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What you need to know about Bridging Visas in Australia

One of the most important things that you need when studying in Australia is the correct visa. An Australian Bridging Visa can be used for different purposes, but it is best known for allowing you to “bridge” the gap between a former visa and the visa that you are applying for. In short, this visa is a temporary one, which will allow you to legally stay in Australia while you are waiting for a substantive visa to be processed.

A Bridging Visa can have different purposes and can be granted for a number of reasons:

  • If your original visa has expired and you are currently awaiting approval of your substantive visa,
  • If you are awaiting a court decision on an appeal about your visa,
  • If you are awaiting an Administrative Appeals Tribunal decision on a visa refusal or cancellation,
  • If you have requested a Ministerial Intervention, or
  • If you are unlawfully staying in Australia but are arranging to depart Australia voluntarily.

Types of Bridging Visas

There are six types of Bridging Visas that have slightly different functions and entitlements attached to them. Often, the circumstances of your migration from the time before you are granted a Bridging Visa will effect the type of Bridging Visa you will have.

Bridging Visa A (BVA)

A Bridging Visa A (BVA) allows you to stay in Australia after your current substantive visa has expired and while your substantive visa application is being processed. It can be granted if you apply in Australia for a substantive visa while you are still using a current substantive visa. A BVA does not allow you to return to Australia if you leave.

Bridging Visa B (BVB)

Bridging Visa B (BVB) is a temporary visa that allows you to depart and return to Australia while awaiting the approval of your application for a substantive visa. The BVB will allow you to stay in Australia while you await the processing of the your substantive visa.

Bridging Visa C (BVC)

Bridging Visa C (BVC) is a temporary visa for non-Australians who wish to file a valid application for a substantive visa. This may be applicable for those who have overstayed in Australia and want to make their stay lawful. You do not have travel rights if you are holding a BVC, meaning if you leave Australia you may not be allowed to return.

Bridging Visa D (BVD)

A Bridging Visa D (BVD) will allow you to stay in Australia for a short period if your substantive visa has expired. This period is just sufficient to enable you to submit a substantive visa application, prepare to leave Australia, or to be granted a Bridging Visa E (BVE). A BVD does not allow you to work in Australia or return if you depart Australia.

Bridging Visa E (BVE)

Bridging Visa E (BVE) allows you to stay in Australia lawfully if your substantive visa has expired or you are awaiting an immigration decision. It allows you to prepare to leave or finalise immigration concerns. This visa will not allow you to re-enter if you leave.

Becoming familiar with Bridging Visas is especially important for international students in Australia. For more information about this visa, contact our friendly counsellors today.

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