Bridging visas and your application for skilled migration
Some of you have asked about leaving Australia while waiting for a visa application to be processed. This is the second post for people who have lodged an application for a skilled migration visa in Australia, but who would like to go overseas while their skilled migration visa application is being processed.
We have already talked about what to do if you hold a Bridging visa A (rather than a substantive visa) and want to travel .
This time, we’re talking about what to do if you hold another substantive visa, such as a Student or a Skilled - Graduate visa and you have applied onshore for a skilled migration visa.
If you hold another substantive visa that hasn’t expired and allows you to return to Australia.
Your Bridging visa A ceases when you leave Australia. If you decide to travel on another substantive visa without first applying for and being granted a Bridging visa B, you may not remember to apply for a replacement Bridging visa A on your return. You therefore risk becoming unlawful after you return to Australia when your substantive visa ceases.
Also, while you may be able to return to Australia on the same or a different substantive visa, and apply for a replacement Bridging visa A, you will then have to abide by the conditions of that visa until it ceases, including any work limitations. For example, if you return on a Student visa, your work entitlements will revert to those of a student — 20 hours per week.
However, when you hold a Bridging visa B, you won’t have to worry about getting another visa while overseas to return to Australia when or if your substantive visa ceases. If you return to Australia on a Bridging visa B, you will remain lawful even after your substantive visa ceases.
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.
Be sure you can return. Investigate the Bridging visa B before you leave.
More detail on Bridging visas in relation to general skilled migration applications, including how to apply for a Bridging visa B, is on our website.
We have kept this post open longer than usual, as we are receiving many questions about the Bridging visa posts. We’ll be providing more information on Bridging visas on the website in the near future.
Please remember that this blog is not a forum to ask about your specific case – if you have a question about your own situation, particularly if it is urgent, your best option is to contact us through the correct channels http://www.immi.gov.au/contacts/visa-enquiries/professionals.htm .
Thank you for participating.