Changes to Bridging Visas
Cessation of Bridging Visa
Okay, so this only applies to someone whose application takes a negative turn and we hope that isn’t you, but it is still important to know. Bridging visas are issued to those who have made substantive visa applications and are awaiting a visa decision. They exist for the purpose of carrying an applicant from the point of application through to the point of decision as a lawful resident.
Currently, if you are on a bridging visa and your application or review goes south, you are given a timeframe during which you can continue to reside lawfully in Australia before which your bridging visa expires. These timeframes have been increased, effective 19 November 2016.
The reason for this is not necessarily positive. Regulations state that the cessation of a bridging visa will occur after a specified timeframe from the date of effective notification. However this has caused a fair amount of confusion.
Henceforth timeframes are extended to accommodate that the date from which the that specified timeframe begins is no longer the date of notification, but the date of decision.
The visas that are affected by this change are as follows:
- Bridging visa A (BVA)
- Bridging visa B (BVB)
- Bridging visa C (BVC)
- Bridging visa E (BVE)
Events that trigger the expiry of a bridging visa:
- Visa application refusal
- Invalid visa application
- Review application refusal
- Invalid review application
- Revocation application refusal*
- Invalid revocation application*
- Withdrawal of visa, review or revocation application
Generally, if you receive a negative outcome or withdraw your application, you would be given 28 days before your bridging visa expires. This has now been extended to 35 days. You will be a lawful resident during this buffer period of 35 days are expected to either lodge an application for another substantive visa, if you are eligible, apply for a review or leave Australia.
*If you have applied for a revocation visa, the timeframe has been changed from 7 working days to 14 working days.
If you are a secondary applicant in an application, all the above applies to you. Should the main applicant receive a refusal decision or applied for a merits review which extends your bridging visa up to the review decision, your timeframes will be in sync with the main applicant.