A Bridging visa A (BVA) (subclass 010) is a temporary visa. It can be granted if an individual lodges an application in Australia for a new substantive visa while they still hold a current substantive visa.
It allows the person to remain lawfully in Australia after their current substantive visa ends and while their new substantive visa application is being processed. A substantive visa is any visa which is not a bridging visa or a criminal justice visa or an enforcement visa.
A BVA does not allow the return of an individual to Australia if they leave.
An individual will have automatically applied for a BVA if they applied for certain substantive visas and:
- They are in Australia
- The substantive visa can be granted to them while they are in Australia
- When they lodged that application, they still held a substantive visa.
The individual will be informed if this happens.
An individual can apply separately for a BVA after they have applied for a substantive visa in Australia if:
- they were granted a BVA or a Bridging visa B (BVB) (subclass 020) but this has ended and they meet the requirements for another BVA
- their current BVA or BVB either does not allow them to work in Australia, or there are work restrictions, but they believe they have a compelling need to work. They might be asked to provide evidence that they are in financial hardship
- they apply for judicial review after a merits review tribunal upholds the decision to refuse their substantive visa application, as they will need a separate bridging visa to maintain their lawful status during the judicial review proceedings.
Further criteria must be satisfied for the BVA to be granted.
What this visa allows for?
A BVA allows an individual to remain lawfully in Australia until a decision is made on their substantive visa application.
If the individual still holds a current substantive visa when their BVA is granted, they must continue to comply with any conditions that are on that substantive visa. When their substantive visa ends, the conditions of their BVA will apply.
Why is a Bridging visa required?
A bridging visa is required to stay in Australia if the substantive visa of an individual expires before they are granted another substantive visa. If any individual is in Australia without a visa, they become an unlawful non-citizen for that period. Being an unlawful non-citizen in Australia can cause problems such as:
- Not being granted a permanent visa and later if a person applies for Australian citizenship, they might not be eligible to become an Australian citizen as soon as they would like to because they were an unlawful non-citizen for a period
- If a person’s substantive visa application is refused, and they leave Australia, and later apply for another visa outside Australia they might not be able to be granted another visa for three years after they leave Australia.