Bridging Visa Grant
Do you think that as soon as you have applied for a visa onshore, your existing visa (eg visitor visa) is automatically replaced with a bridging visa? Well – its very dangerous to assume this!
Bridging visas (BVs) “bridge” you in the period from when an existing visa ceases to be “in effect” up until the time of decision on any new visa you may have applied for. Usually the visa will run for a period of up to 28 days after the decision of the Department, allowing you to make an appeal if you are unsuccessful.
These visas can also be issued for a fixed period. For example, you might be without a visa and need a week or so to get things in order before you can exit Australia – Immigration will often grant you this type of visa for a fixed term which will allow you time to exit the country or lodge another application.
Bridging Visa “In Effect”
Although your bridging visa may be granted (and you may have received a letter from Immigration saying that you have been granted this visa) take care to note that this visa will usually only come “into effect” when your existing visa expires and will remain in place while your new visa application is being considered.
For example, if you are currently the holder of a Subclass 600 Visitor Visa and you apply for a Subclass 457 Temporary Skilled Work Visa while onshore, you will not automatically become the holder of a BV as soon as you make that 457 visa application. You will still be on your Subclass 600 until it expires. Your bridging visa will usually kick in, if at all, immediately upon the expiry of your Subclass 600 Visitor Visa.
Bridging Visa “Never In Effect”
It is very possible that your 457 Visa Application (in the example above) could be decided while your Subclass 600 Visa is still in effect. This means the bridging visa granted to you in association with your Subclass 457 Visa Application will be extinguished and never come into effect.
Bridging Visa – Practice Tip!
Stay onshore if your bridging visa is not yet in effect. Exiting Australia will usually extinguish this visa and you may well find yourself stuck offshore.