Travelling on a Bridging Visa
An Australian bridging visa is a visa that bridges the gap between your old visa and your next course of action, whether that's a new visa or leaving the country. Like all visas, bridging visas come with restrictions. You might want to temporarily leave Australia while on a bridging visa, but are you allowed?
There are five types of bridging visas:
Bridging Visa A (BVA)
Bridging Visa B (BVB)
Bridging Visa C (BVC)
Bridging Visa D (BCD)
Bridging Visa E (BVE)
Only one of these allows you to leave Australia and return on the same visa: Bridging Visa B. If you hold any other bridging visa, it will be cancelled upon your departure from Australia.
Bridging Visa B
If you apply for a new substantive visa (i.e. not a bridging visa, criminal justice visa or an enforcement visa) before your existing substantive visa expires, the you'll be granted a BVA. If you would like to travel out of Australia and avoid your BVA being cancelled while waiting for you substantive visa application to be processed, you will need to apply for a BVB.
To apply for a BVB, you need to:
Be in Australia
Already hold a BVA or BVB
Have applied in Australia for a substantive visa that can be granted to you while you are in Australia
Have good reasons for wanting to leave and return to Australia while your visa application is being processed
Specify your travel dates when applying
Generally, this visa is only valid for three months so after it is granted you will need to be back in Australia before the three months is up
Due to the three month time limit, you should only apply for the BVB 2-3 weeks before you intend to travel
The Department usually takes a few days to process the application
So make sure you have a Bridging Visa B (BVB) before you hop on a plane, otherwise you won't be allowed re-entry.
Visas can be a bit tricky and it can be a stressful trying to juggle travel and applications. We're experts in immigration law, so get in touch for some straight forward advice.