If you are waiting for the decision on a temporary or permanent visa and want to travel overseas this festive season to visit your family or on holiday, you may be able to apply for another visa to enter Australia.
A bridging visa is a temporary visa that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) might grant you in certain circumstances. There are multiple bridging visas that come with different conditions and rights. A Bridging Visa A (BVA), for example, allows you to stay in Australia lawfully whilst your visa application is being processed or your immigration status is resolved.
Only a Bridging visa B (BVB) will let you leave and re-enter Australia while you wait for a decision on your visa application. If you depart Australia with another type of bridging visa in effect, then that visa will cease and you may not be able to re-enter Australia until the Department grants you the substantive visa that is being processed.
If you are planning to travel and want to apply for a Bridging visa B you first need to check if you are eligible. The requirements to apply for this visa under standard circumstances are:
- You hold a Bridging visa A (BVA)
- You are awaiting a decision on an application that is not yet finally determined or is at judicial review
- You have a good reason for leaving and returning to Australia while you wait for the outcome of your visa application
There are other complex circumstances in which you still may be eligible to apply for a Bridging visa B.
When to apply for a BVB?
Apart from considering your circumstances and eligibility before you apply for the BVB, it’s recommended to apply no more than 3 months and no less than 2 weeks before you want to travel.
How long can you travel on a BVB?
BVBs are granted with a defined travel period. This means that you can leave Australia and re-enter during that particular period.
To determine the BVB travel period, the DHA will consider:
- Why you want to travel
- When the DHA is likely to make a decision on your substantive visa application
For this reason, it’s important that you:
- Provide evidence of your reason for travelling outside Australia
- Mention when you intend to travel
- Provide the full address where you would spend most of the time while overseas (if your stay is 14 days or over)
If the DHA grants the BVB visa, then you will be able to know for how long you can travel. Check your visa grant notice which clearly defines the specified travel period of the BVB.
You should consider that you can’t re-enter Australia on a BVB after the travel period ends. If you are outside Australia when the travel period ends, you will either need to wait until the Department grants the visa that is being processed, or you will need to apply for and be granted another visa before you can re-enter.
But if you are in Australia when the travel period ends and you need to travel outside Australia again, you can apply for another BVB.
When the BVB ends?
Your BVB ends if:
- You have been granted the substantive visa you applied for
- You have been granted another BVB bridging visa
- The DHA cancel your BVB or the substantive visa you held when you were granted the BVB
- You are outside Australia when the travel period ends
- You leave Australia after the travel period ends
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