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Bridging Visas: A guide to Travel During Visa Processing times

Do you wish to travel abroad for the festive season to see family or take a holiday, but your temporary or permanent visa application is pending? You might be able to secure another visa to re-enter Australia upon your return.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) can grant temporary visas called bridging visas in specific situations. There are different types of bridging visas, each with its own conditions and rights. If you would like to learn more about all the types of bridging visas, please click here.

While waiting on a decision for a substantive visa and holding a Bridging Visa A (BVA), which allows you to stay in Australia legally, the solution for travel overseas lies in a Bridging Visa B (BVB). This unique visa type allows you to leave and re-enter Australia while waiting for your visa decision, offering a crucial bridge between your existing visa status and your desired future one.

 

Eligibility:

Before applying for a BVB, confirm your eligibility.

 

Standard requirements:

  • Hold a Bridging Visa A (BVA)
  • Have a pending visa application (not finalised or under judicial review)
  • Have a good reason to travel and return while waiting for the decision.
  •  Other complex circumstances may also grant eligibility.

 

Application Timing:

• Apply for a BVB no more than 3 months and no less than 2 weeks before your travel date.

 

Travel Period:

• BVBs have a defined travel period for leaving and re-entering Australia.
• The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) determines the period based on:

  • Your travel reason.
  • Expected decision date for your substantive visa application.

 

Supporting Documents:

• Provide evidence of your travel reason, intended travel dates, and full overseas ad-dress (for stays over 14 days).
• The visa grant notice will specify the travel period.

 

Travel Restrictions:
• You cannot re-enter Australia after the travel period ends.
• If you’re outside Australia after the period ends, you must:

  • Wait for your substantive visa decision.
  • Apply for and obtain a new visa to re-enter.

 

BVB Termination:
Your BVB ends upon:

  • Grant of your substantive visa application
  •  Grant of another BVB
  • BVB or previous substantive visa cancellation by the DHA
  • Being outside Australia when the travel period ends
  • Leaving Australia after the travel period ends.

 

Reapplying:

If you’re in Australia when the period ends and need to travel again, you can apply for another BVB.

 

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