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A Bridging Visa is a temporary visa that typically allows you to stay in Australia after your current substantive visa ceases and while your new substantive visa application is being processed.

Substantive visa

A substantive visa is any visa that allows the visa holder to remain temporarily in Australia other than:

  • a bridging visa
  • a criminal justice or enforcement visa

The current list of available bridging visas are as follows:

  1. Subclass 010 Bridging Visa A (or BVA)
  2. Subclass 020 Bridging Visa B (or BVB)
  3. Subclass 030 Bridging Visa C (or BVC)
  4. Subclass 050 Bridging Visa E (or BVE)
  5. Subclass 051 Bridging Visa E (or BVE)
Visa typeWhat is it used for?CostTravel rightsWork rights
BVALets you stay lawfully in Australia until your substantive visa application is finally determinedFreeNoYes (conditions may apply)
BVBLets you stay lawfully in Australia until your substantive visa application is finally determined, and leave and return to Australia within a defined travel periodAUD155YesYes
BVCLets you stay in Australia lawfully if you were previously in Australia unlawfullyFreeNoYes (conditions apply)
BVE (050)Lets you stay lawfully while you finalise immigration an immigration matter or make arrangements to leaveFreeNoNo
BVE (051)Lets you stay in Australia while your Protection visa application is being processedFreeNoNo

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF AUSTRALIAN BRIDGING VISAS

Bridging Visa A

A bridging visa A is provided to the applicant as soon as they lodge an application for a substantive visa while currently on their previous substantive visa. For example, if you apply for the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) while on a Student Visa (subclass 500) in Australia, you will be issued a BVA once your student visa expires. The BVA will be valid until an outcome is reached on the new substantive visa application. 

Remember the following points of interest about the BVA-

  1. You must be in Australia and on a substantive visa when you apply.
  2. You are allowed to reside, work and study on the BVA. If you are not allowed to work on your current BVA, you can apply for another BVA that allows you to work (provided that you can show that you are in financial hardship).
  3. You are allowed to travel within Australia, but you are NOT allowed to travel outside of Australia. If you travel outside of Australia, you will not be allowed to re-enter.
  4. If you wish to travel outside of Australia while on a bridging visa, see Bridging Visa B (BVB).
  5. If your substantive visa application has been rejected or declared invalid, your BVA will cease after 35 calendar days.

Eligibility

  • Be in Australia when you apply
  • Hold a substantive visa
  • Applied for a substantive visa or judicial review
  • if you meet all the eligibility requirements, be in Australia at the time of grant

Bridging Visa B

A bridging visa B (BVB) the applicant with the right to travel for a specific period of time. This option is ideal if you are currently on a BVA and would like to travel outside of Australia without the risk of your BVA being cancelled.

Remember the following points of interest about the BVB-

  1. The BVB will provide you with travel rights and a ‘travel period’, within which time you must return to Australia.
  2. If your BVB travel period ends and you wish to travel again, you can apply for another BVB.
  3. You can only apply for a BVB while you are in Australia.
  4. Your BVB travel period cannot be altered or extended after it has been granted.
  5. If you are outside Australia when your BVB travel period ends, your BVB will cease and you will not be allowed to re-enter Australia with a ceased BVB.
  6. The Department of Immigration and Home Affairs recommends that you apply for a BVB ‘no more than 3 months and no less than 2 weeks’ before you want to travel.

Eligibility

  • be in Australia when you apply for this visa
  • be the holder of a BVA or a BVB
  • have applied in Australia for a substantive visa that can be granted while you are in Australia
  • if you meet all eligibility requirements, be in Australia at the time of grant

Bridging Visa C

If you are a non-citizen who is unlawfully in Australia and decide to voluntarily apply for a substantive visa, you will be issued a bridging visa C (BVC). You become unlawful if you have overstayed your visa.

Remember the following points of interest about the BVC-

  1. You do not have travel rights under the BVC. If you decide to leave Australia while on your BVC and before an outcome has been reached on your substantive visa application, you will not be allowed to re-enter the country.
  2. The initial BVC you are granted will not permit you to work, unless the substantive visa you have applied for is one of the following SkillSelect visas:
    1. Business Visa 132 Business Talent (PR) Visa A/B
    2. Visa 188 – Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)
    3. Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888)
    4. Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186)
    5. 494 SKILLED EMPLOYER SPONSORED (REGIONAL)
    6. Skilled — Independent visa (subclass 189)
    7. Skilled — Nominated visa (subclass 190) 
    8. 491 VISA (SKILLED WORK REGIONAL VISA) – PROVISIONAL
  3. If your BVC does not provide you with work rights, you are allowed to apply for a new BVC that does not contain a work prohibition. However, you will have to show that you are experiencing financial hardship without the ability to work.

Eligibility

  • Be in Australia when you apply for this visa
  • Do not hold a BVE
  • Do not hold a substantive visa
  • Applied for a substantive visa or judicial review
  • if you meet all eligibility requirements, be in Australia at the time of grant

Bridging Visa E (subclass 050 and 051)

The bridging visa E is similar to BVC in that it provides non-citizens staying unlawfully in Australia with a means to stay in the country. However, BVE provides the individuals with time to stay in the country lawfully in order to finalise their arrangements to leave Australia, finalise an immigration matter or wait for an immigration decision. The BVE subclass 051, in particular, allows applicants to stay in Australia while their Protection visa is being processed.

Remember the following points of interest about the BVE-

  1. BVE has no travel rights. Your BVE will end when you depart Australia, and you will not be allowed to return unless you have been granted a substantive visa
  2. Your letter should let you know if you are allowed to work. If you attempt to work when you are not allowed to, you could be detained, have your BVE cancelled and removed from Australia
  3. There are different requirements, depending on whether you have applied for judicial review or ministerial intervention. There are also special rules for when protection visa

Eligibility

  • comply with all Australian laws
  • be in Australia when the application is lodged and in order to be granted this visa, you must be in Australia when a decision is made.
  • Subclass 050: Be an unlawful non-citizen or hold a BVE (subclass 050) or hold a BVD (subclass 041)
  • Subclass 050: be making arrangements to leave Australia, applying for a substantive visa or applying for merits or a judicial review
  • Subclass 051:have been refused of bypass immigration clearance 
  • Subclass 051: have applied for a protection visa
  • Subclass 051: Be in immigration detention