What is an Australian Bridging Visa?
As the name implies, an Australian bridging visa is one that bridges a gap between two time periods. It is intended for people who are already in Australia on one substantive visa, but it will finish before the other begins or before they’re able to leave. In other words, it prevents people from breaking immigration laws while waiting for a decision to be made or appropriate action can be taken.
For example, a student who has finished studies would like to remain in Australia to work. The student has found a job and applied for a 457 work visa, but they realize that the student status is going to expire before the work visa is approved. So, a 457 bridging visa would allow the holder to legally remain in Australia during the non-overlapping time.
The Migration Place can help you get not only a 457 bridging visa, but also any type of immigration bridging visa that you need in your particular situation. If you’re waiting for a visa to be approved, it’s not the best strategy to break immigration laws, and we highly recommend consulting with an expert to avoid any problems. An immigration lawyer can help make sure that you don’t have any gaps in your status and that you’ll remain in the best situation to get approval for the pending visa.
Australian Bridging Visa Types
There are multiple types of bridging visas, and they vary in many different ways. Not only do they allow separate things, such as the ability to work or reenter the country, but they also are granted with the purpose of solving different situations. A 457 bridging visa would help you stay longer while waiting to start working, but you’ll need something different if you just need extra time to make arrangements to move out of the country.
Australian Bridging Visa A (BVA)
The first immigration bridging visa is for those who are already in Australia and are waiting for a substantive visa to be approved and issued, and the applicant must have applied for the new visa while the other was still valid. This visa doesn’t allow the holder to return to Australia if they leave.
Australian Bridging Visa B (BVB)
This second visa is for people who are already in Australia waiting for a substantive visa, and they are already holding a BVA or BVB. The big difference between this and the BVA is that the holder of this is allowed to leave and return to Australia if they want to.
Australian Bridging Visa C (BVC)
The third type is also for people who are in Australia and are applying for a substantive visa. However, this one differs because it is specifically for cases where the applicant doesn’t currently have a substantive visa. Again, holders of this are not allowed to return to Australia if they leave.
Australian Bridging Visa D (BVD)
The fourth type is for people who are in Australia and are unable to apply for a substantive visa before their current status expires. Generally, it needs a requirement of having been not able to apply for some reason such as an officer isn’t available to interview you.
This type of Australian bridging visa can also be used to leave Australia legally without facing penalties that are imposed upon unlawful non-citizens. The penalties for staying illegally can vary, but it’s possible you’ll be deported, banned from receiving another visa for a number of years, and forced to pay debts to the government for the costs of your departure.
Australian Bridging Visa E (BVE)
The last type of immigration bridging visa can allow you to stay in Australia if you’re waiting for an immigration decision, but the most common use for it is to give you more time while you’re making arrangements to leave the country.
Including Family Members
Family members of an applicant can often be allowed to stay with an Australian bridging visa. Immediate family can usually be included on application of the primary person, but they will also have to meet the requirements to obtain one. We always advise people to talk to an immigration lawyer in these cases to make sure they don’t make an error that results in the family being separated for a period of time.
- Finance Monthly – Law Awards 2017: Migration Law Firm of the Year – Australia
- Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016: Migration Lawyer of the Year
- AI M&A Award 2015: Most Innovative Migration Firm Australia
For more information about an Australian bridging visa, contact The Migration Place today.