Bridging Visa C: Who Can Apply and Application Process

Your visa has expired, you missed the deadline to apply for a new visa, and now, your stay in Australia is unlawful. To stay legally while your new visa application is processed, you need a Bridging Visa C.

In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Bridging Visa C, including its purpose, application process, conditions and frequently asked questions.

What is Bridging Visa C?

The Bridging Visa C (BVC) – also known as Subclass 030 – is a type of bridging visa that allows those who have overstayed their previous visa to remain legally in Australia while waiting for their new substantive visa application to be approved.

Generally, you’ll automatically be granted a BVC when you lodge your new substantive visa application. Although, applying for a BVC separately may be necessary under these circumstances:

  • You have appealed a visa decision and it is under judicial review
  • You want to request work rights when your original BVC does not include them

By Australian law, those who overstay their visas are considered unlawful non-citizens. To avoid migration issues, it’s important to regularly conduct a VEVO check to see how long you can stay in Australia.

Am I eligible for a Bridging Visa C?

You may be granted a BVC provided you meet the following requirements or conditions:

  • You currently do not hold a substantive visa. 
  • Your previous substantive visa had expired when you lodged a new substantive visa application.
  • You have not held a Bridging Visa E since your last substantive visa.
  • You are currently in Australia.
  • You have sufficient health insurance to cover your stay while on a BVC.
  • You appealed a denied visa application and the review is still ongoing (provided you previously held a BVC linked to that application).

Bridging Visa C Work Rights

Generally, a BVC does not allow you to work in Australia. However, there are some exceptions.

You may be granted work rights if your previous substantive visa is one of the following:

  • Subclass 132 – Business Talent visa
  • Subclass 188 – Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa
  • Subclass 888 – Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa 
  • Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa 
  • Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa 
  • Subclass 189 – Skilled Independent visa 
  • Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated visa 
  • Subclass 489 – Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa 

If your original BVC restricts you from working, you can apply for a new BVC that grants you work rights. However, you will have to show proof that you are facing financial hardships to demonstrate the necessity for work.

How long does a bridging visa C last?

Your BVC stays valid until a decision is made on your substantive visa application. Once your new visa is approved, your BVC will end immediately.

The same applies if you have appealed a visa decision and requested a review. Your BVC will remain in effect until a final decision is made on your case.

For unsuccessful visa applications or appeals, the Department of Home Affairs has put in place specific timeframes.

Your BVC remains valid for 35 days after:

  • your visa application has been refused
  • the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) makes a decision on your associated substantive visa application
  • it is determined that your substantive visa application or an application for review by the AAT is invalid
  • you withdraw your substantive visa application or your application for review by the AAT

On the other hand, it remains valid for 28 days after:

  • a judicial review body upholds the decision to refuse your substantive visa application
  • you withdraw a related judicial review application

Other cases in which your BVC will cease immediately include: 

  • When you travel outside Australia while holding a BVC. You must apply for a substantive visa overseas if you plan to re-enter Australia.
  • You are granted another type of bridging visa in relation to the substantive visa you’re applying for

Bridging Visa C – Conditions

Generally, the following conditions are attached to a BVC. Violating these conditions may lead to visa cancellation or refusal.

  • You are not allowed to work unless you receive explicit permission from the Department of Home Affairs.
  • You can’t travel outside Australia.
  • You must not cause harm, threaten or endanger anyone in Australia.
  • You are required to maintain valid health insurance during your stay in Australia with a BVC.

How to Submit a Bridging Visa C – Application

To apply for a Bridging Visa C (BVC), you must follow the same method you used to apply for your substantive visa:

  • Online through ImmiAccount, if you applied for your new substantive visa through ImmiAccount
  • By Webform, if you applied for your new substantive visa by paper. This also applies if you have requested a review of a decision regarding your substantive visa application. 

Other documents and requirements you must attach to your application include: 

  • Form 1005 ‘Application for a bridging visa’
  • Identity documents, including:
    • Passport bio page
    • National identity card
    • Proof of change of name, if applicable
  • Evidence of financial hardships (if applying for work rights)
  • Acknowledgement of Application letter from the Tribunal or your Notice of Filing and Hearing from the Court (If applying to await the outcome of a merits or judicial review)
  • Good character certificates

After submitting your application, wait for a decision, which will be communicated to you in writing.

Bridging Visa C – Processing Time

Your BVC application may be approved within a few days. However, there is no guaranteed timeframe, and it could take longer, as the visa officer may need to review additional details or request more information from you. To avoid unnecessary delays, ensure your forms are filled out accurately.

How much is the Bridging Visa C fee?

There is no application charge for a Bridging Visa C application since it is free.

Can I change my Bridging Visa C to Bridging Visa B?

No, it is not possible to switch from a Bridging Visa C to B. Only holders of a Bridging Visa A are eligible to apply for a Bridging Visa B, which grants the ability to leave and return to Australia for a specified period.

Can I change my Bridging Visa C to Bridging Visa A?

No, you cannot change your Bridging Visa C to a Bridging Visa A. The BVC and BVA are separate visas granted in different circumstances, and thus, not interchangeable.

Need help with your BVC Application?

If you’re having a hard time with the bridging visa requirements or the application process, our friendly migration agents at KBA Global are here to assist. 

With over 10 years of experience in the migration industry, we have successfully handled strict immigration policy changes and various visa challenges. We understand this can be a stressful time for clients, which is why we strive to be your trusted guide for all your visa concerns.

Book a free consultation and have a chat with us!

Frequently Asked Questions About Bridging Visa C

Can I apply for another visa while on a Bridging Visa C?

Yes, you can apply for another visa while on your BVC. However, you may need to apply for a new BVC that’s associated with your new substantive visa application.

Can I travel on a Bridging Visa C?

No, you cannot travel on a Bridging Visa C. You must stay in Australia until your substantive visa application is approved. Unlike a BVB, your BVC will expire once you leave Australia, and you will need to apply for a substantive visa from outside the country to re-enter. 

What is the difference between Bridging Visas A, B and C?

A Bridging Visa A is granted automatically when your current visa expires, and you have already applied for a new visa. This means you applied for the new visa before your previous one expired and, thus, have never overstayed.

A Bridging Visa B is a bridging visa that you can apply for if you already hold a BVA and need to leave and re-enter Australia. Note that the BVA does not permit travel outside Australia, so a BVB is necessary.

A Bridging Visa C (BVC) is granted when you apply for a new substantive visa after your previous visa has expired. This means you have overstayed your previous visa and were an unlawful non-citizen during that period.

In general, these bridging visas allow you to continue staying in Australia legally while waiting for a decision on your new visa application.

What happens if my bridging visa expires?

Once your bridging visa expires, you become an unlawful citizen in Australia. You might be eligible to apply for another bridging visa or else, you will need to make arrangements to depart Australia.

Is Bridging Visa C automatically granted?

Yes, a BVC is automatically granted after you apply for a new substantive visa.

Can I include family members in my Bridging Visa C application?

Yes, you can include family members in your BVC application. This means your spouse, de facto partner, children, and other eligible family members listed in the application can also legally stay in Australia while your visa application is being processed.

Is there an age requirement for applying for a BVC?

No, there is no age requirement. You can be any age to apply for this visa.

Disclaimer: The above information is a general guide and not professional immigration advice. Be aware that immigration laws and regulations can change swiftly, potentially rendering some or all of the information outdated. Thus, before using the information above, we recommend checking the current laws through assistance from a migration agent or the Department of Home Affairs website.