1. What is Bridging visa B (BVB)?
A Bridging visa B (BVB) subclass 020 is a temporary visa that allows you to leave Australia during a specified period, while your application for a new substantive visa is being processed.
It is the only Bridging visa that allows you to leave Australia and return while your substantive visa is processin. Indeed, if you hold any other bridging visa and decide to leave Australia, it will be cancelled upon your departure and you won’t be able to return.
You will be able to apply for a BVB if:
• You are in Australia
• You are currently holding a Bridging Visa A (BVA) or another BVB
• You are waiting for a new substantive visa to be processed
• You have significant reasons for wanting to leave and return to Australia (i.e: wedding, visit back to family, holiday).
2. When to apply for a BVB?
The Department highly recommends that you should lodge your BVB no more than 3 months in advance, and not less than 2 weeks before the date on which you wish to travel.
If you apply too far in advance, it may be difficult for the Department to assess whether your substantive visa will be ready for decision.
If you apply last minute, the BVB might not be granted before you are due to leave Australia. So, make sure you have your BVB granted before you hop on a plane!
IMPORTANT: don’t forget that you need a good reason to travel outside Australia. While it is a straightforward process, it is still a visa application that can face a refusal if the Department assesses that you did not provide sufficient documents to support your application. The information you need to provide may be documents such as travel itinerary and evidence of flights confirmation.
3. Can I Apply for a Bridging Visa B Online?
Yes, if you are on a BVA waiting for your substantive visa to be processed you can lodge an application for a Bridging Visa B online.
If you are on a BVA and are waiting for your previous refused/ canceled application to be reviewed at the AAT, you will need to submit your BVB application by mail only.
4. How Long Can a BVB be Granted For?
Once granted, the BVB will come into effect and replace your BVA or previous BVB. Provided you return to Australia within the specified travel period, the BVB will then allow you to stay in Australia while your substantive visa application is processed.
For example, if you are on a BVA waiting for a decision on your Partner visa and you had applied for a BVB to travel, once the BVB is granted, it will replace your BVA and will allow you to travel. If the “must not arrive after” date says 1 October 2018, you must not arrive after that date because that is when your travel period will expire. You will continue to remain in Australia on the BVB until your Partner visa is decided.
In short, a BVB is valid until a decision is made on your substantive visa. The only thing that expires is your travel period i.e the “must not arrive after date”!
It is up to the Department to specify the appropriate length of time for which to grant a travel facility period. The case officer may consider your reasons for travel and when your substantive visa application is likely to be finalized before granting the travel facility period.
Please note that the travel period cannot be changed or extended once you have been granted a BVB. If you want to travel after your BVB travel period ends, you will need to apply for a new BVB.
5. How Many Times Can You Travel While Holding a Bridging Visa B?
The BVB can be either a single entry or multiple entries visa.
If your BVB is granted with multiple entries you can travel in and out of Australia as many times as you want within the specified travel period, and return by the ‘arrive by’ date.
6. What happens when the BVB expires?
The BVB will end immediately upon any of the following situations:
• You are granted the new substantive visa you applied for
• You are granted another BVB
• You are outside Australia when the BVB travel period ends.
We definitely don’t recommend being outside Australia when the specified travel period ends. You would have to apply for another substantive visa, such as a visitor visa to re-enter Australia. However, if you hold a passport of citizen from a high risk country it may be difficult to meet the “genuine” visitor requirement and therefore, might be difficult to get another substantive visa to enter Australia.
7. If Multiple Travels Abroad are Necessary, Can I Request for a BVB to be Granted for Longer Period?
Yes, you could request a longer travel period and explain why you need to travel multiple times. You may want to show all your travel plans as proof to why you want/need a longer travel period. For example, if you need to travel multiple times for work you may want to provide documents such as a letter from your employer stating why you are required to travel multiple times.
However, it does not guarantee that you will get the travel period you request for. It is still up to the Department to decide the appropriate length of time.
8. Can I Extend my Bridging Visa B?
No, once you lodge your BVB application you cannot change or extend your travel period. If you wish to travel again outside the travel period given, you will have to apply for another BVB.
9. How Much is the BVB application?
The Department charges $145 for the application fee.
10. What is the BVB Processing Time?
Global processing times is unavailable for the BVB on the Department’s website. However, from our experience, a BVB can be granted with 24 hours, within seven days and sometimes even longer.
How Can We Help
The Visitor visa can easily be obtained for low-risk countries but for countries that are high risk, it can sometimes be difficult and commonly refused if the application is not done properly.
We can help assess your eligibility and tailor your tourist visa according to your circumstances. We can represent you from start to finish, ensuring that your application meets all requirements, as well as, writing the submission to satisfy the Genuine Temporary Entrant criteria for your tourist visa application.
Book a consultation with Agape Henry Crux (previously known as Crux Migration).