A Bridging visa is a temporary, non-substantive visa which may be granted to allow you to remain lawfully in Australia while you wait for an application for a substantive visa made in Australia to be decided or while you make arrangements to apply for a substantive visa or depart Australia or while you wait for a decision from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or a Court.
There are many different types of Bridging visa and all must be applied for in Australia and only remain valid while you remain in Australia, with the exception of the Bridging visa B which is specifically granted to enable a person holding a valid Bridging visa to travel out of and return to Australia.
The Bridging visa A is one of the most common Bridging visas (BV’s). It is usually automatically granted if you apply for a substantive visa in Australia while holding another substantive visa. A common example is where a person who holds a Visitor visa applies for a Partner visa.
The BVA will be automatically granted when the valid Partner visa is lodged but it will only come into effect when the existing Visitor visa expires.
Most BVA’s have unlimited work rights but caution should be exercised because in some cases only the work rights which attached to the previous substantive visa carry over to the BVA. The most common example of this is where a person on a Student visa applies for another substantive visa. The work rights on the BVA will be the same 20 hours per week as on the former Student visa.
As noted above, a Bridging visa B (BVB) is granted to enable a person to exit and return Australia.
The work rights on a BVB are the same as for a BVA.
The Bridging visa C (BVC) is the first of the visas which can be granted to a person who has no valid visa (a situation which should be avoided if at all possible!).
A common situation is where a person makes a mistake about the expiry date on their visa. You come to Australia on a Visitor visa and while in Australia decide you would like to study in Australia. You attempt to lodge a Student visa application and realise that your Visitor visa expired a few days ago.
You may be granted a BVC because you are in Australia, you are applying for a substantive visa which can be granted in Australia, you hold no substantive visa and you are not the holder of a Bridging visa E (BVE).
The work rights for a BVC are similar to a BVA.
The Bridging visa D (BVD) is a short term visa which is valid for a maximum of 5 days to enable a person either make a valid application for a substantive visa within 5 working days or to allow a person to be interviewed to assess whether the person is eligible for a Bridging visa E.
There are two BVD subclasses. Subclass 040 is available to persons who have no valid visa or whose substantive visa is going to expire within 3 days and have attempted to make a valid application for a substantive visa but were unable to do so.
A common situation is where a person is on a Visitor visa and applies for another visa such as a Student visa but uses the incorrect form and, after the Visitor visa expires, the application for a Student visa is returned as invalid.
The subclass 041 BVD is suitable for a person who does not have a valid visa and is unable or does not want to apply for a substantive visa and there is no authorised officer from Home Affairs who can interview the person to see if the person is eligible for a Bridging visa E.
There are no work rights for either subclass of BVD.
The Bridging visa E (BVE) is one of the most common BV’s and it is granted in many different situations.
There are two subclasses of BVE, subclass 050 (General) and 051 (Bridging (Protection Visa Applicant).
The BVE 050 can be granted in situations where a person has overstayed a visa and is voluntarily making arrangements to depart Australia or a person has no valid visa but has applied or is about to apply for a substantive visa or a person has no valid visa but has written to the Minister seeking Ministerial intervention in their case or where a person who has been placed in Immigration Detention can satisfy the Minister that they are eligible for a BVE or a person has been located by Home Affairs without a valid visa and the officer finds that the person is eligible for a BVE.
The BVE 050 is generally issued with the “no work” condition and in that circumstance a person needs to apply for a change of conditions and be granted the right to work.
It is not easy to be granted the right to work on a BVE. The Applicant must show that they have a “compelling need to work” due to “financial hardship.” It is advisable to get professional advice and assistance to apply for work rights on a subclass 050 BVE.
The position for a person wanting work rights on a subclass 051 BVE is even more difficult. In addition to needing to prove compelling need to work due to financial hardship, a person also has to satisfy Home Affairs that, if there was a delay in applying for the Protection visa, there was “an acceptable reason for the delay.” It is extremely difficult for a person on a subclass 051 BVE to get work rights and it is advisable to get professional advice and assistance to apply for work rights on a subclass 051 BVE.
We have a dedicated, experienced and professional team at Red Earth Migration who are committed to giving you the best and most cost-effective advice and assistance.
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