Bridging Visa, Which One Is for Me?
Bridging visas are temporary visas the Department of Home Affairs grant you in certain circumstances. Bridging visas let you stay in Australia lawfully while your immigration status is resolved.
There are 4 different types of bridging visas which we will explain for you below:
- Bridging Visa A (subclass 010) – for those who hold a substantive visa and have applied for another substantive visa
- Bridging Visa B (subclass 020) – the ‘travel’ bridging visa while application is being processed
- Bridging Visa C (subclass 030) – for those who don’t hold a substantive visa, have made an application for a substantive visa and while new substantive visa is being processed
- Bridging Visa E (subclass 050 and 051) – for those who are currently unlawfully staying in Australia and need a visa to make arrangements to leave, finalise immigration matter or wait for immigration decision
1. Am I eligible for bridging visa?
Below are some examples of which you will be eligible for a bridging visa.
1.1 You have lodged an application for a substantive visa because your current substantive visa is expiring
After lodging for substantive visa, your application will be processed by the Department of Home Affairs, but your substantive visa has expired. You will be granted a bridging visa while your visa application is being accessed.
1.2 You have applied for visa review while you are in Australia
If your current visa has been cancelled or your application for a substantive visa has been refused, you may be granted a bridging visa while your case is being reviewed if the Department does not feel it necessary to keep you in immigration detention.
Note: if your visa is cancelled and you have applied for a review, you will not automatically be granted a bridging visa. You need to apply for a bridging visa yourself.
1.3 Your substantive visa has expired and you are making arrangements to leave Australia
You can apply for a bridging visa so that you can make these arrangements but you will be required to leave Australia as soon as possible.
2. When will the bridging visa take effect? What are the restrictions?
Your bridging visa may not come into effect at the time you receive the visa.
If you currently hold a substantive visa, your bridging visa will only come into effect once your current visa has expired.
For example, if you currently hold a student visa but have applied for a subclass 485 post study work visa. Upon application of the 485 visa, you will receive a bridging visa A, to allow you stay in Australia lawfully.
2.1 Bridging Visa A（BVA）
Upon receiving a BVA, you may rest assured to stay in Australia legally while waiting for your new visa to be approved.
- Limits: You are not allowed to travel out of Australia when on your BVA. Your BVA will end immediately if you leave Australia while your BVA is in effect. If you have to leave Australia, you may apply for a Bridging Visa B (BVB).
- Expiration date:
- when you have been granted a substantive visa
- If your new substantive visa has not been granted, you have 28 days from the day of notification to make arrangements and leave Australia.
- Your BVA will continue to stay valid while you make an Administrative Appeals Tribunal (‘AAT’) application to appeal the case officer’s decision of your visa’s refusal until the decision has been made.
- If the decision returns that your substantive visa will not be granted, you have 28 days from the day of notification to make arrangements and leave Australia.
- Working rights: Please refer to your BVA grant letter to confirm your working rights.
2.2 Bridging Visa B（BVB）
BVB = BVA + rights to travel
Please ensure that you comply with COVID 19 and border restrictions when you are planning to travel. You may not be able to return to Australia if you leave.
It is recommended that you apply for a BVB 1 to 2 months before travelling to avoid affecting travel plans.
- Limits：you must be a holder of BVA to apply for this visa
- Expiration date：Your BVB travel facility may be granted with single or multiple travel and will be valid for use until a specified date. Please ensure that you adhere closely to the requirements.
- Working rights: Your BVB will reflect the same working rights you had for your BVA.
2.3 Bridging Visa C（BVC）
If you only apply for a visa after your substantive visa has expired, or at the time of lodging the application have no substantive visa, you will receive a BVC. This may be applicable for those who have overstayed in Australia and want to make their stay lawful.
- Limits：You are not allowed to travel on this visa and you may not apply for BVB.
- Expiration date：
- when you have been granted a substantive visa
- 28 days after you have been notified that your substantive visa application has been refused
- 28 days after a decision of the AAT (if you decide to appeal to case officer’s decision)
- Working rights：Please refer to your BVC grant letter to confirm your working rights.
2.4 Bridging Visa E（BVE subclass 050）
You should seek a Bridging (General) visa (subclass 050) if you are currently staying in Australia unlawfully, or you are the holder of a BVE (subclass 050) or a BVD (subclass 041) visa.
When your visa is expired or cancelled, a BVE (subclass 050) lets you stay lawfully in Australia while you are:
- making arrangements to leave Australia
- applying for a substantive visa
- seeking merits or judicial review of a visa decision or citizenship decision
- seeking ministerial intervention
When you have this visa:
- Work：Your grant letter will tell you if you are allowed to work. If you are not allowed to work, there are only some situations where you might be able to apply for a new BVE that does allow you to work.
- Travel: A BVE allows you to stay in Australia lawfully for a short time. It will end immediately if you leave Australia.
- Expiration date：Please refer to your visa grant letter to confirm the expiration date of your BVE.
If the current substantive visa you are on is cancelled, your bridging visa ceases at the same time. This could mean that you would be staying in Australia unlawfully. If it is found that your visa has been cancelled, it would be difficult for you to apply for another Australian visa.
2.5 Bridging Visa E（BVE subclass 051）
Subclass 051 Bridging Visa E lets you stay in Australia while your Protection visa application is being processed. This visa is used in limited situations for eligible non-citizens (as specified by the Regulations) who are not stopped from making a bridging visa application under the Migration Act or Regulations.
Ascent Lawyers would like to remind everyone to be aware of the validity period of your visa. If your visa is about to expire, you should make arrangements as early as possible to avoid violating immigration regulations.