A BVC can be granted if you lodge an application in Australia for a substantive visa but you do not already hold a substantive visa. A BVC does not allow you to return to Australia if you leave.
How does this visa work?
A BVC allows you stay in Australia until a decision is made on your substantive visa.
If you still hold a substantive visa when your Bridging visa is granted, you must abide by any conditions that are on that substantive visa. When your substantive visa expires, the conditions of your BVC will apply.
Working in Australia while you hold a BVC
The initial BVC that is granted to you when you apply for your substantive visa will not allow you to work, unless you have applied for one of the following visas:
- Business Talent visa (subclass 132)
- Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188)
- Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888)
- Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186)
- Regional Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 187)
- Skilled – Independent visa (subclass 189)
- Skilled – Nominated visa (subclass 190)
- Skilled – Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)
If your BVC does not allow or restricts you from working in Australia, you can apply for another BVC that allows you to work. To be considered for a BVC that will allow you to work, in most cases, you must demonstrate that you are in financial hardship. This means that you need to show that the cost of reasonable living expenses exceeds your ability to pay for them.
The department will assess your circumstances in relation to your claim that you need to work. If you do not meet the requirements for work, and you are still eligible for a BVC, the department will grant you a new BVC with the same work prevention or restriction condition that was on your previous BVC.
You cannot be granted a new BVC that allows you to work if:
- your BVC was granted to you because you have applied for judicial review of the decision made on your substantive visa application, and
- that BVC does not allow or restricts you from working in Australia.
Travelling outside Australia while you hold a BVC
A BVC allows you to stay in Australia. It will cease immediately if you leave Australia, even if you also hold a substantive visa that allows you to travel outside Australia.
The department recommends that you do not leave Australia until your substantive visa application is decided, because a BVC holder is not eligible to apply for a Bridging visa B (BVB).
If you have an urgent need to travel outside Australia, you should contact your case officer to discuss your options.
If you leave Australia and you do not hold another visa that allows you to return, you would have to apply for and be granted a substantive visa before you could return to Australia. There is no guarantee that you would be granted a visa.
Visa application process
When you applied for a substantive visa in Australia, you may have automatically applied for the associated BVC. 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
The department will formally notify you about the BVC decision and if it has a condition on it that prevents you from working when it acknowledges receipt of your valid substantive visa application.
If you apply separately for a BVC, the department will formally notify you of the BVC 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)
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 BVC 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 did not hold a substantive visa
- you do not hold a Bridging visa E (BVE) and you have not held a BVE since you last held a substantive visa
You can apply separately for a BVC after you have applied for a substantive visa in Australia if:
- you had previously been granted a BVC, but this has ceased and you are still eligible for another BVC
- your current BVC prevents you from working in Australia but you believe you have a compelling need to work, such as you are in financial hardship
- you still hold a BVC 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 a BVC. However, each member of the family will have to meet the requirements for a BVC 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