SO WHAT DO I DO IN THE MEANTIME? A SHORT GUIDE TO AUSTRALIAN BRIDGING VISAS

Most of the people who have had to go through Australia’s immigration system will not hesitate to tell you that it is quite a complex and stressful process. While some are lucky enough to have a relatively straightforward journey in their quest to make Australia their home/place of study/place of business, the vast spectrum of human circumstances can make the process all the more complicated. This element of unpredictability is compounded given the array of different visas that is available.

In accordance with the old Heraclitus’ saying “the only constant is change”, for any given applicant it is inevitable to predict a change in circumstances. However, as circumstances change, so does an applicant’s eligibility for a certain visa class/subclass. This is where Australia’s Bridging Visa System comes into play.


In essence, a Bridging Visa acts as the temporary ‘bridge’ between one visa to another for an applicant, accommodating for specific circumstances that the applicant may be placed in. Generally, a Bridging Visa is granted when an applicant’s current visa has expired and is awaiting the outcome of a completed application (whatever the subclass may be). Bridging Visas are granted to maintain a person’s lawful status in Australia. However, as with all tools of a temporary nature (and with visas generally), there are certain classes that an applicant must be aware of.


Firstly to outline the categories, there are Bridging Visas A to E, each with their own respective rights and restrictions. Tailored to your particular circumstance, Australia’s Department of Immigration will assign you one Bridging Visa (should you be eligible or require one). The information below will give you a brief description of each Bridging Visa type:


Bridging Visa A (BVA): BVA’s are granted upon lodgement of a ‘substantive’ (i.e. not a Bridging Visa) application. As a requirement, upon lodgement, you must hold a substantive visa. It allows you to stay in Australia after your current substantive visa ceases while awaiting the outcome of your application for another substantive visa. A significant restriction that is carried by the BVA is that this Bridging Visa does not allow you to return to Australia should you decide to leave Australia’s shores.


Bridging Visa B (BVB): Similar to the BVA, BVB allows the holder to legally stay in Australia while awaiting the outcome of their substantive visa application. The only exceptional difference with the BVA (and other classes) is that BVB allows the holder to leave Australia’s shores (given that they return within the specified period assigned to the BVB). As a note, you are allowed to hold a substantive visa as well as BVB simultaneously.Bridging Visa C (BVC): Having traits of the other Bridging Visas above (i.e. acting as a ‘bridge’ between visas), the trait particular to BVC is that holder of BVC are NOT required to hold a substantive visa already. For some applicants (such as refugees), this is the ideal Bridging Visa to hold whilst awaiting the outcome of their substantive visa application. Furthermore for BVC, there is the restriction of not allowing the holder to return to Australia once they leave.


Bridging Visa D (BVD): BVD is unique in that holders of this Bridging Visa lets you stay in Australia lawfully for a short time until the holder is able to make:

a. A substantive visa application; or b. Make arrangements to leave Australia; or c. Are granted a Bridging Visa E (see below). d. As a restriction, the holders of BVD are not allowed to return to Australia should they decide to leave the shores. Bridging Visa E (BVE): BVE is very similar to BVD, but with a little more time to arrange your affairs. Like most of the Bridging Visas, the BVE will not allow you to return to Australia if a holder decides to leave Australia’s shores.


As mentioned in the beginning of this post, when an applicant’s dictates for a need for a Bridging Visa, they will be assigned one of the following from above. So if you are caught in the situation, the team at Valet Migration will be more than happy to walk you through any concerns or questions that you may have relating to Bridging Visas.


List of Current Australian Immigration Visa Application Types

Australian Visitor Visa Types

>> Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601)

>> Visitor (subclass 600)

>> eVisitor (subclass 651)

>> Transit Visa (subclass 771)

Australian Family & Partner Visa Types

>> Adoption visa (subclass 102)
>> Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclass 114) 
>> Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclass 838) 
>> Aged Parent visa (subclass 804)
>> Carer visa (subclass 836)
>> Carer visa (subclass 116)
>> Child visa (subclass 101)
>> Child visa (subclass 802)
>> Contributory Aged Parent (Temp) visa (subclass 884)
>> Contributory Aged Parent visa (subclass 864)
>> Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 173)
>> Contributory Parent visa (subclass 143)
>> Dependent Child visa (subclass 445)
>> NZ Citizen Family Relationship (temporary) visa (subclass 461)
>> Orphan Relative (subclass 117)
>> Orphan Relative (subclass 837)
>> Parent visa (subclass 103) 
>> Partner (Provisional & Migrant) visa (subclass 309 100)
>> Partner visa (subclass 820 801)
>> Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300)
>> Remaining Relative visa (subclass 115)
>> Remaining Relative visa (subclass 835)
>> Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 870)

Australian Working Holiday Visa Types

>> Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462)

>> Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417)

Australian Study & Training Visa Types

>> Student visa (subclass 500)
>> Student Guardian visa (subclass 590)
>> Training visa (subclass 407)

Australian Working & Skilled Visa Types

>> Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 124)
>> Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 858)
>> Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
>> Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191)
>> Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) 
>> Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 494)
>> Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) 
>> Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)  
>> Skilled-Recognised Graduate visa (subclass 476)
>> Skilled Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 489) 
>> Skilled Regional visa (subclass 887) 
>> Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)
>> State or Territory Sponsored Business Owner visa (subclass 892)
>> State or Territory Sponsored Investor visa (subclass 893)
>> Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408)
>> Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)
>> Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403)
>> Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400)
>> Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)

Australian Business Investments Visa Types

>> Business Innovation and Investment (permanent) visa (subclass 888)

>> Business Innovation and Investment (provisional) visa (subclass 188)

>> Business Owner (subclass 890) 

>> Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132)

>> Investor visa (subclass 891) 

Other Australian Immigration Visa Types

>> Bridging visa A – BVA - (subclass 010)
>> Bridging visa B – BVB – (subclass 020)
>> Bridging visa C – BVC – (subclass 030)
>> Bridging visa E – BVE – (subclass 050 and 051)
>> Crew Travel Authority visa (subclass 942)
>> Former Resident visa (subclass 151)
>> Maritime Crew visa (subclass 988)
>> Medical Treatment visa (subclass 602)

>> Resident Return visa (subclass 155 157)
>> Special Category visa (subclass 444)
>> Special Purpose visa
>> Investor Retirement visa (subclass 405)
>> Confirmatory (Residence) visa (subclass 808)
>> Global Special Humanitarian (subclass 202)
>> Protection visa (subclass 866)
>> Refugee visas (subclass 200, 201, 203 and 204)
>> Temporary Protection visa (subclass 785)
>> Safe Haven Enterprise visa (subclass 790)

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