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Bridging visa A – BVA – (subclass 010)

Features

This visa allows you to stay in Australia until your application for a new substantive visa is decided.

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if:

  • you are in Australia
  • you already hold a substantive visa
  • you have applied for a new substantive visa that can be granted to you while you are in Australia.​

About this visa

A Bridging visa A (BVA) is a temporary visa. It can be granted if you lodge an application in Australia for a new substantive visa while you still hold a current substantive visa.

It allows you to remain lawfully in Australia after your current substantive visa ends and while your new substantive visa application is being processed. A substantive visa is any visa which is not a bridging visa or a criminal justice visa or an enforcement visa.

A BVA does not let you return to Australia if you leave.

What this visa lets you do

A BVA allows you to remain lawfully in Australia until a decision is made on your substantive visa application.

If you still hold a current substantive visa when your BVA is granted, you must continue to comply with any conditions that are on that substantive visa. When your substantive visa ends, the conditions of your BVA will apply.

Why do I need a bridging visa?

You need a bridging visa to stay in Australia if your substantive visa ends 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 visa and later apply for Australian citizenship, you might not be eligible to become an Australian citizen 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 outside Australia you might not be able to be granted another visa for three years after you leave Australia.

Cost

There is no charge for a BVA application.

Visa applicants

This information tells you what you need to do to apply for a Bridging visa A (BVA).

Who could get this visa

You will have automatically applied for a BVA if you applied for certain substantive visas 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.

We will tell you if this happens.

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 ended and you meet the requirements for another BVA
  • your current BVA or BVB either does not allow you to work in Australia, or there are work restrictions, and you have a compelling need to work. We might ask you to provide evidence that you are in financial hardship
  • you apply for judicial review after a merits review tribunal upholds our decision to refuse your substantive visa application, as you will need a separate bridging visa to maintain your lawful status during the judicial review proceedings.

The above information is for the purposes of making a valid BVA application only. Further criteria must be satisfied for the BVA to be granted.

Including family in your application

If you and your family have applied together for substantive visas in Australia, you might have also applied together for a BVA. However, each member of the family will have to meet the requirements for a BVA in their own right.

If you apply separately for a BVA, you can include the following people in your visa application:

  • your partner (married or de facto)
  • your or your partner’s dependent children
  • other dependent relatives.

These family members must meet the requirements for including family members in your application.

How to apply

When you applied for a substantive visa in Australia, you might have automatically applied for the associated BVA. We will tell you if this happens. In this case, you do not need to lodge a separate application.

If you need to apply for a BVA separately, complete the following form:

  • Form 1005 Application for a bridging visa (150 kB PDF).

Lodge the application form with all necessary documents at one of the Australian offices. 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 to be granted the visa.

More information

There is more information to help you prepare your application, such as certifying and translating documents into English, communicating with us, using a registered migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from us, and receiving assistance with your application.

After you have applied

If you lodged a valid online application for your substantive visa, you could be automatically granted a BVA if you meet the requirements. You will receive an auto-generated letter to tell you that you have been granted a BVA. The letter will also tell you about any conditions attached to your BVA. Contact us if you do not get the letter within seven working days of the date that you lodged your online application for a substantive visa.

If you lodged a valid paper application for your substantive visa, we will formally notify you about the BVA decision and any conditions that might be on it when we acknowledge receipt of your valid substantive visa application.

If you apply separately for a BVA, we will formally notify you of the BVA decision and any conditions.

Provide more information

You can provide more information to us, in writing, at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:

  • Form 1023 Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99 kB PDF).

We could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, we can make a decision about your application using the information that we have.

If another person gives us information that could result in you being refused a visa, we will usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

You might also be interviewed by us. 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 circumstances

You must tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth or death in your family.

 You can use the following forms:

  • Form 929 Change of address and/or passport details (86 kB PDF) — if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022 Notification of changes in circumstances (77 kB PDF) — if there are other changes in your circumstances.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw the application at any time before we make a decision about it. To do this, send us a letter or email to ask for the withdrawal. Your request must include your full name, date of birth and the date of your application. If you know it, you should also include the number we gave you when you applied – this could be a file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

Everyone included in the application who is 18 years of age or older must sign the letter of withdrawal or send a separate email.

Visa decision

If the visa is granted, we will send you a letter to tell you:

  • when you can use the visa
  • the visa grant number
  • any conditions attached to the visa.

You will not have a visa label placed in your passport.

If the visa is not granted, we will send you a letter or email to tell you:

  • why the visa was refused
  • your review rights (if any)
  • the time limit for lodging an appeal.

Visa holders

This information is for people who have already been granted BVA. It explains your rights and obligations.

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for free to check your visa details and entitlements.

How long your visa lasts

A BVA comes into effect as soon as it is granted or when your current substantive visa ends.

A BVA will end as soon as any of the following situations occur:

  • you leave Australia
  • you are granted the substantive visa you applied for
  • you are granted another Bridging visa (such as a BVB) in relation to the same substantive visa application that your BVA is associated with
  • we cancel either your BVA or the substantive visa that you held when you were granted the BVA.

A BVA will end 28 days after the date that one of the following happens:

  • we receive your written request to withdraw your substantive visa application
  • a merits review tribunal or a judicial review body receives your request to withdraw your application for review of a decision to refuse your substantive visa application
  • we notify you that your substantive visa application is not valid
  • we notify you that your substantive visa application has been refused
  • a merits review tribunal notifies you that it has upheld our decision to refuse your substantive visa application
  • a merit review tribunal notifies you that it has no jurisdiction to consider your application for review
  • a judicial review body upholds our decision to refuse your substantive visa application.

What this visa lets you do

A BVA allows you to stay in Australia until a decision is made on your substantive visa application.

If you still hold a substantive visa when your BVA is decided, you must comply with any conditions that are on that substantive visa. When your substantive visa ends, the conditions of your BVA will apply.

Working in Australia while you hold a BVA

We will tell you if you can work when your BVA is granted.

If your BVA does not let you work in Australia, or has restrictions on working, you can apply for another BVA that lets you work. To be considered for a BVA that will let you work, you will usually have to show that you are in financial hardship.

We 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 BVA, we will grant you a new BVA with the same work prevention or restriction condition that was on your previous BVA.

You cannot be granted a new BVA that lets you work if:

  • your BVA was granted to you because you have applied for judicial review of the decision made on your substantive visa application, and
  • that BVA prevents or restricts you from working in Australia.

Travelling outside Australia while you hold a BVA

A BVA lets you temporarily stay in Australia. It will usually end when you leave Australia. If you travel outside Australia, you need a visa to return. You can do one of the following:

  • apply for and be granted a Bridging visa B (BVB) before you travel (if you do not have a substantive visa that allows you to travel or if your substantive visa will expire before you return)
  • travel on your current substantive visa (if you have one that allows you to travel). When you return to Australia, contact your case officer before your current substantive visa ceases.

If your substantive visa ends while you are outside Australia and you do not hold a BVB, you will need to apply for and be granted a substantive visa before you can return to Australia. There is no guarantee that you will be granted a visa.

Your obligations

You must comply with all Australian laws and visa conditions.

Report changes in circumstances

You must tell us if your circumstances change after you have applied for this visa. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

  • Form 929 Change of address and/or passport details (86 kB PDF) — if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022 Notification of changes in circumstances (77 kB PDF) — if there are other changes in your circumstances.
Last modified Wednesday 3 December 2014