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The Removal Pending Bridging Visa (RPBV) came into effect on 11 May 2005
and the Migration Regulations were revised to reflect its introduction
on 16 June 2005. The RPBV was introduced to enable the release pending
removal of people in immigration detention who have been cooperating with
efforts to remove them from Australia, but whose removal is not reasonably
practicable at that time.
A RPBV may be granted using the minister's new non-delegable, non-compellable public interest power to grant a visa to a person in immigration detention. This ministerial intervention power is in section 195A of the Migration Act 1958.
There is no formal application form for the visa. Cases in detention are reviewed on an ongoing basis by departmental case managers. Should it be deemed appropriate, cases are referred for consideration against the section 195A guidelines. Through this assessment process cases may be referred to the minister for intervention consideration. The department may recommend the use of the RPBV as a temporary visa option as an alternative to ongoing detention.
The RPBV criteria in the migration regulations are all of the following:
- The person is in immigration detention.
- The minister is satisfied that the person's removal from Australia is
not reasonably practicable at that time, for reasons other than the
person being party to proceedings in a court or review tribunal related
to an issue in connection with visas.
- The minister is satisfied that the person will do everything possible
to facilitate their removal from Australia.
- Any visa applications made by the person, other than a repeat protection
visa application (that is, a visa application made following the exercise
of the minister's power under section 48B of the Act) must have been finally
There are a number of mandatory conditions that are attached to the RPBV and by which holders are required to abide.
The mandatory conditions are:
8303 – The holder must not become involved in activities disruptive to, or violence threatening harm to, the Australian community or a group within the Australian community.
8401 – The holder must report:
- (a) at a time or times
- (b) at a place
specified by the minister for the purpose.
8506 – The holder must notify the department at least two working days in advance of any change in the holder's address.
8513 – The holder must notify the department of his or her residential address within five working days of the grant.
8514 – During the visa period there must be no material change in the circumstances on the basis of which it was granted.
8541 – The holder:
- (a) must do everything possible to facilitate his or her removal from Australia
- (b) must not attempt to obstruct efforts to arrange and effect his or her removal from Australia.
8542 – The holder must make himself or herself available for removal from Australia in accordance with instructions given to the holder by the department for the purpose of that removal.
8543 – The holder must attend at a place, date and time specified by immigration in order to facilitate efforts to arrange and effect his or her removal from Australia.
Visa holders have access to a range of social support benefits. They are:
- work rights and job matching through Centrelink
- access to certain Centrelink benefits, such as Special Benefit and Rent Assistance
- access to Medicare benefits
- access to the Early Health Assessment and Intervention services
- eligibility for torture and trauma counselling
- public education for school-age minors
- access to the English as a Second Language service for school-aged children.
The RPBV does not allow for sponsorship of family members or provide any right of re-entry if the visa holder departs
Effect, cancellation and cessation
The RPBV comes into effect when granted by the minister and permits the
holder to remain in Australia, but not to leave and/or re-enter Australia,
and ceases when the visa holder leaves Australia.
The visa can also be ceased by the minister if:
- the minister is satisfied that removal is now reasonably practicable
- the holder breaches a visa condition.
Character and security requirements
All applicants for the RPBV must meet the relevant character and security requirements before it can be granted.
Further information is available on the department's website.
The department also operates a national general enquiries line.
Telephone: 131 881
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. Recorded information is available outside these hours.
Fact Sheet 85. Produced by the National Communications Branch, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Canberra.
Revised 28 February 2011.
© Commonwealth of Australia 2007.