Bridging Visa Applications – Do I Have One Or Don’t I?

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Bridging Visa Applications

New Application for bridging visa

A formal bridging visa application is usually not needed if you apply for a further visa while you are in Australia and you already hold a substantive visa at the time of making your further visa application.

The reason why a formal visa application for a bridging visa might not be required is because by operation of law, the application for the further visa is typically deemed to be an application for a bridging visa, which is usually automatically granted.

The purpose of a bridging visa is to bridge the gap, if any, between the time at which your current substantive visa expires and the point in time when your new substantive visa is granted.

The bridging visa is a mechanism for keeping you lawfully present in Australia. If the bridging visa was not to be granted then it would mean that you would be an unlawful non-citizen present in Australia for that period between when your substantive visa expires and your further visa is granted.

Bridging visa types

The three most common types of bridging visas are bridging visa a, bridging visa b, and bridging visa e. Which bridging visa do you have?

Find out more. The most important thing to check is that you always have a visa whilst you are in Australia (if you’re not the holder of an Australian passport).

You can check the visa that you hold at any time by completing a vevo check. It’s online and free.

Be careful with a bridging visa b (bvb). Its purpose is to allow you to leave and return to Australia whilst you are waiting on a further substantive visa to be granted to you; you may exit Australia for a very finite travel period, and must re-enter Australia by a specified date.

The biggest risk with a bvb is that you forget the period for which your bvb is granted, and you then fail to re-enter Australia before the date specified.

Take very careful note to start returning to Australia several days before your bridging visa b expires, so that you have ample time to re-enter Australia if you leave.

When you re-enter Australia your bridging visa b does not change back to a bridging visa a, but will show as a bridging visa b allowing you to continue to stay in Australia but importantly does not then still have any exit and return facility. You will need to take care to lodge a further bridging visa b if you wish to again exit Australia in the period in which you are waiting for the grant of your further substantive visa.

If you hold a bridging visa a or a bridging visa b you can apply for a bridging visa b (bvb). Unfortunately if you hold a bridging visa c or a bridging visa d or a bridging visa e then it’s not possible for you to apply for a bvb.

Think of it this way – if you hold a bridging visa c or d or e, you can never go back to get a bridging visa b, at least until after your further substantive visa application has been granted.

As existing above, bridging visas “bridge” you from when an existing visa ceases to be “in effect” till the time 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 or your migration agent enough time to make an appeal if you are unsuccessful.

Bridging Visa e to Exit

The Department of Immigration can issue these visas 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, suppose you are a holder of a Subclass 600 Visitor Visa. And you apply for a Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage Visa while onshore. You will not automatically become the holder of a bridging visa as soon as you make that 482 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 the Department grants your 482 Visa Application while your Subclass 600 Visa is still in effect. This means the bridging visa granted to you in association with your Subclass 582 Visa Application will be extinguished and never come into effect.

Bridging Visas – 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.

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  • Hi,

    I wonder if you can offer some advice?

    My cousin checked his immi account on Friday and saw that his bridging visa is no longer showing.. it was in effect before and he and his family have been waiting for an answer about their PR.

    He is very nervous about this, as they put him in detention last year, he won his case but, of course he is nervous for his family and he is nervous they’ll put him back in detention.

    I feel that there would be some rule about notifying people if they have been unsuccessful, to give them time to make arrangements to leave. But if this is true then, they are just revoking his bridging visa without notifying him, leaving him exposed and unsure of what’s really happening.

    I want to help, to find out whether this is even possible. Can they revoke your bridging visa without notifying you?

    Hoping you might know. Thanks.

    • Unfortunately, there is a borad power to cancel a visa and the cancellation may occur without notice.

      Usually, my clients will check their immi account and find they have no visa, as is the case here.

      The most common reason for this that an email or letter was sent to the visa holder, but for any number of reasons, that letter or email was never received.

      Please contact me if you require specific advice.

  • I am on student visa subclass 500 and my visa is expiring 15 march 2018. I have completed my studies. I am travelling overseas on 16 jan and will be back in 1 month. I was planning to apply for Post Study Work Visa 485 but in this case i will be on bridging visa A. So do i need bridging visa B to travel as my student visa is valid uptil march 15???
    I am confused

  • Hi,

    My current visa (Temporary Graduate 485) is expiring in four days.

    I applied as a subsequent entrant on my partner’s 485 visa almost a week ago. I had applied earlier but they contacted me and let me know that it should be a different visa form (1409).

    We have attached our Relationship Certificate, Police Verification Receipt, Joint Bank Statement along with email correspondences as evidence to prove that my partner and I have been living together for nearly five years.

    But when I contacted them on 131 881, they informed me that my application is yet to be assessed.

    I don’t know if my bridging visa will be issued before my current expires. I don’t want to leave Australia as I am not sure if I will be able to reenter. At the same time I do not want to over stay my visa either! My email enquires to the Immigration department are not helping.

    Please advise.

    Many Thanks,

  • Hi
    I applied for a 457 visa in 2016, but unfortunately the nomination get refused, so immigration refused the visa aswell ( natural justice) . As visa get refused, they locked my under the condition 1026i . Which means only limited no of visa I can apply onshore .I apply for AAT . Now I am on bridging visa A. Now I got a different employer, who is ready to sponsor me on 187 visa. Is their any chance I can apply for 187 visa onshore . Condition 1026i could be waived . Is their is any provision, I can lodge 187 visa while stay in Australia or if I lodge offshore 187 visa and i can come back Australia on bridging visa B and wait for my 187 visa until 187 visa finalised. Looking forward to hear from you .


  • Hi
    We are employing a client with a bridging visa, but on the form the “Status” says – Not Active. What does this mean? It has a Grant & reference number, is he still able to work for us?

  • Hi could someone please help
    I have applied for subclass 866 and my vevo says i do not have a bridging visa. What should i do?

  • Hi,myvisa
    My friend get a permanent temporary visa 866 but still briging visa a. He come back his country bcoz emergency situation.
    So can he return australia? What solution u can give him?
    Please answer us. Thankyou

  • My 485 visa expiring on 9th December and I applied for a new student visa on 7th December. I received the application received acknowledgment letter and money receipt of payment but did not received the bridging visa A. What can I do now ?

  • Hi, can i travel while my student visa is on process? i was issued Bridging Visa A but still not active. My tourist visa will expire on Feb 2019. Appreciate your reply. cheers.

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