Everything You Should Know About An Australian Bridging Visa

Everything You Should Know About An Australian Bridging Visa

Have you been planning a trip to Australia? If you’ve been planning on moving to Australia, it’s naturally important to consider the different options and opportunities on offer for your trip. However, this may not always be clear, and many people find themselves feeling very overwhelmed by all of the different types of visas in Australia and the different requirements for each unique visa type. With this thought in mind, today, we’re looking at everything you need to know about the Australian bridging visas, including how Australian bridging visas work, how long you can stay in Australia on a bridging visa, how many hours you can work on a bridging visa, and so much more!

How do bridging visas work?

Before we go any further with today’s guide, it’s absolutely vital that we start out by considering what a bridging visa is and answering the key question of how do bridging visas work? Well, bridging visas, at their simplest, are a form of temporary visa. These visas are awarded to individuals whose previous visas have already expired, but while an application process for a further visa is underway. As such, if you request a new visa while still living in Australia on a temporary visa, you may be provided with a bridging visa to “bridge the gap” (in the simplest way of understanding it) between your current visa and the new one.

Of course, there is never any guarantee that you will definitely receive a new visa. For example, if you are found to have breached the terms of your current visa, you may be much less likely to win another visa going forward. With that being said, the bridging visa is also only a temporary measure; as such, you cannot live in Australia for the long term with a bridging visa, as this is only intended to cover the short duration of time between your previous visa expiring or lapsing and the new visa being (hopefully) issued.

How long can you stay in Australia on a bridging visa?

As we have already clarified, the Australian bridging visa is not intended as a long-term visa solution. As such, when taking out an Australian bridging visa, it’s important to remember that this visa will not last for long, as it’s only a short-term measure. As such, the visa should generally be treated only as a backup solution, so if you want to stay in Australia for a longer duration of time, we would recommend that you look for a different visa type.

With that being said, it’s worth considering that usually, you will be able to stay in Australia on a bridging visa for around 28 days. Typically, this 28-day period will conclude after the decision is made on your visa application case. Once the bridging visa expires, you will need to make arrangements to return to your home country; for this, if you need extra time, you may need to apply for a bridging visa E (BVE) to allow yourself a short while longer.

If you’re unsure, we’d recommend contacting a professional migration agent for further support on your visa case.

Can I apply for PR while on a bridging visa?

One of the most common questions that we are often asked by people considering applying for a bridging visa is, “can I apply for PR while on a bridging visa?” Fortunately, this is actually a very simple question to answer: yes! Thanks to recent changes that occurred near the end of 2021, Australian bridging visa holders will now be able to easily apply for a PR visa (permanent residency) while on their briding visa. Namely, you should be able to apply for a skilled work permanent visa – but, of course, this doesn’t guarantee that you will receive a full permanent residency visa (protection visa), as these can be highly competitive and are potentially a little difficult to obtain.

What rights do you have on a bridging visa?

An Australian subclass 835 bridging visa allows you to stay in the country while an application for a second visa (after your first visa has expired) is going through. With this thought in mind, most types of Australian bridging visas will have roughly the same work rights as you held previously.

However, this depends on the type of visa you apply for (we’ll get into more detail about the different types of Australian bridging visa in the next main section) since some bridging visas aren’t the same. Most notably, BVC and BVE will not allow you to work in the country as you will have no work rights at the time of these bridging visas being granted.

Have further questions about the rights you have on a bridging visa? No problem – contact our migration experts for further support, guidance, and ideas on where to go next with your visa application.

How long does it take to get a bridging visa in Australia?

When applying for any visa, it’s important to consider how long it will likely take for the visa to be processed, since this may influence when you want to put your application in for an Australian bridging visa. Fortunately, since an Australian bridging visa is a very short-term solution, it’s generally much easier to get than many other visa types.

This means that you will be able to get an Australian bridging visa very quickly – potentially within a week or so, rather than the numerous weeks and months that can be common waiting times for other Australian visa type applications. But, of course, you should always consider potential factors that may get in the way of this; for example, if you put in an application for an Australian bridging visa around the festive period, it’s likely that the application will take much longer to process than normal!

How much does a bridging visa cost in Australia?

The cost of an Australian bridging visa will vary from visa to visa; indeed, there are several different types of Australian bridging visas, and so you should consider this when thinking about the cost. However, generally speaking, most Australian bridging visas will cost around $150 to apply for. This is substantially cheaper than many other types of Australian temporary visas since the visa is only intended for very short-term use. Of course, if you partner with a migration lawyer for your case, you may expect to pay more overall – which is why we generally recommend choosing a migration agent instead, who should be able to provide more affordable services.

Is a bridging visa a substantive visa?

It’s important to consider that an Australian bridging visa is not a substantive visa in its own right. Instead, once you hold an Australian bridging visa C (BVC), you will be able to apply for a separate substantive visa.

How do I get work rights on a bridging visa?

Inevitably, while a decision is being made on your new visa application, you’ll still need to pay the bills! With this thought in mind, it’s well worth considering whether you could continue to work on your Australian bridging visa. Not all bridging visas offer work rights in Australia, unfortunately. However, if you know that you will need to work while in Australia on an Australian bridging visa, you should aim to take out a bridging visa A if possible. Bridging visa A allows you to retain the same work rights you previously held in most cases. Some bridging visa B options may also allow this.

How many hours can you work on a bridging visa?

The number of hours that you can work on your Australian bridging visa will vary depending on numerous different factors. The main factor here is the type of Australian bridging visa you hold. For example, if you hold an Australian bridging visa type A or type B, you may be able to work in the same manner as you did on your previous Australian visa. However, if you have another type of Australian bridging visa, you might find that you are not permitted to work at all. For example, the Australian bridging visa E (BVE) is for unlawful non-citizens, and so this visa naturally does not allow you to work during the remainder of your time within Australia.

Understanding the different types of bridging visas

At this point, we’ve outlined some of the features of Australian bridging visa. But what are the different types of Australian bridging visa, and which one might be right for you? We’ll consider some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Australian bridging visa types as follows to hopefully help you make the ideal decision for your visa requirements.

What is a BVA visa?

First of all, we should consider the main type of Australian bridging visa: the BVA visa, or the Bridging Visa A. The BVA visa is one of the most versatile types of Australian bridging visa which may explain why it’s often a preferred option compared to the other options; however, it’s not necessarily available to every single visa applicant, which is well worth considering. The BVA visa allows you to stay in Australia as before while you await the results of your substantive visa application process. Critically, however, unlike the BVB visa (the Australian bridging visa B), you will not be able to leave the country and then return. As such, if you need to return home temporarily while awaiting the results of your new visa application process, we would recommend trying for a BVB visa instead.

How long does a bridging visa A last?

Generally speaking, the Australian bridging visa A should last for over one month or 28 days, but it’s important to discuss this carefully with your migration advisor to find out a more specific time frame. Notably, the Australian bridging visa A should expire within 28 days of your application for a new substantive visa being approved or denied.

Can I get Medicare on a bridging visa A?

Since Australian bridging visa A has work rights, generally (if you held work rights prior to losing your previous visa status), you may be able to access Medicare healthcare support. You may also need to provide a health card to benefit from Medicare on your bridging visa A.

Is bridging visa A eligible for Centrelink?

If you hold an Australian bridging visa, you unfortunately won’t be eligible for Centrelink support in most cases. Moreover, it’s important to consider that if you need social security support now, your future visa application may be rejected if you cannot prove that you are financially secure.

Can I apply for bridging visa A online?

If you think that an Australian bridging visa is the most suitable option for your own application, it’s highly important to consider the different application methods. Indeed, applying for an Australian bridging visa can understandably be a somewhat stressful process, but it doesn’t need to be hard!
While the traditional method to apply for an Australian bridging visa is to complete a paper document application, you can now apply online for your Australian bridging visa A (or other types of bridging visas). However, before you can apply for your Australian bridging visa, you will need to ensure you are in the country – so, simply visiting an Australian embassy in another country may not be enough.

To apply for your Australian bridging visa A online, you’ll need to navigate to the ImmiAccount website and log in. At this point, you will then need to head to the relevant applications page to make your application for a BVA. When completing your application process, always ensure you’ve filled out all details as accurately as possible.

Is bridging visa A automatically granted?

If you have already applied for an Australian bridging visa A, this should start as soon as your previous visitor visa expires. However, this may not always be the case, and it’s worth considering that your BVA will also need to be approved manually before it can be granted – therefore, it will not be automatically approved.

What’s the difference between bridging visa A and C?

Many people assume that Australian bridging visa A and C are similar, but these are actually two very different visa types. The BVA is intended for lawful residents of Australia who currently hold a visa, and who are in the process of applying for a new visa. Meanwhile, the Australian bridging visa C is intended for those individuals who have already overstayed the bounds of their previous visa and so for whom staying in Australia is no longer lawful; the BVC will make their stay lawful while applying for a new substantive visa.

Can I leave Australia on a bridging visa B?

If you need to leave Australia during the interim period between substantive visas, it’s important to take out an Australian bridging visa B since this is the visa type that allows easy travel. The BVA is intended for individuals who are staying in the country, but if you have urgent matters to attend to abroad in the meantime, the bridging visa B allows you to exit the country and re-enter.
While the BVA does allow you to leave Australia, it will not allow you access back into Australia once you have left, so this could naturally be severely detrimental to your overall efforts to continue your life in Australia while waiting for your next visa to come through.

What documents do I need for a bridging visa B?

When applying for a bridging visa B, you will need to provide several key documents. These include identification papers, a Form 1006, evidence of reasons for travel, parental consent (where appropriate), and good character certificates. However, you could potentially also need further documents, depending on current requirements, so be sure to discuss your specific case with a specialist migration agent to ensure you’re making the right steps.

Can I work full time on a bridging visa 485?

One of the main benefits of the Australian bridging visa subclass 485 is that there are unrestricted working rights for individuals. As such, you can absolutely work full time on a bridging visa 485. However, it’s worth considering that many employers may be more hesitant to hire people on a subclass 485 visa until their substantive visa is approved.

Does bridging visa E have working rights?

As standard, the Australian bridging visa E does not immediately come with working rights. Working rights can, however, be granted to workers on the Australian bridging visa E if you are experiencing financial difficulties due to not working. With that being said, it’s still worth noting that you may not be able to get a job easily in this scenario, even if working rights are provided. Contact your migration agent to find out more about this and whether you have a case for working rights on visa E.

Final Thoughts

Moving to Australia is a huge decision, and you should never just take this decision lightly (of course). However, when making a move to Australia, we strongly recommend that you consider the different options and opportunities available for your move to Australia; after all, finding the most practical option for your move can potentially seem challenging, but with the optimal solutions and strategies in place, it doesn’t need to be this way.

If you need any further information still on the Australian bridging visa and why this might be a good match, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are immensely proud to deliver some of the best services in the region for local customers needing an Australian bridging visa – and we’ll be here for you, too.

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