Individuals and Travellers

Bridging visa B – BVB – (subclass 020)

Features

This visa allows you to leave and return to Australia while your application for a new substantive visa is being processed​​

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if:

  • you are in Australia
  • you already hold a BVA or BVB
  • you have applied for a new substantive visa that can be granted to you while you are in Australia.

About this visa

A Bridging visa B (BVB) is a temporary visa. It lets you leave and return to Australia while your application for a substantive visa is being processed. If you return to Australia within the specified travel period, you can then remain lawfully in Australia while your substantive visa application is being processed.

A substantive visa is any visa which is not a bridging visa or a criminal justice visa or an enforcement visa. You can hold a substantive visa and a BVB at the same time.

If you still hold a substantive visa that allows you to travel and you believe you can return to Australia before your substantive visa ends, it is your decision whether or not you want to apply for and be granted a BVB before you travel.​

What this visa lets you do

A BVB allows you to leave and return to Australia during a specified period of time while your substantive visa application is being processed. When deciding the specified travel period, we consider your reasons for travel and when your substantive visa application is likely to be decided.

Once you have been granted a BVB, the specified travel period cannot be changed or extended.

If you still hold a substantive visa when your BVB is granted, you must comply with any conditions that are on that substantive visa. When your substantive visa ends, the conditions of your BVB will apply.

Before you apply

Your passport

Usually you must have a valid passport to be granted this visa. If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. Your visa is linked to the passport number you use in your application. If you get a new passport after your visa has been granted, you must give the details of your new passport to one of our offices. For more information, see New Passport.

Why do I need a bridging visa?

You need a bridging visa to remain lawful in Australia until a decision is made on your substantive visa application. If you are in Australia without a visa, you become an unlawful non-citizen for that period of time. Being an unlawful non-citizen in Australia can cause problems for you, such as:

  • if you are granted a permanent visa and later apply for Australian citizenship, you might not be eligible to become an Australian citizen as soon as you would like to because you were an unlawful non-citizen for a period of time
  • if your substantive visa application is refused, and you leave Australia, and you later apply for another visa outside Australia you might not be able to be granted another visa for three years after you leave Australia.

Cost

There is a visa application charge (VAC) for a BVB application.

Further information is available on the Visa Pricing Table.

Visa applicants

This information tells you what you need to do to apply for a Bridging visa B (BVB).

Who could get this visa

You can apply for a BVB if you meet all of the following:

  • you are in Australia
  • you already hold a Bridging visa A (BVA) or a BVB
  • you have applied in Australia for a substantive visa that can be granted to you while you are in Australia
  • you have substantial reasons for wanting to leave and return to Australia while your substantive visa application is being processed.

Further criteria must be satisfied for the BVB to be granted.

Including family in your application

If you and your family have applied together for a substantive visa in Australia, you can apply together for BVBs. This means you and your family have to complete only one application form and pay one visa application charge. However, each member of the family will have to meet the requirements for a BVB in their own right.

Only those family members who have substantial reasons for needing to travel outside Australia should be included in your BVB application. If some of your family members do not need to travel outside Australia, they can stay in Australia on their current bridging visas.

You can include the following people in your visa application:

  • your partner (married or de facto)
  • your or your partner’s dependent children
  • other dependent relatives.

These family members must meet the requirements for including family members in your application.

How to apply

If you apply for a BVB, there are two options available to you, depending on how you applied for your associated substantive visa. These are outlined below.

Note: You and anyone included in your application must be in Australia when the BVB application is lodged and granted. Emailed and faxed applications will not be accepted unless you have been specifically permitted to do so by your case officer.

Lodge your application online

You can apply online using ImmiAccount if you have applied for your substantive visa through ImmiAccount and a decision has not yet been made on that application.

Note: You cannot apply online if you have made an application for merits review or judicial review.

Lodge your application by post or courier

If online lodgement is not available, you can complete the following form:

Send the application form with all necessary documents to the Australian office that is processing your associated substantive visa application.

Note: You are not able to apply online for a BVB if you are outside Australia.

When to apply

You should apply for your BVB no more than three months, and not less than two weeks, before the date on which you want to travel.

Some visas can only be granted while you are in Australia. If you apply for a BVB too far in advance of your travel, it could be difficult for us to assess whether your substantive visa will be ready for decision.

If you leave it until the last minute to apply for a BVB, you risk not being granted a BVB before you are due to leave Australia. If this happens, you might not hold a visa that allows you to return to Australia. You would then have to apply for and be granted a substantive visa before you could return to Australia. There is no guarantee that you would be granted a visa.

More information

There is more information to help you prepare your application, which gives advice about certifying and translating documents into English, communicating with us, using a migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from us, and receiving assistance with your application.

After you have applied

You will receive written advice when a decision is made on your BVB application. If you are granted a BVB you will also receive advice about any conditions that might be on it.

Note: Contact us if you do not receive a letter advising of the BVB decision within seven working days as there might be a technical error.

Provide more information

You can provide more information to us, in writing, at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:

Send the form with all necessary documents to the relevant visa and citizenship office in Australia that is processing your associated substantive visa application.

We could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, we can make a decision about your application using the information that we have.

If you applied online, you can provide additional information, including Form 1023, using ImmiAccount.

If another person gives us information that could result in you being refused a visa, we will generally give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

You might also be interviewed by us. If you are asked to attend an interview in person, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.

Report changes in your circumstances

You must tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth or death in your family.

 You can use the following forms:

Send the form(s) with all necessary documents to the relevant visa and citizenship office in Australia that is processing your associated substantive visa application.

If you applied online, you might be able to update your details using ImmiAccount.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw the application at any time before we make a decision about it. To do this, send us a letter or email to ask for the withdrawal. Your request must include your full name, date of birth and date of your application. If you know it, you should also include the number we gave you when you applied – this could be a file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

Everyone included in the application who is 18 years of age or older must sign the letter of withdrawal or send a separate email or letter.

We will not usually refund the visa application charge.

Visa decision

If the visa is granted, we will send you a letter or email to tell you:

  • when you can use the visa
  • the visa grant number
  • any conditions attached to the visa.

You will not have a visa label placed in your passport.

If the visa is not granted, we will send you a letter or email to tell you:

  • why the visa was refused
  • your review rights (if any). 
  • the time limit for lodging an appeal.

Visa holders

This information is for people who have already been granted a BVB. It explains your rights and obligations.

Tell us your contact details and what your travel plans are before you leave so you can be contacted while you are away. This is very important if you have applied for a substantive visa that requires you to be in Australia when it is granted.

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for free to check your visa details and entitlements.

How long your visa lasts

Usually, a BVB comes into effect as soon as it is granted or when your current substantive visa ends.

A BVB will end immediately when any of the following situations occur:

  • you are granted the substantive visa you applied for
  • you are granted another Bridging visa (including a BVA or BVB) in relation to the same substantive visa application that your BVB is associated with
  • we cancel your BVB or the substantive visa that you held when you were granted a BVB
  • you are outside Australia when the BVB specified travel period ends
  • you leave Australia after the BVB specified travel period ends.

A BVB will end 28 days after the date that one of the following happens:

  • we receive your written request to withdraw your substantive visa application
  • a merits review tribunal or a judicial review body receives your written request to withdraw your application for review of a decision to refuse your substantive visa application
  • we notify you that your substantive visa application is not valid
  • we notify you that your substantive visa application has been refused
  • a merits review tribunal notifies you that it has upheld our decision to refuse your substantive visa application
  • a merit review tribunal notifies you that they have no jurisdiction to consider your application for review
  • a judicial review body upholds our decision to refuse your substantive visa application.

What this visa lets you do

A BVB allows you to leave and return to Australia during a specified period of time while your substantive visa application is being processed. We will take into consideration your reasons for travel and when your substantive visa application is likely to be finalised.

Once you have been granted a BVB, the specified travel period cannot be changed or extended.

If you still hold a substantive visa when your Bridging visa is granted, you must comply with any conditions that are on that substantive visa. When your substantive visa ends, the conditions of your BVB will apply.

Working in Australia while you hold a BVB

When you BVB is granted, we will tell you whether your BVB prevents or restricts you from working in Australia. If it does, you cannot get a replacement BVB that will let you work without any restrictions.

Contact your case officer to discuss what options are available to you if you have a compelling need to work, such as being in financial hardship.

Travelling outside Australia while you hold a BVB

When your BVB is granted, we will tell you when the specified travel period will end.

If you hold a BVB where the specified travel period has ended but you need to travel outside Australia again, you will have to apply for another BVB.

When the specified travel period of your BVB ends, if you are still outside Australia the BVB will end and you will not be able to use it to return to Australia. If you do not also hold a substantive visa that lets you return, you would have to apply for another visa before you could return to Australia. There is no guarantee that you would be granted a visa.

Your obligations

You must comply with all Australian laws and visa conditions.

You must tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth or death in your family.

 You can use the following forms:

Send the form(s) with all necessary documents to the relevant visa and citizenship office in Australia that is processing your associated substantive visa application.

If you applied online, you should update your details using ImmiAccount where possible.

​​​