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Bridging Visas


Bridging visas serve a range of purposes from allowing you to stay in Australia if you have lodged a visa application or an AAT/Court appeal to making you lawful if you have overstayed your visa.

There are several different types of Bridging Visas – which one applies to you depends on your circumstances. It is commonly the BVA, BVB, and BVC which apply.

Bridging Visa A (Visa Subclass 010 - BVA)

If you are in Australia and have lodged a visa application, and at the time of application you held a substantive visa (any visa except bridging, criminal justice or enforcement visa), you will be granted a BVA in association with the application:

  1. The BVA will come into effect only when your existing substantive visa ceases.

  2. In most cases, you will get work rights (and perhaps access to Medicare).

  3. It does not have travel rights.


BVA Questions & Answers

  • What happens if I leave Australia on a BVA?
    A BVA will not allow you to return to Australia so you must have a visa to return – this must be organised before you leave. VMSA can do this for you.

  • How do I get travel rights?
    VMSA can organise these for you - you will need a Bridging Visa B.

  • Can I make an application outside of Australia and then get a BVA?
    You can but only under limited circumstances – contact VMSA for more information on this.

  • I have work rights on the BVA, can I work immediately?
    It depends. Contact VMSA to review this as it can be complicated. For example - if you are granted a BVA but still hold another visa (eg. student visa) you must observe the conditions of that visa or you will be in breach of your conditions.

  • How do I get access to Medicare?
    Some people who hold a Bridging Visa A have access to Medicare. VMSA cannot help with this but will advise you on who to speak to and what documents to bring.


Bridging Visa B (Visa Subclass 020 - BVB)

I you are in Australia and hold a BVA, but would like to leave Australia, you must hold a BVB. If you do not, you will not have rights to return. Generally, they are valid for three months. You must present reasons to travel and your address details.

BVB Questions & Answers

  • When should I apply for BVB?
    At least two weeks before you plan to leave.

  • I have an emergency and need to leave immediately – what will happen?
    This can be complex and you should contact VMSA immediately. If this occurs, VMSA seeks assistance to fast-track your application.

  • My BVB ended whilst overseas – what happens?
    You cannot apply for a BVB overseas – it is not possible under Australian immigration law. In such cases, VMSA will lodge an application for a Visitor Visa. This can be time consuming and adds cost, you can be apart from loved ones for a considerable period – it is why you should contact VMSA before you leave.  

  • Will I have work rights when I return?
    Generally, yes.

  • Do I need to get a BVA when I return?

  • Does a BVB cost money?
    Yes, there is a Visa Application Charge with the BVB.

  • How do I apply?
    If your application was lodged by VMSA, contact us and it will be organised in association with your application which is a straightforward process (we advise on what to supply and how). If not, contact VMSA and we will organise the process.


Bridging Visa C (Visa Subclass 030 - BVC)

If you are in Australia and your visa has ceased and you are an unlawful non-citizen, you may be able to make an application for another visa (depending on your visa eligibility).  If you can, you will be granted a BVC in association with the application.

  1. You have no travel rights. If you wish to leave Australia you will not be given a BVB to return.

  2. BVC do not come with work rights. Once you are granted a BVC a new application for a BVC is made with which a request for work rights is made. This can be complex as it is must be established that there are compelling and compassionate reasons why work rights should be given.

  3. BVC are sometimes issued in associated with a review at the AAT or Court Hearings. There is no Visa Application Charge.


BVC Questions & Answers

  1. How do I get work rights on a BVC?
    Yes, it is possible but compelling reasons must exist. (more about work rights). 

  2. Can I travel?
    You can leave Australia but cannot return on a BVC. It is almost certain that you will not get another visa to return, so VMSA advise clients holding a BVC to not travel.  


Bridging Visa E (Visa Subclass 050 - BVE)

If you are unlawful in Australia and cannot make an application (or do not want) for another visa you require a BVE to remain unlawful. If you are unlawful you are known as an Unlawful Non-Citizen it is important to regulate your status and become lawful.

  1. Generally, there are three circumstances you will be granted a BVE. You are given a BVE and are expected to leave Australia. You will make an application for a substantive visa if you are eligible. You are undergoing a hearing at the AAT, before the courts or have a request made for Ministerial Intervention.

  2. BVE's do not come with travel or work rights. There is no Visa Application Charge.


BVE Questions & Answers

  1. Can I get work rights?
    Yes, it is possible but compelling reasons must exist. (more about work rights).  

  2. How long will my BVE last?
    This depends on your circumstances. Generally, a BVE is granted for three months. VMSA has organised for BVE for up to 6 months?

  3. Do I need to do this – can’t I remain unlawful?
    VMSA strongly advises that you should not. You have a legal commitment to be lawful in Australia. It will make returning to Australia extremely difficult in the future. You are at risk of being detained and placed in an immigration facility.  


Other Bridging Visas

There are Bridging Visas D and F. The BVD allows a person to become lawful for a short period before they leave Australia. The BVF applies to people who have committed a series of crimes.

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