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When you are an international student in Australia and your visa is close to expiring, you might need to do an extension for your student visa.
Whatever your situation is, there is a way in which you can still be legally in the country while your visa is processed. This is called a Bridging Visa.
The type of Bridging Visa that the government will grant you totally depends on each specific situation.
Australian Bridging Visa Types
Also, depending on your situation, you can be granted one of 4 different kinds of Bridging Visas. Keep reading to learn about the benefits, conditions, and rights of each one.
Bridging Visa A
This is one of the most popular types of Bridging Visas along with Bridging Visa B. It is one of the most favorable ones regarding its benefits and rights for the holder.
Bridging Visa A Benefits
The main benefit of a Bridging Visa is that you can remain lawful while your visa application is processing. Also, if your application is having a judicial review.
With this Visa, you carry your working rights from your previous Visa. So, if in your expired Visa you were able to work, with this Visa you are able to do so as well. For example, if you were holding a student visa you will have the same student visa working hours.
Bridging Visa A Conditions
Your Bridging Visa A will cease immediately if you leave Australia while you are on this Visa. Remember that with this visa you can travel within the country, but it is prohibited to travel overseas. For this, you will need to apply for a Bridging Visa B.
Also, your BVA will cease if the application on the Visa you are waiting on is finally approved or, if you are granted with another Bridging Visa A or B. If the outcome is negative it will also cease.
For example, if your Visa gets refused, if the judicial review is decided, or if you withdraw your application for your Visa.
Take into consideration that you can’t use a bridging visa when you are waiting for a response on a citizenship application.
Bridging Visa A Rights
If you previously held a Partner and Parent Visa or a Skilled and Business Visa, you have no work limitations imposed with your Bridging Visa A.
Bridging Visa B
This is the only Visa that allows you to travel overseas while you wait for a new Visa to be processed. If you are granted a BVA Visa, you can apply to this one instead, if you plan to travel in the near future.
Bridging Visa B Benefits
As if you were holding a Bridging Visa A, you have the right to reside, work, and study in Australia. With the great benefit of traveling overseas and coming back to Australia with no problem at all.
Bridging Visa B Conditions
Take into consideration the processing time of this Visa so apply for one way before you are leaving overseas. It can take from 24 hours to 2 weeks, so please be aware of the times.
Also, you have to be aware that the case officer that will process your BVB has to see that the trip that you are going to do is really necessary.
Bridging Visa B Rights
To leave and return to Australia within a specific period of time set by the case officer.
Bridging Visa C
Normally you apply for this Visa when there is a problem with your Visa status, for example, you forgot that your Visa expired 10 days ago. In this case, you apply for a BVC so you can stay lawfully in Australia while you begin the process for a new Visa.
Bridging Visa C Benefits
You will not get in trouble for still living in Australia with an expired Visa, that can lead to you getting back to your country. Also, it allows you to keep studying and working in the country.
Bridging Visa C Conditions
Working rights are similar to BVA and you are not allowed to travel. This Visa will no longer be valid when you successfully get your new Visa if you leave Australia or 28 days after you withdraw your Visa application, or it is refused.
Bridging Visa C Rights
You can continue with your normal life in Australia while a decision on your new Visa application is been made.
Bridging Visa E
Is the second most popular Visa and it can be granted if you overstayed in Australia but it wasn’t on purpose if you have been located by immigration with no valid Visa and they decide you can have a BVE or if you are going to apply to a substantive visa but you don’t have any valid Visa at the moment.
Bridging Visa E Benefits
You will have more time before making up your mind if you want to stay in the country or leave.
Bridging Visa E Conditions
This Visa is no longer valid if a new Visa is approved or if you leave the country or if an agent notifies you that your Visa application is invalid or gets refused.
Bridging Visa E Rights
You can work on this Visa but only if you demonstrate that you really need to work for maintaining yourself.
How to apply for a Bridging visa in Australia
First of all, you have to recognize if you are eligible for a Bridging Visa before applying to one. If your case is any of the following, then go for it:
- If you already hold a Bridging Visa.
- You are waiting for a decision on your application that is not determined yet or it is in a judicial review.
- You have to travel outside of Australia while waiting for the final outcome of your application.
Regarding how to apply to this Visa it depends on the type. For Bridging Visa A, you will automatically be granted when you are applying for any substantial Visa from inside Australia. This includes student visa extensions.
For a Bridging Visa B, you will have to hold your Bridging Visa A first and then login into your Immigration account and then click in Apply for a Bridging Visa.
You will have to answer a short questionnaire. You will need to attach proof that you have a trip overseas already planned and the recommended time to apply is one month before you plan to depart from Australia.
Bridging Visa C is normally granted automatically if you have held a Bridging Visa before. For Bridging Visa E you can’t do it online. You have to go in person to the nearest immigration office, do it by fax or even mailbox.
Can I Study in Australia on a Bridging Visa?
It is possible for you to keep studying while you hold a Bridging Visa. The only exception is for Bridging Visa E, as the most common scenario to need this Visa is when you overstayed but you are close to leaving Australia for good.
With the other Bridging Visas, you can live your normal life while waiting for the other Visa process to end.
Can I work in Australia on a Bridging Visa?
Regarding the information for working on Bridging Visas you can work with Bridging Visa A, B, and C. For Bridging Visa D you are not allowed to and for Bridging Visa E you can do it only if you demonstrate that you need to.
Can I travel on Bridging Visa A?
No, as stated before you can travel inside Australia, but it is prohibited for you to go overseas, for this, you need a BVB.
How much does a Bridging Visa cost in Australia
Cost varies among the different types of visas.
- Bridging Visa A, C, and E it has no cost
- For Bridging Visa B it costs $155
Remember that holding a Bridging Visa is the only way to stay lawfully in Australia. If your Visa has expired or if you don’t have any Visa at all. And in general, it will only work until you finally get your new Visa.
Don’t forget that as an international student you have to agree with all the conditions that the Bridging Visa holds. In this way, you will not lose the opportunity to keep studying in Australia and keep going on with your life in this amazing country.