Australian Bridging Visas: A Guide To Understanding Differences Between Different Bridging Visas And BV Conditions [Update 2021]

bridging visa, Nilesh Nandan Immigration Lawyer

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How to apply for a bridging visa?

Most of the time you don’t need to make the formal application for a bridging visa. This is because it is granted to you by operation of law. 

Is the application necessary?

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.

Automatic Grant

The reason why a formal visa application for a bridging visa might not be required is that by operation of law, the valid application for a further visa in Australia is typically (but not always) deemed to be an application for a bridging visa as well. That application is usually always granted, either manually or automatically.

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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 a 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 decided.

Types of bridging visas

The three most common types of bridging visas are a, b, and e.

Which do you have?

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.

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Know this…

Know About Your Bridging Visa

BVB limitation

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.

BVB disaster

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 BVB expires, so that you have ample time to re-enter Australia if you leave.

Bridging visa after re-entry

When you re-enter Australia your bridging visa b does not change back to a BVA but will show as a BVB allowing you to continue to stay in Australia but importantly does not then have any exit and return facility.

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Second BVB

You will need to take care to lodge a further BVB 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 BVA or a BVB you can apply for a BVB.

Losing your virginity

Unfortunately, if you hold a BVC or a BVD or a BVE then you can’t apply for a BVB. It’s like losing your virginity.

Think of it this way – if you hold a BVC OR BVD OR BVE, you can never go back to get a BVB, at least until after your further substantive visa application has been granted.

As explained above, bridging visas “bridge” you from when an existing visa ceases to be “in effect” till the time decision is made on any new visa you may have applied for.

Bridging visa lifespan after a decision on substantive application

Usually, the bridging visa will run for a period of up to 28 days (and possibly 35 days depending on when you lodge your application and when your bridging visa was granted) after the decision of the Department to refused your visa application, allowing you or your migration agent or immigration lawyer enough time to file an appeal.

Bridging visa to travel overseas

The Department of Home Affairs can issue You with a bridging visa. If you intend to exit Australia. This is known as bridging visa on departure grounds. These visas are for a fixed period.

Extension of BVE

There may be some scope to have these extended if, for some reason, you can’t depart. This is subject to negotiation between you and the compliance officer at the Department of Home Affairs.

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.

Depart on BVE – consequences

There are serious consequences that follow after you exit Australia on a BVE. This is known as “special return criteria” where you may suffer a period of exclusion from Australia or ban from having a further visa granted for Australia.

BVE ban duration

The duration of this ban will depend on the sort of visa you are applying for and your circumstances for something that I advise on regularly and you should get independent immigration legal advice if you wish to make an application for Australia after exiting on a BVE.

Bridging Visa E

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.

Check your precise visa status regularly on the Department’s site.

When your bridging visa kicks in

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.

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Bridging visa might never activate

The Department may grant 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 482 visa application will be extinguished and never come into effect.

Practice Tip!

Stay onshore (inside Australia) if your bridging visa is not yet in effect.

Exiting Australia will usually extinguish this visa and you may well find yourself stuck offshore. This can be tricky and I would recommend you get some advice about any planned exit from Australia.

Your Experience?

Please share your comments with me.

I’d love to know more about your experience with applying for this visa subclass!

Nilesh Nandan is Australia's most sought after immigration lawyer for visa refusals and visa cancellations. Appeal your visa or get help to relodge your Australian visa application or citizenship application.
  • 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,

    • helo.actually i have same problem.can you let me know wheather immigration granted you bridging visa before your visa expired.what happen if we overstay if we are not granted bridging visa expired on 15 march but i have applied my 190 visa on 14 but i was not granted bridging visaA

  • 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?

    • He or she might have a different (updated passport). If not, that employee is likely not to have a visa and needs to get some advice.

  • Hi sir my name is rita and i’m malaysia and under bridging A now my case in federal court. I’m looking for lawyer. And i’m doing small business here and study here in aged care . I want stay here, can you help me sir.

  • HI
    i have tourist visa for 1 year with condition number 8503 (no further stay)
    please advise if any way i can apply for bridging visa.

  • Hi im on a student visa and i want to apply for a partner visa is it possible? and how long does it take to have a bridging visa?


  • Hi
    I applied online for my partner visa onshore in Aug 1 2016. My immi account shows the application will take 17 to 24 months to make a decision on my application. Its already been 23 month with this July 2018 but still my visa shows Bridging. I have no clue how long I’m gonna wait for my PR. I already submitted my documents whatever i could, still the decision is not made. Can you please tell me it is common or its only in my case such long time. And my chances for getting my PR.

  • Hello sir, I had one cancellation and two student visa refusals since 2009, currently am on BVA(rsms) doing JRP so just wondering if am eligible to apply 489 onshore? Thanks

  • Hi, I’m holding a visitor visa 600 now, 3 month multiple entries valid for a year. you said “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. ” what you mean it expires, for my case, 3 months or a year?

  • Hi,

    I am currently a student subclass 500 at the moment and visa expires september 2019 next year. unfortunately me and ny partner wants to apply another visa for me not to study anymore cause I’m pregnant and we will be married soon. can you help me if this is possible to make?

  • 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.

  • Hi,
    I am currently on a Bridging Visa A that came into effect on 02 Jan 2019. I was previously on a 482 TSS Visa. I am currently employed with same employer that sponsored the TSS visa, however I will be starting new employement on the 04 Feb 2019. My bridging visa says that I have unlimited work rights.
    I have called immigration and they have informed with that all I need to do is update my job chnage situation once i start new employment. My future employers are querying this and I would like to know if there anything else that needs to be done

    Please advice
    Thank you

  • Hi
    I applied for Protection visa on Jan 2016 but I got bridging visa C instead.. I have been in Australia for 3 years without seeing my parents.My mother is sick now I need to see her but I know once I leave Australia I can’t return back.. Is there any possibilities to return back to Australia.. Can I get Bridging visa B??
    Please help me..

  • Hello, I had a student visa that expired on 18/02 now I am current on BVA waiting for another student visa decision. I am currently working since my last visa, and in the BVA now active states that I cannot engage work until I start the course, do I have to resign my current work while on holidays? Thank u

  • hi , i’m holding 866 bridging visa A, i want to enroll my self to further study. i wondering do i able to change my visa from 866 to student visa?

  • hello i have a friend who came here on a student visa, however fell in love and decided to apply for a defacto visa. he was given a bridging visa while his defacto visa was being processed.
    however him and his partner broke up before the visa decision is made by immigration, but he didn’t tell immigration that him and his partner broke up. Immigration recently send him an email to provide more proof of his relationship within 28 days. however he cant because they are no longer together but he is in a new relationship with another person can he apply for a new defacto or partner visa and cancel the already one in placed?

  • Hiya, we have applied for 866 visas on 13 march 2019. Our new BVE visas came on the 14th and we applied for work rights on the 15th March and are still waiting to hear back from the department, its over 6 weeks now we have not been able to work. Please tell me if we have a specific waiting period (45 days, etc) to get these work rights reinstated (we had them on our last BVE visas) as we are in a serious financial predicament and obviously need to carry on working as we have four young children to support, two of which were very premmature twins who were born in Australia. We have been here since 2013. Lost our original 457 visas due to a discrepancy with a previous employer. Ended up filing an Appeal with the Tribunal. That took over 15 months to get a court hearing date by which time our 457s had expired, hence why we had a BVE given to us as we were wanting to apply for a protection visa. While our new BVEs show that we are legal, they came with no work rights but my two eldest children are allowed to stay in school. Please advise if this is normal procedure or if we should be doing something further like applying for something else via another form to reinstate our work rights? We really have no idea how to get them back now and of course Google cannot answer the questions I am asking it. Thank you so much for your time, it is greatly appreciated!

  • Hi
    I applied for Visa 866. My current visa is expiring on the 08.05.2019. I have not received a bridging visa yet will I be saying legally after the 8th and what should I do if I do not receive the bridging visa on time?
    Also I am working does that mean I should stop working on the 8th?

  • Hi,
    I am currently at a bridging visa (subclass 500) and I applied for TR (485 visa). But I didn’t get a bridging visa for my TR. Do I need to first cancel the student bridging visa as to get TR bridging visa.
    Thank you

  • Hi my tr visa expired on 5 april 2020 i applied student visa on 3 april 2020 my bringing visa A automate issued on 8 april 2020 its mean i lived 3 days unlawfully in Australia

  • hi there’
    i was on 485 visa and my visa was expiring on april 5th 2020′ due to covid-19 i couldn’t travel so i applied for student visa straight away and got the bridging visa but now there is a new subclass for 408 and i fall under the eligible criteria as I am a registered nurse in aged care. i have already lodge another application for 408 covid visa so cann i withdraw my student visa application while being on bridging visaA?

    • Firstly I would confirm whether or not you do in fact me all of the criteria for the subclass 408 visa. The so-called covid-19 visa has been rushed through and in my opinion is extremely clumsy and terms of how it has been drafted in law.

      Because it is possible for most people to meet the criteria for the grant of another temporary visa, including for example application for a student visa or a partner visa, then there is one line of legal reasoning that suggest that very very few people will actually in fact qualify for the covid-19 visa.
      The second point that I would make is that you should never withdraw a visa application without first having a plan b. This means that you should ensure that you keep your student visa application pending and only withdraw the application after you have a better option in terms of your plan a mentioned above.
      Please let me know how you go with the subclass 408 covid-19 visa.
      I think there will be a lot of legal argument in relation to meeting the requirements for that visa and this will result in a lot of applications floor appeal to the AAT if the 408 visa is refused.
      Thank you for your comments and do let me know how you progress.

  • Hi sir, i’m on student visa ,i completd my 2 semester as a master’s student but last 2 semester i didn’t apply for enrollment due to some reasons . Now my visa is going to expire in August. Is their any other way for further stay but not on student visa. Help me out sir

    • Rohit

      You will need to make another visa application immediately and certainly before we book current student visa expires.

      If you make a valid application then you’ll be granted a bridging visa in association with that application in most instances.

      If you’re not eligible for skilled migration or sponsorship by an Australian partner or an Australian employer, then your only other realistic choice is a visitor visa.

      If any visitor visa application you lodge is refused then you might Lodge an application for review to the administrative appeals tribunal.

      You would normally obtain a bridging visa in association with that application for review.

      Hope that helps clarify things. you should get specific advice about your circumstances if you have any concerns about what to do next.

  • Hi Nilesh.

    Please kindly give me the suggestion for below inquiry.

    I have applied for my 485 post study graduate visa and currently holding bridging visa A. Due to some circumstance I had to change my Australian address. However My home country address are same as my passport and there was no change.

    So should i need to change my Australian address in immiaccount or need to submit 956 form ?

    • You are required to notify the Department of the change of your circumstances. The form you should use is form 929, or simply update your details in your ImmiAccount application.

  • Hello Sir, just a quick question.

    I’m applying for visa 190, my partner (dependent) is on bridging visa E and was refused a carers visa before because he didn’t meet the criteria, not because of character problems. I went to a migration lawyer and I was advised that my partner should leave Australia and apply the visa 190 while he’s offshore. Is that the best thing to do? Is there anyway he can just stay here while waiting for the decision of my visa 190?

    • Your partner is very limited in making any fresh application in Australia after a visa refusal or being the holder of a bridging visa E class.

      The advice if you have seems rational.

      I assume that you have explored other pathways to stay lawfully in Australia. These include fully exhausting appeal rights if there are any and lodging further applications for bridging visas in limited circumstances.

      I hope this helps. It is a difficult situation to be in and the idea of being separated is a problematic one. Good luck!

  • Hii, i applied for another student visa as my current student visa expired. I have got bridging visa subclass WA10. I am not sure wether i have rights to work or not.

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