A Bridging visa C (BVC) is a temporary visa that allows you to stay in Australia while your application for a substantive visa is being processed.
A BVC can be granted if you lodge an application in Australia for a substantive visa but you do not already hold a substantive visa. A BVC does not allow you to return to Australia if you leave.
What this visa lets you do
A BVC allows you stay in Australia until a decision is made on your substantive visa.
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 expires, the conditions of your BVC will apply.
Why do I need a bridging visa?
You need a bridging visa to stay in Australia if your substantive visa ceases before another substantive visa is granted. If you are in Australia without a visa, you become an unlawful non-citizen for that period of time. Being an unlawful non-citizen in Australia can cause problems for you, such as:
- if you are granted a permanent residence visa and you later want to apply for Australian citizenship, you may find you cannot do it as soon as you would like to because you were an unlawful non-citizen for a period of time
- if your substantive visa application is refused and you leave Australia and you later apply for another visa at an Australian Immigration office outside Australia, you might find that you have an exclusion period (which prevents you from returning to Australia) and you have to explain why you think this exclusion period should be waived.
How to apply?
When you applied for a substantive visa in Australia, you may have automatically applied for the associated BVC.
You and anyone included in your application must be in Australia when the application is lodged and the visa is granted.