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Bridging Visa E – Primary Processing, Judicial and Merits Review

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New permission to work arrangements for Protection visa applicants and all clients seeking ministerial intervention commence on 1 July 2009.

Will I be given permission to work?

Is your application being processed by the department or are you waiting for a decision from the Refugee Review Tribunal?

You will be permitted to work only if you can demonstrate both:

  • a compelling need to work, and
  • an acceptable reason for your delay in applying for a Protection visa.

Is your application awaiting a decision from a court (judicial review)?

You will be permitted to work if you:

  • had work rights on the last bridging visa you held while the department or Refugee Review Tribunal was processing your application, and
  • applied within the statutory time limits for judicial review.

How do I demonstrate a 'compelling need to work'?

To demonstrate a 'compelling need to work', you must be able to show evidence of financial hardship. You will need to provide evidence that the cost of your reasonable living expenses exceeds your ability to pay for them.

How do I demonstrate an 'acceptable reason for delay in applying for a Protection visa'?

To do this, you will need to provide reasons why you:

  1. did not apply for a Protection visa while you held a substantive visa, and
  2. why you have now applied for a Protection visa after you became unlawful.

The information you provide will be assessed by a departmental officer who may need to interview you to discuss your application.

What are acceptable reasons for a delay in applying for a Protection visa application?

Your reasons for delay must be acceptable to the departmental officer assessing your application. You will need to satisfy them that the delay in making your application was because of circumstances beyond your control, such as a serious illness.

Your reasons for delay must explain why you became unlawful and relate to the full period of your delay in making a Protection visa application.

What is not an acceptable reason for a delay in applying for a Protection visa?

Clients who apply for a Protection visa after they are detained by a departmental officer because they have been living unlawfully in the Australian community or breaching their visa conditions, will not usually be able to demonstrate an acceptable reason for the delay in making their Protection visa application. As a result, they will not be eligible for permission to work.

Other examples of circumstances that will not usually be regarded as acceptable reasons for a delay in making a Protection visa application include claims that you:

  • did not know about the requirements for making a Protection visa application
  • were misinformed by a migration agent or other person (unless you are able to provide clear evidence to support your claim)
  • did not have access to migration or legal advice
  • were not near a departmental office when your visa expired
  • do not speak English well.

I have the no work condition on my Bridging visa E, how can I change this condition?

You can apply on form 1005 to change your Bridging visa conditions to permit you to work. There is no visa charge associated with this application. If you satisfy the requirements set out above, you will be granted a new Bridging visa E with permission to work.
See: Form 1005 Application for a Bridging visa (219KB PDF file)

Will the changes affect access to Medicare?

Protection visa applicants who are granted permission to work on their bridging visa may be eligible to access Medicare while pursuing their claims to remain in Australia.

You can obtain further information on Medicare eligibility from Medicare offices.
See: Medicare Australia

Will Protection visa applicants be able to access Centrelink benefits?

No. People who hold a bridging visa are not eligible for Centrelink benefits while awaiting a decision on their visa or review application.

Will Protection visa applicants with permission to work be able to access Asylum Seeker Assistance (ASA)?

Payment of limited income support is available to some Protection visa applicants through ASA. Protection visa applicants who have been granted permission to work but who are unable to find a job may still be eligible for ASA. Further information is available on the department's website.
See: Fact Sheet 62 Assistance for Asylum Seekers in Australia

Further information

From 1 July 2009, further information on the new arrangements will be available on the department's website.
See: Fact Sheet 62 Assistance for Asylum Seekers in Australia

Information will also be available from the department's telephone enquiry line.
Telephone: 13 18 81

Last modified Wednesday 27 August 2014