Applied for a partner visa in Australia and now need to travel?


Partner visa applicants in Australia and Bridging Visas

When you make a valid application for a partner visa in Australia (subclass 820/801) you will be granted a Bridging Visa A (BVA).

The BVA commences when the visa you held at the time you applied for the partner visa expires.  The BVA is granted to you at the time you apply for the partner visa. It sits in the backgound inactive until it automatically activates when your previous visa expires.

The processing times for partner visa applications are long. Applicants often need to travel overseas from Australia for a short time, during the partner visa processing period.

If you are in that situation, you must apply for and be granted a Bridging Visa B (BVB) before you leave Australia. Don’t leave home without one!

What’s a bridging Visa B?

A BVB allows you to leave Australia and, more importantly, to re-enter Australia whilst your partner visa application is being processed.

When you return to Australia, your BVB continues and remains valid until you receive a decision on your partner visa application.  Your BVA does not re-activate and it doesn’t need to.

If your BVA had full work rights in Australia attached to it (which it normally would do) then those full work rights are transfered to your BVB.

The ‘travel authority’ attached to your BVB (the permission to leave and re-enter Australia) will normally expire after you return to Australia. However, the BVB itself will not normally expire at the same time the ‘travel auhtority’ attached to it expires.

Complicated? Unfortunately yes, it can be.

The thing that needs to be clear is this – whilst your partner visa application is being processed, don’t leave Australia whilst holding an active BVA if you want to return to Australia.  You should always apply for and be granted a BVB first, if you want to return to Australia.

Feel free to contact me for a consultation if you need further information about this. Cheers.

Ross McDougall

Immigration Lawyer

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is current at June 15th, 2018 – note that immigration law changes regularly.

Information (or the lack of it) contained in this blog post does not take into account anyone’s individual circumstances and should not be relied upon as immigration assistance or legal advice.

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