A Bridging visa B (BVB) is a temporary visa. It allows you to leave and return to Australia while your application for a substantive visa is being processed.
Provided you return to Australia within the specified travel period, a BVB will then allow you to stay in Australia while your substantive visa application is being processed.
You can hold a substantive visa and a BVB at the same time.
If you still hold a substantive visa that allows you to travel and you believe you can return to Australia before your substantive visa ceases, it is your decision whether or not you want to apply for and be granted a BVB before you travel.
If you decide not to get a BVB but use your substantive visa to travel, you will need to apply for a new bridging visa of the same type as your previous one as soon as you return to Australia and before your substantive visa ceases.
What this visa lets you do
A BVB allows you to leave and return to Australia during a specified period of time while your substantive visa application is being processed. The department will take into consideration your reasons for travel and when your substantive visa application is likely to be finalised.
Once you have been granted a BVB, the specified travel period cannot be changed or extended.
If you still hold a substantive visa when your Bridging visa is granted, you must abide by any conditions that are on that substantive visa. When your substantive visa ceases, the conditions of your BVB will apply.
Before you apply
If you plan to get a new passport you should do this before applying for your visa. Your visa is linked to the passport number you used in your application and you must use the same passport to travel to Australia.
How to apply
You and anyone included in your application must be in Australia when the application is lodged and the visa is granted.
When to apply
You should apply for your BVB no more than three months, and not less than two weeks, before the date on which you want to travel.
Some visas can only be granted while you are in Australia. If you apply for a BVB too far in advance of your travel, it may be difficult for the department to assess whether your substantive visa will be ready for decision.
If you leave it until the last minute to apply for a BVB, you risk not being granted a BVB before you are due to leave Australia. If this happens, you might not hold a visa that allows you to return to Australia. You would then have to apply for and be granted a substantive visa before you could return to Australia. There is no guarantee that you would be granted a visa.
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