Partner Visa Applications and Bridging Visas – Working in Australia

One of the questions we are asked frequently concerns the issuing of a Bridging Visa when a partner visa application is lodged onshore – ie when the visa applicant is in Australia.

As a general rule a Bridging Visa – or a BV – is granted when a visa application is lodged while the applicant is physically in Australia.

In other words, if you lodge a partner visa while you are in Australia – you might have become eligible for a partner visa while working on an employer sponsored subclass 457 visa, for example – a Bridging Visa will be granted upon the submission of the partner visa application, and will usually allow you to remain in Australia for the duration of the processing of your partner visa application, following the expiry of your present visa.

There are different types of Bridging Visa, and the type of BV you are granted will depend on what sort of visa you hold when you apply for the partner visa.

If you apply for the partner visa whilst holding what is called a substantive visa you will be granted a Bridging Visa A, or BVA.

Note: A substantive visa is any visa which is not a Bridging Visa, a Criminal Justice visa, or an Enforcement visa.

Importantly, a BVA that is granted to an applicant for a partner visa has no restrictions as to working – in other words you will have full work rights in Australia when the BVA comes into effect.

Note that a BV does not come into effect until the expiry of the visa held when the partner visa application was lodged with the Department of Immigration.

If you hold a subclass 457 visa when lodging a partner visa application, and the 457 visa is cancelled – for example, if you depart the sponsoring employer before the expiry of the 457 visa – and do not find another employer to take over the 457 visa the BVA will be cancelled at the same time.

In such circumstances you will need to seek the issuing of a Bridging Visa E, or BVE, to remain lawfully in Australia.

The BVE does not have full work rights attaching, and an application must then be made to the Department of Immigration for work rights to be granted. This is not automatic, and a case will need to be made for work rights to be made available.

Caution must therefore be exercised if you are the holder of a subclass 457 visa who is applying for a partner visa, you cease a 457 visa sponsored employment, and want to continue working while awaiting a decision on the partner visa application – with partner visa applications taking more than 12 months to be processed to a decision financial difficulties can arise if you depart a sponsored employment without another sponsored employment being available.

The GM Family division of Go Matilda Visas has many years of experience looking after partner visa applications for applicants within Australia and overseas.

Our fees are competitive, are fixed in amount before you make any commitment to us, and can be paid in 6 x interest free monthly instalments to help you manage your cash flow.

If you are considering a partner visa application and would like an initial discussion and a no obligation fixed fee proposal please contact the office that is nearest to you, or complete the enquiry form on this page.

We look forward to hearing from you.