3 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT BRIDGING VISAS
#1 WHAT IS A BRIDGING VISA?
A bridging visa (the opposite of a “substantive visa”) usually “bridges” a visa holder between two visa visas and typically comes into effect when the first visa held expires.
For example, if a work visa expires on 31 December 2013 and you lodge an application for a further work visa in November 2013. If a decision is still pending as of 31 December 2013, a bridging visa comes into effect at midnight on 31 December 2013 and that bridging visa keeps the visa applicant lawful in Australia until such a time when the further work visa is approved (no bridging visa here would mean illegal stay).
If the further work visa is approved on 15 January 2014, then the bridging visa ceases upon the grant of that work visa.
Without the grant of the bridging visa, the visa holder may have otherwise been without any visa during the period 1 January 2014 and 14 January 2014 inclusive.
There are different sub-classes of bridging visas and complex rules can apply to each type:
- Bridging Visa A (Sub class 010)
- Bridging Visa B (Sub class 020)
- Bridging Visa C (Sub class 030)
- Bridging Visa D (Sub class 040)
- Bridging Visa E (Sub class 050)
The type of bridging visas you hold or have held may affect the type of applications you are allowed to make in Australia.
Bridging visa type and bridging conditions restrict what can be done while you are the holder of a given bridging visa.
#2 HOW DO I GET A BRIDGING VISAS?
Bridging Visas are applied to the Department Of Immigration & Boarder Protection. Certain visa applications are deemed to be applications for bridging visas as well, so there may not be any need to make a separate application for a bridging visa. In other cases, separate applications need to be made with the DIBP for a bridging visa.
#3 How Much Does Review Cost?
Bridging visas can attract a fee upon lodgement of the application with the DIBP.
A schedule of fees and charges applicable to applications lodged at the DIBP is published regularly.
Many bridging visas are granted automatically in conjunction with a substantive visa application, so no separate fee applies.
If you use an Immigration Advisor or Registered Australian Migration Agent, additional fees apply. The amount of the fee will depend on the skill level of the Immigration Law Specialist, complexity of the applications, and the urgency of the application.