Australian bridging visas

If you are considering travelling to Australia in order to lodge a further application, you need to consider what rights you will have on a bridging visa.

You need to know information such as when you might be eligible for work rights or when you are able to travel. In most cases, lodging an offshore application is the best option. However, if you cannot avoid lodging an onshore application, here is some information to consider first.

Bridging Visa A (BVA)

Issued automatically if you are in Australia holding a substantive visa and you apply for another substantive. The job of a BVA is to allow you to remain lawful while the application is being processed.

In a majority of cases, you will be given the same visa conditions that were on your previous visa which may not give you work rights.  However, if you are applying for permanent residency under the spouse/partner category you may be granted work rights.  There are also other cases where work rights may be provided. Also, if your BVA does not give you work rights, it is possible to apply for work rights by applying for a BVA and providing evidence that you are in financial hardship.

After the 19th of November 2016, if your pending visa application is refused or withdrawn, the BVA will expire 35 days after the decision or AAT decision.

The BVA only comes into effect once your current substantive visa has expired.

There are no travel rights on a BVA. If you already hold a BVA and are needing to travel overseas you will need to apply for a BVB.

Bridging Visa B (BVB)

Providing you are in Australia and already hold a BVA, you can apply for the BVB to allow you to travel.  Be aware though that you need to have genuine reasons for travel, such as visit ill family, funerals, work commitments, etc.

The BVB also has an expiry date so don’t get caught outside Australia when it expires as this will create significant issues when trying to return to Australia.

Bridging Visa C (BVC)

This visa is used if your previous substantive visa has already expired and you are applying for another visa to remain in Australia.  Providing you have not been granted a BVE you can use the BVC to remain lawfully in the country.

If you have previously been refused a visa or had a visa cancelled, you may not be eligible to use the BVC to lodge another visa application.

Bridging Visa E (BVE)

Generally used when your substantive visa has already expired to enable you to depart Australia lawfully. The length or validity of the visa depends on the assessing case officer.

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