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Bridging Visa

A bridging visa is a temporary visa that let you stay in Australia lawfully while you are issued with a new substantive visa or while you make arrangements to leave the country.

The type of bridging visa The Department of Home Affairs might grant you depends on your circumstances.

Bridging visas are only granted and valid while you are in Australia. Once you decide to travel overseas Australia they will cease once you leave the country. The only exception to this rule is BVB that has a travel facility attached allowing you to travel overseas and come back.

Australian Bridging Visas Types

There are several types of bridging visas (A to E) all of which have strict requirements on what a holder can do while in the country. You cannot apply for a bridging visa if you are overseas.

Bridging Visa A (BVA)

This is the most common bridging visa, most of the time sitting ‘silently’ at the back of your substantive visa application.

It is granted automatically when you make a valid application onshore for a substantive visa while still holding a valid previous substantive visa.

BVA carries over working rights from your previous visa. So if your previous student visa had 20 hours limitation, so will your BVA. There are some exceptions.

How long is it valid?

It ceases:

Travel allowed: No

Bridging Visa B (BVB)

BVB shares the majority of characteristics with BVA. The main distinction between them, however, is that BVB is the only bridging visa that lets you travel overseas and return.

How to apply and when granted

You have to apply on a special form while holding a valid BVA. BVB can be also granted after your substantive visa application has been refused and you need to urgently leave Australia while a judicial review that you have applied for is underway.

Typical scenario

After you have applied for a substantive visa you suddenly need to travel overseas due to urgent family event. If you expect to return to Australia after your current visa expires, make sure that you apply for and are granted BVB before leaving Australia.

How long is it valid?

This bridging visa is usually only valid for three months, so a person will have to be back in Australia before it expires.

Bridging Visa E (BVE)

Bridging visa E  can be granted when:

However, under some circumstances a person will never be eligible for BVE, for example:

A person cannot stay in the country on a bridging visa indefinitely.

This visa is only a temporary short-term visa granted by the immigration department while the holder has his/her outstanding immigration matter resolved. It should never be considered a solution to an Australian immigration issue.

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