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Bridging visas

Bridging visas are “temporary” visas provided by the Australian immigration law for temporary and legal stay in Australia for “lawful non-citizen” for the period when the validity of the current “substantive” visa has already expired, but by virtue for any reason, the following “substantive” visa has not been received.

In other words, Bridging visas provide lawful status while you are waiting for an application to be processed or while you make arrangements to depart the country.

The concept of a “bridging visa” is to ensure the lawful stay of non-citizens of Australia (lawful non-citizen) in Australia through the organization of a “bridge” to move from one “substantive” visa to another. The length of the “bridge crossing” is directly proportional to the degree of the workload of the Department of Home Affairs of Australia (DoHA) and other government agencies participating in the consideration of the visa application for the next “substantive” visa and conducting the necessary checks in this regard.

If a person does not have a “substantive” visa, nor a “bridge” visa (Bridging Visa), then such a person becomes “outlawed” (unlawful non-citizen), subject to arrest and subsequent forced or voluntary deportation from Australia, with the mandatory issuance such a person a “bridging” visa of the appropriate subclass as part of the deportation procedure.

Australian immigration law provides for nine subclasses of “Bridging visas” differing in purpose, limiting the conditions and procedure for granting. These subclasses provide for the following situations where it is necessary to ensure the lawful stay of non-Australian citizens in Australia (lawful non-citizen):

  • The applicant has lodged an application with DoHA for a subsequent “substantive” visa, but no decision has yet been made;
    The applicant’s current visa was canceled, but an application was submitted to the Administrative Tribunal, the Court or the Minister of Immigration to reconsider this decision;
  • The application is in the process of reviewing an unfavorable decision to issue a subsequent visa at the Tribunal, Court or the office of the Minister of Immigration;
  • The applicant is serving a sentence of imprisonment in an Australian correctional facility (of any kind);
  • The applicant did not have time to voluntarily leave the borders of Australia, but intends to do so soon, or is in the process of forced deportation by the Australian authorities.

What subclasses of “bridging” visas exist and when a person needs a “bridging” visa?

Subclass 010 (Bridging A)

The most common “bridging” visa. It is granted automatically upon filing a visa application for the next “substantive” visa and takes effect immediately after the expiration of the previous “substantive” visa. There is no visa fee. It usually has the same restrictive conditions as the previous “substantive” visa. It does not require the additional filing of a separate application and grant certificate in the form of inserting a visa sticker in the passport, just a grant letter. Subclass 010 (Bridging A) visa does not give the right to return if you need to leave Australia for a certain period. You will need to “upgrade” this “bridging” visa to the Subclass 020 Bridging B.

Important things to note about a Subclass 010 (Bridging A):

  • Travel rights

It does not provide any travel rights, so if you were to leave Australia while you are on Subclass 010 (Bridging A) visa, you would not be able to get back in as it will cease once you leave Australia. However, you are eligible to apply for a Subclass 020 (Bridging B) to gain travel rights (see below).

  • Work rights

You will not generally have work rights on a Subclass 010 (Bridging A) unless you apply to the DoHA for another Subclass 010 (Bridging A) that has no work restrictions. To apply for this you have to show that you are suffering from financial hardship.
If you are applying for an onshore partner visa or protection visa or working visa, you will automatically be granted work rights while your visa is being processed.

Subclass 020 (Bridging B)

The only “bridging” visa, which gives the right to leave Australia and return back before the expiration of its validity, is still considering the issue of granting a “substantive” visa. It can only be obtained if the Subclass 010 (Bridging A) visa has come into effect. A separate visa application for a grant (grant), payment of a visa fee, and return to Australia before the deadline is required. After that, the previous Subclass 010 (Bridging A) visa will automatically take effect. It is issued in electronic form and does not require an additional grant certificate in the form of a visa sticker in the passport.
Subclass 030 Bridging C

It is granted only if the applicant asks for a subsequent “substantive” visa, which does not give the right to work. The applicant should not be in the Detention Center. A separate visa application for a grant is required. There is no visa fee. It is issued in electronic form and does not require an additional grant certificate in the form of a visa sticker in the passport. This visa cannot be granted to individuals who already have Subclass 050 (Bridging E Visa)(see below).

Subclass 040 Bridging D (Prospective Applicant)

A separate visa application for a grant is required. There is no visa fee. It is granted in electronic form and does not require an additional grant certificate in the form of a visa sticker in the passport.

A Subclass 040 Prospective Applicant visa will be granted for five days if a person is declared “unlawful non-citizen” or becomes one within the next three days, but intends to apply for a subsequent “ substantive” visa, or an application that has already been submitted has not been accepted due to incorrect filling, etc. During these 5 days, the application must be submitted in accordance with all the DoHA requirements for a valid visa application.
Subclass 041 Bridging D (Non-applicant)

A separate visa application for a grant (grant) is required. There is no visa fee. It is granted in electronic form and does not require an additional grant certificate in the form of a visa sticker in the passport.
A Subclass 041 Non-applicant visa will be granted for five days to an unlawful non-citizen person who will not apply in the future and is willing to leave Australia voluntarily. These five days, the person is obliged to resolve the issue with the Department of Home Affairs of Australia (DoHA) on the timing of voluntary departure from Australia.

Subclass 050 Bridging E (General)

A separate visa application for a grant is required. There is no visa fee. It is granted in electronic form and does not require an additional grant certificate in the form of a visa sticker (sticker) in the passport. Granted if a person is declared “outlawed” (unlawful non-citizen) and is in the Detention Center, or has filed a request for review of a negative decision made on the issue of a “ substantive” visa to any court (Tribunal, Court, Office of the Minister of Immigration), either has Bridging D Visa – Subclasses 040, 041, or Bridging E Visa – Subclass 050.

Subclass 051 Bridging E (Protection Visa Applicant)

A separate visa application for a grant (grant) is required; there is no visa fee. It is granted in electronic form and does not require an additional grant certificate in the form of a visa sticker (sticker) in the passport.

Subclass 051 Bridging E (Protection Visa Applicant) (Refugees)

This visa is granted to a person who has arrived in Australia legally (lawful non-citizen) on one of the categories of visas, who has declared himself a refugee and is free, and not at the Detention Center for Illegals Center, is in the process of making a decision on the approval of its refugee status.

Subclass 060 Bridging F

It is granted in electronic form and does not require an additional grant certificate in the form of a visa sticker in the passport. It is issued in a situation if the Australian Federal Police decides that the person is a victim of illegal immigration of people to Australia and/or there is forced involvement in prostitution, sexual slavery, any other types of slavery, or criminal groups.

Having received such a visa, these people immediately receive the protection of the State, a guarantee of security, and temporary social support. This visa will be valid as long as the Federal Police of Australia investigates this crime and the person’s involved act as witnesses in this case in the Courts. This visa can be granted to family members of such people who are outside Australia, which will allow them to legally come to Australia and stay in the country until the deadline indicated in the visa (for example, parents learning that their daughter went to Australia to study a student visa, but there was a forced involvement of the daughter in illegal prostitution, they receive this visa to come to Australia and take the daughter back, since she cannot return due to “deep moral stress”, etc.) When the investigation is completed, the Federal Police will notify the DoHA, and the Department, in turn, will take steps to assist these persons to return to their homeland.

Subclass 070 Bridging R (Removal Pending)

Granted to a person who is in the Detention Center. At the same time, all possible appeals by this person have already been filed and decisions on them (negative) have already been taken and the next step is the Department from Australia. Moreover, this person accepted the notice from the Department of Home Affairs of Australia (DoHA) about the method of voluntary deportation within seven days from the date of notification and agreed to this and is ready to fully cooperate in this with DoHA. However, the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) does not currently have the ability to deport such person. In this case, this person will be released from the Detention Center for a short time before voluntary deportation. It is issued in electronic form and does not require an additional grant certificate in the form of a visa sticker in the passport.

What restrictive conditions can these visas have?

Depending on the situation in which a particular Bridging visa is used, we can talk about duplicating the restrictive conditions of the current “substantive” visa, or about additional conditions aimed at increasing the level of control over finding non-Australian citizens (lawful non- citizen) in Australia who has secured the legality of stay through a “bridging” visa. These may be restrictions requiring you to live at the specified address, notify of a change of residence address, check in the Department of Home Affairs of Australia (DoHA) at the specified address and within the specified time, submit and pay a visa application, purchase and show a ticket to the Delegate in support of your intention to leave Australia, get a new passport in case of its absence and so on.

Perhaps the most important restrictive condition for Bridging visas is that if the “past substantive visa” included: “a restriction of 20 hours a week,” or “without the right to work,” or “without restrictions” and this visa is expired in its term, then the subsequent Bridging visa will inherit the same restrictions.

If you require any further information regarding Australian Bridging visas, need help in obtaining them, or need assistance with any other matters related to immigration to Australia, please book a consultation.

This page provides summary information on June 20, 2024. Australian immigration law is complex and it changes on a regular basis. If you have any additional questions or require further clarification, please, do not hesitate and contact me regarding this matter and, if appropriate, to arrange a mutually convenient time for an appointment.

Respectfully,
Australian Registered Migration Agent
Viktor Ovcharenko
MARN 0964258

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Respectfully,
Australian Registered Migration Agent
Viktor Ovcharenko MARN 0964258

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