Australia Bridging visas

Bridging visas are temporary visas that allow individuals to remain in Australia while they await a decision on their substantive visa application or while they make arrangements to leave the country. These visas are issued by the Department of Home Affairs and are designed to bridge the gap between the expiry of an individual's current visa and the granting of their next visa.

In Australia, there are several types of bridging visas, and the type issued will depend on the individual's circumstances. Bridging Visa A (BVA) is the most common type of bridging visa and is automatically granted to individuals while they wait for a decision on their substantive visa application. This visa allows them to remain in Australia lawfully while their application is being processed.

Bridging Visa B (BVB) allows individuals to leave and return to Australia while their substantive visa application is being processed. This type of visa is useful for individuals who need to travel outside of Australia, for example, for work or family reasons.

Bridging Visa C (BVC) is issued to individuals who are unlawfully in Australia and need a visa to leave the country. This visa allows them to remain in Australia temporarily while they make arrangements to leave.

It's important to note that bridging visas do not grant the same level of rights and benefits as substantive visas. For example, some bridging visas may restrict an individual's ability to work or study in Australia, or may not provide access to government benefits or healthcare. It's also important to understand that bridging visas do not provide a long-term solution for individuals who wish to remain in Australia permanently.

If an individual wants to remain in Australia permanently, they should explore other visa options, such as skilled migration or family sponsorship. It's also important to note that some substantive visa applications may require an individual to hold a valid visa while the application is being processed, so it's essential to understand the requirements of each visa category before applying.

Overall, bridging visas in Australia provide a valuable option for individuals who need to remain in the country temporarily while they await a decision on their substantive visa application or make arrangements to leave. However, it's important to understand the limitations and restrictions of these visas and explore other options if an individual wants to remain in Australia permanently.

Types of bridging visas in Australia

There are several types of bridging visas in Australia, and the type issued will depend on an individual's circumstances. The main types of bridging visas are as follows:-

  • Bridging visa A – BVA - (subclass 010)
  • Bridging visa B – BVB – (subclass 020)
  • Bridging visa C – BVC – (subclass 030)
  • Bridging visa E – BVE – (subclass 050 and 051)
  • Crew Travel Authority visa (subclass 942)
  • Former Resident visa (subclass 151)
  • Maritime Crew visa (subclass 988)
  • Medical Treatment visa (subclass 602)
  • Resident Return visa (subclass 155 157)
  • Special Category visa (subclass 444)
  • Special Purpose visa
  • Investor Retirement visa (subclass 405)
  • Confirmatory (Residence) visa (subclass 808)

Eligibility criteria for bridging visas in Australia

The eligibility criterion for all bridging visas in Australia is that the applicant must be in Australia at the time of application. However, additional requirements must be met depending on the type of bridging visa that is suitable for the individual's circumstances. These additional requirements vary based on the specific bridging visa type.

When applying for a bridging visa in Australia, you will typically need to provide the following documents:

Passport or other identification document: You must submit a copy of your passport's bio page or another official form of identification.

Good character documents: You will need to show that you are of good character, which may involve providing police certificates from every country you have lived in for more than 12 months in the past 10 years.

Biometrics: Depending on the type of bridging visa you are applying for, you may be required to provide your fingerprints after you apply.

Representative forms: If you are using an appointed recipient or migration agent to help with your application, you may need to submit a completed Form 956 or Form 956a.

Additional documents: Depending on the type of bridging visa, you may also need to provide other documents such as a Parental Consent Form (for a Bridging Visa B) or proof of compelling reasons for travel (also for a Bridging Visa B).

It's important to note that the exact requirements may vary depending on your individual circumstances and the type of bridging visa you are applying for. Be sure to carefully review the application instructions and consult with an immigration lawyer or registered migration agent if you have any questions or concerns.

When applying for a bridging visa in Australia, it is important to ensure that your documents are in English or translated by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. This is to ensure that the documents can be easily understood and verified by the relevant authorities.

If you are applying for a bridging visa online, you will need to submit scanned copies or clear photocopies of your documents. It is important to ensure that the copies are legible and easy to read.

In addition to providing the necessary documents, you will also need to demonstrate that you meet the eligibility criteria for the bridging visa you are applying for. This may include demonstrating that you have made a valid application for another visa, that you meet health and character requirements, and that you have compelling reasons for needing a bridging visa.

It is recommended that you seek professional advice or assistance when applying for a bridging visa to ensure that you meet all the necessary requirements and provide all the required documentation.

How to apply for a bridging visa in Australia

It is important to note that while most bridging visas can be applied for online or on paper, there are some exceptions. Bridging Visa E (subclass 050) must be applied for on paper, as well as Bridging Visa F (subclass 051), as you mentioned.

When applying for a bridging visa online through ImmiAccount, applicants can submit their application and supporting documents electronically, as well as receive updates and communication from the Department of Home Affairs online. However, if applying on paper, the completed application and supporting documents must be sent to the appropriate address listed on the application form.

It is always recommended to carefully read the instructions for the specific type of bridging visa being applied for and seek advice from a registered migration agent or the Department of Home Affairs if there are any questions or concerns.

The process of applying for a bridging visa in Australia depends on an individual's circumstances and the type of bridging visa they are applying for. Generally, the following steps can be taken:

  • Determine eligibility: The individual should ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria for the specific type of bridging visa they wish to apply for.
  • Submit an application: The individual must submit a completed application for a bridging visa to the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Provide required documents: The applicant must provide all the required documents to support their application, such as identification documents, evidence of their current visa, and any other documents specific to the type of bridging visa they are applying for.
  • Attend an interview (if required): Depending on the type of bridging visa, the individual may be required to attend an interview with the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Wait for a decision: The Department of Home Affairs will assess the application and make a decision on whether to grant the bridging visa.

It is important to note that the application process and required documents may vary depending on the specific type of bridging visa being applied for, and it is recommended that individuals seek advice from a registered migration agent or the Department of Home Affairs for guidance on their specific circumstances.

When Should I Apply for a Bridging Visa?

A few more scenarios where you might need to apply for a bridging visa are:

  • You have applied for a new visa, but your current visa will expire before a decision is made on the new visa application.
  • You have been granted a substantive visa but it won't be valid until a future date, and you need to remain in Australia in the meantime.
  • You want to change the conditions of your current visa, such as applying for permission to work when your current visa doesn't allow it.
  • You have been released from immigration detention and need a visa to stay in Australia while your immigration matter is resolved.
  • You are waiting for a decision on a protection visa application and your current visa will expire before a decision is made.

After You Apply for Your Bridging Visa

 It is important to note that when applying for a bridging visa in Australia, applicants will receive a confirmation that their application has been received by the Department of Home Affairs. This may be in the form of an email or letter.

Once the application has been processed and a decision has been made, applicants will be notified of the outcome. If the bridging visa is granted, the applicant will receive a visa grant letter that outlines the conditions of the visa and the period of validity. The visa grant letter may be sent via email or post, depending on the applicant's preference and the type of visa granted.

It is important to keep a copy of the visa grant letter as it contains important information about the bridging visa and the conditions that must be met while holding the visa. If the visa is refused, the Department will provide reasons for the decision and information on any review or appeal options available.

Are Bridging Visas Long-Term Visas?

Bridging visas are temporary visas that serve the purpose of providing legal status to individuals who are in Australia and have either applied for a new visa, appealed a visa decision, or are waiting for their existing visa to be processed. Bridging visas are not intended to provide long-term status in Australia and are only available for a short period of time. They are designed to bridge the gap between the expiry of the previous visa and the grant of a new visa. The duration of a bridging visa depends on the individual circumstances and the visa subclass applied for. Once the individual receives a decision on their new visa application, the bridging visa will cease to be in effect. Alternatively, if the individual decides to leave the country, the bridging visa will expire upon departure.

Can I Stay Longer With a Bridging Visa?

A bridging visa is a temporary visa that allows you to stay in Australia while waiting for a decision on your substantive visa application or while you make arrangements to leave the country. However, it is important to note that a bridging visa has a limited validity period and does not allow you to stay in Australia indefinitely.

Once your bridging visa is no longer valid, you are required to leave the country unless you are able to apply for and be granted another bridging visa. The validity period of your bridging visa will depend on the type of bridging visa you hold and your individual circumstances. For example, a Bridging Visa A (BVA) that is attached to a substantive visa application will remain valid until a decision is made on that application, while a Bridging Visa E (BVE) that is granted to allow you to make arrangements to leave Australia will typically have a shorter validity period.

It is also important to note that a bridging visa will cease to be valid once it is no longer needed, such as when you receive a long-term visa or if your application is denied. In some cases, you may have the option to apply for a judicial review of a decision to deny your substantive visa application, and in such cases, your bridging visa may remain valid until the conclusion of the judicial review.

If Your Bridging Visa Was Granted on or After November 19, 2016

If any of the above scenarios apply to you, your bridging visa will expire 35 days after the decision is made. It's important to note that this does not include weekends or public holidays. During this period, you may be able to apply for another bridging visa if you meet the eligibility criteria. If you do not apply for a new visa or leave Australia before your bridging visa expires, you will become an unlawful non-citizen.

If you have received a notification that your bridging visa will expire, you should immediately consult with a registered migration agent or the Department of Home Affairs for guidance on how to proceed. They will be able to provide you with information about your options and help you determine the best course of action.

If your Bridging Visa Was Granted Before November 19, 2016

The bridging visa will become invalid after 35 days, not 28 days. Here's a revised version:

Your bridging visa will become invalid after 35 days if:

  • Your substantial visa application was denied.
  • The Immigration Office came to the conclusion that your visa application is invalid.
  • You withdrew your application.
  • The AAT agrees with the denial decision by the Immigration Office on your visa application.
  • The AAT comes to the conclusion that they have no decision power over your visa application.
  • You withdraw your application for an appeal against the decision.
  • The judicial review agrees with the denial decision.

What Is the Difference Between Australia Bridging Visas?

There are several types of bridging visas in Australia, each with its own specific purpose and conditions. The main differences between them are as follows:

Bridging Visa A (BVA): This visa is for people who are awaiting a decision on their substantive visa application, and allows them to stay lawfully in Australia until a decision is made. It can also be granted to people who have had their substantive visa cancelled, but who have applied for a review of that decision.

Bridging Visa B (BVB): This visa is for people who are on a BVA and need to leave Australia temporarily, but still need to return to Australia while their substantive visa application is being processed.

Bridging Visa C (BVC): This visa is for people who are in Australia unlawfully and need to make arrangements to leave Australia. It allows them to stay in Australia lawfully for a short period of time, usually up to 28 days, while they make these arrangements.

Bridging Visa E (BVE): This visa is for people who are in immigration detention or have been granted a Bridging Visa E for other reasons. It allows them to stay lawfully in Australia until a decision is made on their substantive visa application or until they can leave Australia.

Each bridging visa has its own conditions and restrictions, so it is important to understand which visa is appropriate for your situation.

Frequently Asked questions

A bridging visa is a temporary visa that allows you to remain lawfully in Australia while you are waiting for another substantive visa to be granted or while you are making arrangements to depart Australia.

The length of a bridging visa depends on the type of bridging visa you have been granted. It can range from a few days to several years.

Yes, most bridging visas allow you to work in Australia.

In most cases, no. If you leave Australia while on a bridging visa, you may not be able to return unless you have been granted another substantive visa.

No, you must be in Australia to apply for a bridging visa.

You can apply for a bridging visa online or by paper application. The Department of Home Affairs website provides information on how to apply.

Processing times for bridging visas can vary depending on the type of bridging visa and the individual circumstances of the application. You can check current processing times on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Yes, you may be able to apply for a bridging visa if your current visa has expired, but you must do so before you become an unlawful non-citizen.

In most cases, yes. However, there are some restrictions depending on the type of bridging visa you have been granted. It's best to check with the Department of Home Affairs for the specific conditions of your bridging visa.

No, you cannot sponsor family members on a bridging visa.

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