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B sure you can return — for Bridging visa A holders

Bridging visas and your application for skilled migration

 Some of you have asked about leaving Australia while waiting for your skilled migration visa applications to be processed. 

 This information is in the acknowledgment letter that you received when you made your application. However, it’s worth noting again the best way to maintain your work and study entitlements, and to ensure you remain lawful.

 If you hold a Bridging visa A

 If you hold a Bridging Visa A and want to leave Australia, you should apply for a Bridging Visa B before you leave.

 This is because a Bridging visa A (which you may hold as a result of applying onshore for another substantive visa) will cease when you leave Australia— even if you hold another visa that allows you to travel and return to Australia.  

 If you apply for and are granted a Bridging visa B, it won’t cease when you leave Australia.  However, it will cease if you remain overseas beyond the travel period expiry date.  When you are granted a Bridging visa B, it ceases your Bridging visa A.

 Depending on your situation, a Bridging visa B can be granted with a travel period of up to 12 months, and will let you depart and re-enter Australia as often as you wish within that time.

 You must return to Australia before your Bridging visa B ceases. If you don’t, you need to apply for and be granted another substantive visa to allow you to return to Australia. You would need to meet the separate requirements for this visa for it to be granted.  If you can’t, you will have to remain outside of Australia until your skilled visa application is ready to be decided.

 If you are notified that your skilled visa application is ready for grant while you are away, you’ll have at most 28 days to organise your return to Australia. So if your Bridging visa B has ceased and you don’t hold a substantive visa to return to Australia, contact your nearest overseas office  for more information about your options. 

 Next time, we’ll be talking about why the Bridging visa B is great for people whose substantive visa is still valid. 

 Until then, be sure you can return—investigate the Bridging visa B before you leave.

More information about bridging visas in relation to general skilled migration applications, including how to apply, is on our website .


Comments (3)


If I left Australia on a bridging visa B and came back before it ceases, do I need to report to DIAC that "I am back"?

Do I need to change back to bridging visa A?


Hi Sam

Thanks for your question. When you return to Australia before the travel period on your Bridging visa B expires, you won't need to report to DIAC that you are back. However, if something about your circumstances has changed, for example, if you are now living at a different address, or if you have married while you were away, you should contact the department - check out http://www.immi.gov.au/contacts/visa-enquiries/change.htm for what you need to do.

You also won't need to change back to a Bridging visa A - your Bridging visa B will have the same conditions from your previous Bridging visa A regarding work and/or health insurance requirements.

You can remain on your Bridging visa B in Australia indefinitely until your substantive visa application is finalised. However, the travel period on your Bridging visa B will expire, so if you want to travel again, you will need to check that your Bridging visa B travel period covers your intended travel times. If it doesn't, you should apply for a new Bridging visa B that will include a new travel period.


Hey thanks for the information. Actually I applied for subclass 485 on the 14th of march 2011 and have been granted bridging visa A. I was in Sydney for almost 7 months and had to return back to Singapore as I was facing financial difficulties. I applied for bridging visa B and was granted to be away for 6 months and had to return back by the 27th of Jan. unfortunately I couldn go back by then as I was trying to save up as much as I can before going over. My financial situation is such that I couldn go back in time. But by end of march or April I might have sufficient savings to at least support myself in aus. If am not wrong both my visa A and B has been ceased. Is there anything I could do to go back again?