I’m giving you the right advice so you truly know your travel options and rights if you happen to be, or are soon to be, holding a Bridging Visa A.
I have encountered countless examples of people who believe they cannot apply for a Bridging Visa B if their Bridging Visa A is ‘not yet in effect’. If you have a Bridging Visa A you can leave Australia but cannot return. So you need to apply for a Bridging Visa B if you want to leave and return. You cannot apply for a Bridging Visa B (BVB) if you do not have a Bridging Visa A. What if you have a Bridging Visa A (BVA) but it is not yet in effect? Many think they cannot apply for a BVB.
I include an image below of a question in a popular online forum. So this person, I will call him Mr X, has heard that he cannot get a BVB until his student visa expires. What has happened here is Mr X would have received a BVA grant letter stating the BVA will not ‘come into effect’ until the student visa expires. He would have received a BVA when he applied for the Subclass 485 visa. Someone has told Mr X that he has to wait until the BVA comes into effect (at the time the student visa expires) to be able to apply for a Bridging Visa.
But it is not true! Mr X could have applied for the BVB and travelled back home when he wanted! I will explain:
A person can be a holder of a Bridging Visa A even if it is not in effect.
A person is granted a BVA on the basis of a substantive visa application. Yes it is true that it does not come into effect until the expiry of the previous visa however that person is a holder of the Bridging Visa A. A holder of a BVA can apply for a BVB.
From Immigration’s own Procedures Advice Manual (what the case officers should be following and understanding)
To really emphasise this point and to show how common this misunderstanding is look at the inaccurate professional advice (image) below: “if you are on a Bridging Visa A …it is in effect…you can apply for a Bridging Visa B”. No- there is no need to include as a condition that the BVA is is in effect.
This is what the law says:
“020.211 The applicant is the holder of:
- (a) a Bridging A (Class WA) visa; or
- (b) a Bridging B (Class WB) visa.