Bridging Visas (BV)

A bridging visa (BV) is a temporary visa, allowing you (a non-Australian citizen) to stay in Australia lawfully while you are waiting for another visa result, lodged but yet to be finalized, or when you are waiting for a visa review through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) or other merit reviews.

You may be eligible for a bridging visa (BV) if:

  • You have lodged an application for a substantive visa, but it is being still processed by the Home Affairs Department, and your previous substantive visa has expired.
  • Your current visa is cancelled or your application for a substantive visa has been refused, you are still in Australia, and you have applied for a merit review or judicial review of the decision to AAT or the Minister. You will be granted a BV while your case is being reviewed so that you can stay lawfully while you are waiting for a result.
  • Your substantial visa has expired and you are making arrangements to leave Australia. You will be granted a BV so that you can make proper arrangement, but to leave Australia as soon as possible.

A bridging visa is not a substantive visa. If you wish to stay longer, you need to apply for another substantive visa.

Common questions about the Bridging visas:

The following are the commonly-asked questions about a bridging visa

1. How are the visa conditions for a bridging visa?  

Generally a BV will have the same conditions as your last substantive visa. For example, most student visas have 20-hours work right per week, with unlimited work rights during the school break. These conditions will apply to those who have been granted a BV after their student visa expires.

2. How long I can stay on a bridging visa? 

There is no specific visa duration for a bridging visa. The BV will come to an end until the new application result comes through (either granted or refused). Some BV may last from a few days to for up to 10 years, depending on your situation.

3. Do I have work rights under a BV? 

Most bridging visas have the same conditions and work rights as your last substantive visa does. In case your bridging visa does not allow you to work, you may apply for the work right by lodging another bridging visa.

For example, a lot of bridging visa E holders may lose their work rights after certain time. If you wish to work and support yourself, you meed to apply separately for another Bridging visa E to have work right.

However, it will be up to the Department whether or not to grant you the work right, or how many hours to be granted.

Bridging visa A 101

A Bridging visa A can be granted automatically once your substantive visa is lodged online. This BV sometimes won’t become active until the current visa expires. Basically you don’t have to do anything for obtaining a BV 101.

However if you do not receive any letter from the Immigration Department within seven days after you made the online visa application, you should contact the Department. A bridging visa A sometime can be delayed for a couple of days. On very limited occasions, a bridging visa A has to be lodged manually.

Bridging visa A is free of charge.

Bridging visa B 020

A Bridging visa B is only needed when you are holding a bridging visa A and you wish to travel overseas while your substantive visa application is still being processed or your merit review is being assessed. It only allows you to travel overseas and to be able to return to Australia.

A bridging visa B must be applied separately either online or manually, depending on the way how your previous visa was lodged.

You and anyone included in your application must be in Australia when the application is lodged and when the visa is granted.

Bridging visa B is normally a “single entry” permit, allowing you to leave Australia only one time and return to Australia within the specific time. This means you must return to Australia before the specified date or before the bridging visa B expires. If you do not return when the specified travel period of your BVB ends, for whatever reasons, and if you are still outside Australia, you will not be able to use that visa to return to Australia. And if you do not also hold any other substantive visa that allows you to return, you would have to apply for another visa (for example a tourist visa 600) before you could return to Australia.

Application fee is payable for a bridging visa B 020.

Bridging visa C 030

A Bridging visa C can be granted if you lodge an application in Australia for a substantial visa, but you do not already hold a substantial visa anymore (your visa has already expired).

The initial BVC that is granted to you when you apply for your substantial visa will not allow you to work. In order to obtain a work permit, you will have to apply for a new BVC with work rights. To be considered for a BVC that will allow you to work, in most cases, you must demonstrate that you are in financial hardship. This means that you need to show that the cost of reasonable living expenses exceeds your ability to pay for them. But whether the work right can be approved or not, it will be up to the Department of Home Affairs to make all factors presented into consideration.

It is very important to know that bridging visa C does not allow you to travel overseas. If you travel, you may not be able to use this visa to return to Australia. You will have to apply for another substantive visa to enable you to return.

Bridging visa C can be automatically granted when you apply for a substantive visa online in Australia. You and anyone included in your application must be in Australia when the application is lodged and when the visa is granted.

Bridging visa C is free of charge.

Bridging visa E 050

Among all the bridging visa categories, bridging visa E 050 is the worst one. It is for those who are unlawful and have presented to or have been located (caught) by the Department.

Bridging visa E may be granted to you when become unlawful and you are:

  • Making arrangement to depart Australia;
  • Applying for a substantive visa;
  • Seeking a judicial review;
  • Detained at a detention centre;

A bridging visa E is normally lodged separately with the Department.  A visa with very limited specified time period will be granted with strict conditions, such as you must depart Australia with a certain time frame; or you must provide a residential home address of where you intended to live while your application is being assessed.

In some circumstances you will have to report to the Department at specified time intervals to confirm you abide by all the visa conditions.

Korrylink can help you with the bridging visas applications and work rights.