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Can I Apply for Partner Visa while on Bridging Visa?

Are you wondering if you can take that next big step towards a future together, even while you find yourself on the uncertain grounds of a bridging visa? A bridging visa serves as a temporary Australian visa, allowing individuals to remain in the country while their visa application undergoes processing. However, the twists and turns of the immigration process can often seem like a maze, but fear not.

Although being on a bridging visa may present certain challenges, it is entirely feasible to apply for a partner visa and continue your journey towards a future filled with love, happiness, and shared experiences in Australia. In this article, we will explore key aspects that you should be aware of to help navigate this situation. We will clarify what a partner bridging visa entails and how it functions, as well as other important considerations for bridging visa holders applying for a partner visa.

What is a Bridging Visa?

A bridging visa is a temporary document that grants individuals the privilege of staying lawfully in the country while their visa application is being processed.  These visas serve as a bridge, covering the gap between the expiration of an individual’s current visa and the decision on their new visa application.

Under certain circumstances, bridging visas are automatically activated, especially when an individual’s existing visa expires and they have submitted an application for a new visa. The specific type of bridging visa granted is contingent on the individual’s situation and the visa application they have filed.

Bridging visas can vary in terms of conditions and entitlements, but generally, they permit individuals to stay in Australia, engage in work, and access specific government services.

Different Types of Bridging Visa Available

It is crucial for individuals navigating the Australian immigration system to understand the various types of bridging visas available. This knowledge enables them to assess their eligibility, plan their travel, comply with necessary conditions, and access their rights and entitlements while their substantive visa application is being processed or while they are making arrangements to depart the country. Here are the different types of visas to consider:

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1. Bridging Visa A (BVA)

The BVA (Subclass 010) visa is granted to individuals who have applied for a new substantive visa while they are in Australia and their current visa expires or has expired. It allows them to remain lawfully in the country while their new visa application is being processed. For example, if you hold a Tourist Visa (Subclass 600) and apply for a Student Visa (Subclass 500) within Australia, you may be granted a BVA while your Student Visa application is processed.

You must be physically present in Australia to be eligible to apply for this visa and satisfy all eligibility criteria. The BVA is cost-free, and its processing times vary. 

2. Bridging Visa B (BVB)

The BVB (Subclass 020) visa is for individuals who already hold a BVA and need to travel outside of Australia temporarily. BVB offers benefits such as extended stay, travel flexibility, and potential work authorisation. For instance, if you are awaiting a decision on your Partner Visa Subclass 820 and need to travel abroad for a short period, you can apply for a BVB to facilitate your travel.

To apply, you must be in Australia and have submitted an eligible visa application online. A fee of AUD180.00 applies, and processing times may vary.

3. Bridging Visa C (BVC)

The BVC (Subclass 030) is intended for individuals who are in Australia without a valid visa and have made arrangements to depart the country. The BVC grants lawful status until the departure date, providing individuals with temporary stay while they finalise their departure plans.

A BVC is typically issued when you apply for another visa while your current visa is about to expire or has expired. For example, if your Temporary Work Visa (Subclass 457) has expired, and you apply for a new Work Visa (Subclass 482), you may receive a BVC to maintain your lawful status while the new visa is processed.

A BVC does not grant travel or work privileges, and visa applicants must demonstrate that they have made arrangements to depart Australia.

4. Bridging Visa D (BVD)

The BVD (Subclass 040) visa is for individuals who are in Australia without a current visa and are unable to depart immediately. It allows them to remain temporarily until they can make arrangements for their departure or resolve their immigration matters. If your current expires, and you plan to apply for your Partner Visa (Subclass 309/100) or appeal a visa decision, you may receive a BVD to remain in Australia temporarily.

To be eligible for a BVD, applicants must demonstrate that they are unable to depart Australia immediately and are actively working towards resolving their immigration situation. The application for a BVD is typically made in person and requires providing relevant documentation to the Department of Home Affairs.

5. Bridging Visa E (BVE)

The BVE (Subclass 050) visa is granted to individuals who are in Australia without a valid visa, are in a vulnerable situation, and cannot depart or apply for another substantive visa. It provides them with temporary lawful status while their circumstances are being resolved.

Bridging visas plays a crucial role in Australia’s immigration system, yet they are often surrounded by misconceptions that need to be dispelled.

Applying for a Partner Visa while on a Bridging Visa

Partner Visas in Australia serve as a vital pathway for couples who wish to live together in the country. They are designed to reunite partners, whether married or in a de facto relationship, by allowing the visa holder to reside in Australia with their Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand partner.

While being on a Bridging Visa in Australia, you can typically apply for a partner visa subclass such as:

  1. Subclass 820/801 Visa (Onshore Partner Visa): If you are in Australia on a Bridging Visa A (BVA) or Bridging Visa B (BVB), you can apply for the Subclass 820 and 801 partner visas. This visa allows you to remain temporarily in Australia on a provisional visa while your partner visa application is being processed. Once you meet certain requirements and your application is approved, you become eligible for a permanent partner visa (Subclass 801).
  2. Prospective Marriage Subclass 300 Visa: If you are on a Bridging Visa and are engaged to be married to an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen, you can apply for the Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300). This visa permits you to enter Australia for the purpose of marrying your intended spouse within nine months of the visa grant.

Also Read: Partner Visa Australia Checklist

The Process of Transitioning from a Bridging Visa to a Partner Visa

Eligibility Assessment:

To initiate the visa process of applying for a Partner Visa while on Bridging Visa, start by confirming that both you and your partner fulfil all the necessary eligibility criteria. This commonly involves:

  1. You must be in a genuine and continuing relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen partner.
  2. For the Prospective Marriage Visa, you must be engaged to be married to your Australian partner within nine months of visa approval.
  3. If you are applying as a spouse, you must be legally married to your partner.
  4. If you are in a de facto relationship, you must demonstrate that you have lived together for at least 12 months with your de facto partner.
  5. You must provide substantial evidence of your relationship with your partner, including documents and statements that demonstrate the nature and history of your relationship.
  6. Your partner or spouse must be a sponsor and willing to provide financial and moral support during your initial settlement period in Australia.
  7. You and any family members included in the application must meet health and character requirements.
  8. You should not have had a visa cancelled while in Australia; if you did, you must have compelling reasons for visa acceptance consideration.

Choose the Appropriate Partner Visa Subclass:

If you are already in Australia, the onshore Subclass 820/801 is the appropriate option. It allows you to lodge your Partner Visa application while you are physically present in the country. On the other hand, if you are outside Australia, the offshore Subclass 309/100 is a suitable choice. You can apply for this visa from your home country or any other location outside Australia. Once granted, it allows you to enter Australia and live with your partner.  

Lodge a Partner Visa Application:

Lodging your application involves accurate form completion and gathering strong evidence of your relationship that convincingly showcases the authenticity of your relationship, such as shared finances, cohabitation, and social connections.

Additionally, it’s crucial to meet the relevant application fees as specified by the Department of Home Affairs. By meticulously adhering to these steps, you enhance the prospects of a successful Partner Visa application and a future together with your loved one in Australia.

Click to learn more about The Australian Partner Visa Application Cost

Receive and Maintain Bridging Visa:

When you lodge a valid Partner Visa application, you will automatically be granted a Bridging Visa (usually Bridging Visa A or B) if you are already in Australia. This Bridging Visa allows you to stay lawfully in Australia while your Partner Visa application is processed.

To maintain lawful status and ensure a seamless transition to the Partner Visa, it is crucial to adhere to the conditions and obligations of the Bridging Visa, which include compliance with Australian laws, fulfilling reporting requirements, and respecting any work or travel restrictions. It’s important to note that failing to comply with these conditions, as well as allowing the Bridging Visa to expire, can have adverse effects on your visa application.

what happens if a bridging visa expires

Wait for Processing:

The processing times for Partner Visas can vary, but you can check the estimated processing times on the Department of Home Affairs website. During this period, you can live, work, and study in Australia, and you may also have access to certain government services.

Visa Grant:

Upon approval of your Partner Visa application, you will receive either a temporary (subclass 820/309) or permanent (subclass 801/100) Partner Visa, depending on your individual circumstances. If you are granted a temporary Partner Visa initially, you will progress to the permanent stage (subclass 801/100) after satisfying specific time and relationship requirements.

Limitations and Conditions of Your Bridging Visa

Bridging visas in Australia have specific limitations and conditions that must be followed during their validity period, which may vary depending on the type of visa issuance. Here are some common examples:

  1. No access to certain government benefits: Depending on the bridging visa type, individuals may not have access to certain government benefits such as Medicare or social security payments.
  2. Work limitations: Some bridging visas may restrict or limit an individual’s work rights in Australia. It’s important to check the work conditions associated with the specific bridging visa provision.
  3. Travel restrictions: While some bridging visas allow limited travel outside Australia (e.g., BVB), others may have travel restrictions that require permission from the Department of Home Affairs before leaving the country.
  4. Reporting obligations: Individuals on bridging visas may be required to report to the Department of Home Affairs periodically, providing updates on their circumstances, contact details, or residential address.
  5. Compliance with visa conditions: Bridging visa holders must comply with all conditions associated with their bridging visa, such as not engaging in any criminal activities, maintaining valid health insurance (if required), and notifying the department of any changes in personal circumstances.
  6. Visa cancellation risks: Failure to comply with the conditions of a bridging visa may lead to visa cancellation and potential immigration consequences.

Tips for a Successful Partner Visa Application on a Bridging Visa

1. Seek Professional Advice:

The partner visa application process can be complex and subject to changes in immigration laws and policies. So, before you start your processing, consult with a registered migration agent or immigration lawyer who is well-versed in the process. A migration agent or lawyer can provide expert guidance, help you understand the eligibility criteria, and ensure that your application is accurate and complete.

2. Gathering Necessary Documents and Evidence:

To ensure a smooth process, it is crucial to meticulously gather all the necessary documents and evidence. This may include proof of identity, evidence of relationships, financial documents, health assessments, and character checks. It is also important to keep in mind the Department of Home Affairs’ requirements when organising and updating your documents. By doing so, you can avoid delays and ensure that your application meets the necessary standards.

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3. Mind Timeframes and Deadlines:

It is important to keep track of the specific timeframes and deadlines related to your visa application to avoid any delays or even visa refusal. Planning your application process well in advance will provide enough time for gathering documents and fulfilling any additional requirements. Make sure to stay organised and prepared throughout the entire visa process.

4. Clear and Consistent Communication:

Throughout the application process, it is crucial to maintain clear and consistent communication with the Department of Home Affairs. Prompt responses to requests for information or additional documents are necessary. It is also recommended to keep records of all communications to ensure accountability and to have a reference in case of any issues or inquiries that may arise.

5. Pay Attention to Changes in Requirements:

It is crucial to stay informed about any changes to immigration rules and regulations and ensure that your application complies with the most recent requirements. Seek assistance from your migration agent or lawyer to stay up to date.


The prospect of applying for a partner visa while on a bridging visa in Australia opens doors to the promise of love, companionship, and a shared future. Yet, this journey is not without its complexities, with immigration laws and requirements continuously evolving. Understanding the eligibility criteria and legal aspects of this process is essential to ensure a smooth transition from a bridging visa to a partner visa.

Our team of experienced immigration professionals stands ready to assist you in navigating this intricate journey effortlessly. Do not allow immigration concerns to hinder your progress. At 4Nation, we are here to provide customised assistance and ensure your peace of mind as you embark on the journey to reunite with your loved ones. Reach out to us today to initiate your journey!

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