled due to criminal offences

The Bridging E (class WE) visa has two subclasses:

050(Bridging (General)) – for vast majority of applications, covered in this article
051(Bridging (Protection Visa Applicant)) – only for refugees applying for a protection visa; due to its complexity not covered in this article

An interesting feature of BVE is that a security bond (e.g. cash) might be required by the Immigration to ensure compliance with BVE conditions.

How to apply and when granted? You have to apply for BVE on a special form in person at the nearest Immigration office, by fax or post.

Typical scenario: You have overstayed your visitor visa and now making arrangements to leave Australia. Before you do it, you make you way to the office of the Department of Immigration together with your passport, proof of address (e.g. electricity bill) and a confirmation of your plane ticket. Then you lodge a BVE that lets you lawfully depart Australia (usually within next few days). Please note that a 3 year return ban might apply to you. This issue, however, is beyond the scope of this article.

You will also be granted a BVE after you have applied for voluntary cancellation of your student visa as a result of lodging an application for a skilled or PR visa (e.g. Partner or 457).

Some people who already have a BVE might need to apply for another BVE with changed conditions. The most common circumstance is that they ask to have a ‘no work’ condition changed to permission to work based on ‘compelling need to work’.

Working rights: Yes, but only if applicant is able to prove that they are in compelling need to work due to ‘financial hardship’.

Travel allowed: No

How long is it valid? The most common scenarios when it ceases are:

when your new substantive visa is granted
when new bridging visa (BVE) is granted in relation to the same substantive visa application
if your currently held substantive visa is cancelled so is your BVE at the same time once you leave Australia
28 days after your valid visa application has been withdrawn and there is no other substantive visa you currently hold.
28 days after your you have been notified that your substantive visa application is invalid
28 days after refusal of your substantive visa application
28 days after a decision of Administrative Appeals Tribunal (formerly Migration Review Tribunal) in case when you decide to appeal to case officer’s decision
when a migration official finds it suitable

Visa fee: No


In the Australian visa system you can find two other bridging visas that are rarely used and I will not go into details describing them:

Bridging visa F (BVF) (subclass 060) – granted for suspected victims of human trafficking, slavery or slavery-like practices
Bridging R visa (BVR), subclass 070 (Removal Pending) visa allows a person to be released from detention centre and remain in the community pending their removal from Australia. It is designed to prevent prevent a non-citizen from being stuck indefinitely in immigration detention by offering them a normal-like stay before getting them removed from Australia


General rules about Bridging visas


1. You can only go down the alphabet (A to Z) but not the opposite while deciding to change bridging visas. For example you can move from BVA to BVC or BVC to BVE but not vice versa. The only exceptions are BVA & BVB which you can change in both directions. In fact, BVB is a simply BVA with a travel facility.

2. Secondary applicants (e.g. your spouse or children) cannot be included in primary applicant’s bridging visa application. They have to apply separately and meet same conditions as primary applicant.

3. Only BVB allows you to leave Australia and come back. All other bridging visas, although allow you to depart Australia, they will expire while you leave Australia and thus prevent you from coming back on the same visa.

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