A Bridging visa A (BVA) is a temporary visa. It allows you to stay in Australia after your current substantive visa ceases and while your substantive visa application is being processed.
It can be granted if you lodge an application in Australia for a substantive visa while you still hold a substantive visa.
A BVA does not allow you to return to Australia if you leave.
How does this visa work?
You need a bridging visa to stay in Australia if your substantive visa ceases before you are granted another substantive visa. If you are in Australia without a visa, you become an unlawful non-citizen for that period of time. Being an unlawful non-citizen in Australia can cause problems for you, such as:
- if you are granted a permanent residence visa and you later want to apply for Australian citizenship, you may find you cannot do it as soon as you would like to because you were an unlawful non-citizen for a period of time
- if your substantive visa application is refused and you leave Australia and you later apply for another visa at an Australian Immigration office outside Australia, you might find that you have an exclusion period (which prevents you from returning to Australia) and you have to explain why you think this exclusion period should be waived
A BVA allows you stay in Australia until a decision is made on your substantive visa application.
If you still hold a substantive visa when your BVA is granted, you must abide by any conditions that are on that substantive visa. When your substantive visa expires, the conditions of your BVA will apply.
Visa application process
When you applied for a substantive visa in Australia, you may have automatically applied for the associated BVA. The department will tell you if this happens.
Active Migration Australia will assess each application individually and provide extensive checklists consisting of instructions to help you successfully complete the forms required.
Lodge the application form with all necessary documents at any Australian Processing Centre . You can choose the processing centre that is most convenient to you.
You and anyone included in your application must be in Australia when the application is lodged and the visa is granted.
After you have applied for the Visa
If you lodged a valid online application for your substantive visa, you may be automatically granted a BVA if you meet the requirements. You will receive an auto-generated letter advising you of the BVA grant and about any conditions attached to it. If you do not receive the letter within seven working days of the date that you made your online substantive visa application, you should contact the department.
If you lodged a valid paper application for your substantive visa, the department will formally notify you about the BVA decision and any conditions that may be on it when it acknowledges receipt of your valid substantive visa application.
If you apply separately for a BVA, the department will formally notify you of the BVA decision and any conditions.
Provide more information
You can provide more information to the department, in writing, at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided in your visa application, use:
- Form 1023 Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99KB PDF File)
The department could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After this date, the department will make a decision about your application using all the relevant information it has.
If another person gives the department information that could result in you being refused a visa, the department will generally give you the opportunity to comment on the information.
You might also be interviewed. If you are asked to attend an interview in person, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.
Report changes in your circumstances
You must tell the department if your circumstances change. Use the following forms:
- Form 929 Change of address and/or passport details – if you move to a new address or change your passport
- Form 1022 Notification of changes in circumstances – if there are other changes in your circumstances.
Withdrawing your application
You may withdraw your application by advising the department in writing at any time before a decision is made on your application. To do this, you must send the department a letter of withdrawal including your full name, date of birth, date of application and file reference number/transaction record number (if known).
Everyone included in the application who is 18 years of age or older must sign the letter of withdrawal.
You will have automatically applied for a BVA if you applied for certain substantive visas (the department will tell you if this happens) and:
- you are in Australia
- the substantive visa can be granted to you while you are in Australia
- when you lodged that application, you still held a substantive visa.
You can apply separately for a BVA after you have applied for a substantive visa in Australia if:
- you were granted a BVA or a Bridging visa B (BVB) but this has ceased and you meet the requirements for another BVA
- your current BVA or BVB either does not allow or restricts you from working in Australia, but you believe you have a compelling need to work. You may need to provide evidence that you are in financial hardship
- you still hold a BVA or a BVB and you apply for judicial review in relation to a decision to refuse your substantive visa application.
Including family in your application
If you and your family have applied together for substantive visas, you have also applied together for BVAs. However, each member of the family will have to meet the requirements for a BVA in their own right.
Your family can include:
- your partner (married or de facto)
- you or your partner’s dependent children
- other dependent relatives who live with you