Bridging visas are part of migration law area that is commonly misunderstood. Very often you might not even realize that you have been given a bridging visa. I will explain all bridging visas focusing on the most popular ones.

We will only discuss the 5 most commonly talked about.

Bridging Visa A – The most popular of them is the Bridging Visa A (BVA). This visa is granted to those who have kept their stay in Australia lawful at all times. They have applied for another substantive visa before their previous visa expired.

For example, you are validly applying for Partner visa while still being on a Visitor visa. As your current visa expires their may be a delay until the new application is granted and therefore the BVA allows you to lawfully stay in Australia for the duration of this time.

Bridging Visa B – This BV is deemed as the most beneficial type of BV. It is only available to those who already hold a BVA or BVB. This is the type of BV you need to arrange for if you wish to travel out of Australia while being a holder of a BV. It is not automatically granted. You must apply for it and it attracts a certain fee.

For example, you are validly applying for Partner visa while still being on a Visitor visa. As your current visa expires there may be a delay until the new application is granted and therefore the BVA allows you to lawfully stay in Australia for the duration of this time. Now you are on a BVA but you need to leave Australia to attend a family matter overseas. A BVB allows you to depart and then most importantly re-enter Australia, at which time you go back on your BVA until your new Visa is determined.

Bridging Visa C – This BV is for those who are in Australia and have become unlawful but have not been detected by the DIBP.

For example, you are on a Student visa and have overstayed your visa and then seek to apply for another substantive visa such as a partner visa.

BVC will be granted to allow you to stay in Australia while waiting for the outcome of your partner visa application. This BV comes with mandatory no work condition. This can however be waived under certain circumstances.

Bridging Visa D – This visa is for those who have made an application for a substantive visa but has been notified by the department that such application was deemed invalid. This allows the visa holder a short time to try and rectify the invalid visa application or decide and make arrangements to depart Australia.

Bridging Visa E – This BV is for persons who have been unlawful in Australia and had come to the attention of the Department. Basically, it’s a get your act together to leave the country and may attract a ban for future travel to Australia.