A Bridging visa is a temporary visa that lets you wait lawfully in Australia for your visa application to be decided: it acts as a bridge between your expired substantive visa and your new substantive visa while it is busy being processed.
It can also be used while you make arrangements to leave Australia.
Typically a bridging visa will have the same conditions on it as the substantive visa you held before you got the bridging visa. There are some exceptions, for example if you are applying for a permanent employer sponsored visa, a partner visa or if you have been unlawful.
Types of Bridging Visas: An Overview
You must apply for the correct Bridging Visa depending on your needs – the types of Bridging Visas available are as follows:
- Bridging Visa A (BVA) – Subclass 010
The visa let you stay in the country after your current substantive visa has expired and you are waiting for you new substantive visa application to be processed.
This visa is granted when you hold a substantive visa at the time of lodging an application for a new substantive visa while you are in Australia.
This visa does not allow you to return to Australia if you leave.
To find out information on the BVA, click here.
- Bridging Visa B (BVB) – Subclass 020
This visa lets you leave and return to the country while your application for a substantive visa is being processed.
This visa does allow you to leave Australia – as long as you return to the country within the specified travel period, you can stay in Australia while you wait for your new substantive visa to be processed.
If you are awaiting a decision on an application and hold a bridging visa A, it is quite standard procedure for a bridging visa B to be granted. Important decision factors include length of travel and status of the decision you are awaiting. Only bridging visa A holders can apply for the bridging visa B.
For more information on the BVB, click here.
- Bridging Visa C (BVC) – Subclass 030
This visa lets you stay in the country while the application for your new substantive visa is be being processed.
This can be granted if you have a history of unlawfulness or if you apply for a substantive visa when you are holding a bridging visa. This bridging visa has no travel facility. You can leave Australia, but it will not allow you to return to Australia. Exclusion periods on returning to Australia may apply if you have left Australia as the holder of a bridging Visa C.
- Bridging Visa D (BVD) – Subclass 040 and 041
This visa is granted in rare circumstances. Either you do not hold a substantive visa or your substantive visa will expire in the next three working days. If you do not hold a substantive visa it may be granted if for example you were unable to validly lodge a substantive visa e.g. you didn’t pay the right fee or used the wrong form. You may be able to move from a bridging visa D to C after the substantive visa is validly lodged.
- Bridging Visa E (BVE) – Subclass 050 and 051
If your substantive visa has expired, the BVE allows you to stay in Australia while you make arrangements to leave, finalise your immigration matter or wait for an immigration decision.
This visa does not have a travel facility so if you leave Australia you need a different visa to be granted for you to return.
This visa shows that you have a record of unlawfulness with the Department. You must remember to declare this if asked on entry cards, applications etc. Exclusion periods on returning to Australia may apply if you have left Australia as the holder of a bridging Visa E