Australian Bridging Visa – Do You Need It?

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge at Dusk, Australia

Bridging visa is the “bridge” between 2 substantive visas in Australia. But what it actually means and in which cases you need a bridging visa?

We’ve tried to summarize all the information on the bridging visas in one place for you.

First and foremost, why do you need a bridging visa in Australia?

You need a bridging visa in order to remain legal in the country while your new visa application is being processed. If your status is unlawful non-citizen, you may experience major issues such as the risk of being deported from Australia; ban for another visa for three years after you leave Australia, or you might be in debt to the Australian Government because of the costs on your removal.

What’s a Bridging Visa?

There are several types of bridging visas and each of them depends on a particular situation. Generally, you are granted a bridging visa while still in Australia on a substantive visa, waiting for a new visa application to be granted; or you are granted a bridging visa in order to get a lawful status while you make your arrangements to leave the country.

For example, if you are onshore on a working holiday visa and have lodged a 457 work visa, you will be granted a bridging visa, which will become effective once your Working Holiday visa expires and will keep you lawful in the country until your 457 work visa application is decided.

Bridging visa Types

Bridging visas in Australia are not equal. In most cases, a bridging visa is issued with the same terms and conditions as your last visa. They are valid for the period you reside in the country. If you leave Australia, your bridging visa ceases automatically. Should you plan to leave the country for a family event such as wedding or funeral and then return back, you need a special bridging visa allowing you to travel overseas for a particular event, and for a certain time, which is Bridging visa B for travel.

Bridging visa A

If you are on a substantive visa and you apply for another visa. It gives you a lawful status while your application is being finalized.

Bridging visa B

If you plan to travel overseas while waiting on your substantive visa application to be approved, you will need a bridging visa B.

Bridging visa C

If you have overstayed your visa and then lodged a valid application, you will be granted a Bridging visa C.

Bridging visa D

If your visa has expired, you get a Bridging visa D to let you stay in the country lawfully for a short time and either lodge another visa application, or make arrangements to leave or get a Bridging visa E.

Bridging visa E

If your visa has expired, bridging visa E allows you to remain lawfully until you finalize your stay, make arrangements to leave or while waiting for an immigration decision.

How to apply for a Bridging visa?

In most cases, you don’t need to submit an application for this visa type. If you are on a valid visa onshore and lodge another visa application, it will be considered an application for a bridging visa as well and you will be automatically granted a bridging visa A. However, there are other circumstances, where you may need to submit a separate bridging visa application. This refers to bridging visas D or E.

Bridging visa comes into effect once your current visa expires. It’s valid until either you are granted a visa, or you are refused a visa. If your substantive visa application is rejected, you’ll have 28 days to leave Australia before you become unlawful.

Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. For additional information about Australian bridging visas you can e-mail us at

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