Travelling on a Bridging Visa

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.


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

Remember that:

  • 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