There are provisions for Bridging visas in Migration Act (1958). Bridging visas are temporary visas that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) grants to those who have applied for a new substantive visa, and whose current visa has expired.
The bridging visa allows an applicant to stay in Australia lawfully while the DHA processes their new substantive visa application. The bridging visas are of the following types:
- Bridging visa A
- Bridging visa B
- Bridging visa C
- Bridging visa D
- Bridging visa E
Depending on your individual circumstances, the type of bridging visa that you receive will differ. For instance, if your Subclass 485 (Graduate work) visa expires and you have applied for the Subclass 190 (skilled nominated) visa, and if you are already in Australia, you will receive the Bridging Visa A by default.
The A visa does not have travel facilities. Those on visa A who wish to travel overseas must apply for a Bridging Visa B. Check the Department’s page to learn about all bridging visa types.
In this article we will explore certain provisions of the Migration Act in relation to bridging visas. Subdivision AF under Division 3 of Part 2 of the Migration Act consists of certain Sections on bridging visas Migration Act. The Sections are as follows:
Section 72 on Bridging Visas Migration Act: Interpretation
This Section provides certain definitions and interpretations of terms. Point (1) states that in Subdivision AF the term “eligible non-citizen” means a non-citizen who:
- a) has been immigration cleared; or
- b) is in a prescribed class of persons; or
- c) the Minister has determined to be an eligible non-citizen
Subsection (2) states that the Minister may make a determination under paragraph (1)(c) that a non-citizen is an eligible non-citizen if:
- the non-citizen was an unlawful non-citizen when he or she entered the migration zone; and
- the non-citizen made a valid application for a protection visa after he or she arrived in Australia; and
- the non-citizen has been in immigration detention for a period of more than 6 months after they made an application for a protection visa; and
- the Minister has not made a primary decision in relation to the application for a protection visa; and
- the Minister thinks that the determination would be in the public interest.
Furthermore, only the Minister can personally exercise the power to make a determination under paragraph (1)(c).
Section 72: Additional Provisions on Bridging Visas Migration Act
Subsection (4) states that if the Minister makes a determination under point (1)(c), he or she is to cause to be laid before each House of the Parliament a statement that:
- a) sets out the determination; and
- b) sets out the reasons for the determination, referring in particular to the Minister’s reasons for thinking that his or her actions are in the public interest.
Moreover, a statement made under Subsection (4) is not to include:
- a) the name of any non-citizen who is the subject of the determination; or
- b) any information that may identify the non-citizen; or
- c) if the Minister thinks that it would not be in the public interest to publish the name of another person connected in any way with the matter concerned – the name of that other person, or any information that may identify the person.
Additionally, Subsection (6) states that a statement under subsection (4) is to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after:
- a) 1 July in that year – if the determination is made between 1 January and 30 June (inclusive) in a year; or
- b) 1 January in the following year – if the determination is made between 1 July and 31 December (inclusive) in a year.
Lastly, the Minister does not have a duty to consider whether to make a determination under paragraph (1)(c) in respect of any non-citizen, whether he or she is requested to do so by the non-citizen, or any other person, or in any other circumstances.
Section 73: Bridging Visas Migration Act
If the eligible non-citizen meets the requirements for a bridging visa as outlined in subsection 31(3), the Minister has the authority to grant a bridging visa. This visa allows the non-citizen to stay in Australia or travel to and enter Australia for a defined period or until a specific event occurs.
Section 74: Further Applications for Bridging Visas
An eligible non-citizen in immigration detention can apply for a birding visa, but if the Minister denies the visa, they can make another application for a bridging visa.
However, they can typically make this subsequent application only after 30 days following either the initial visa refusal or the final determination of a review application. This will be the case unless special circumstances are defined.
Section 75: When Eligible Non-Citizen in Immigration Detention Granted Visa
If an eligible non-citizen in immigration detention applies for a specific class of bridging visa and the Minister doesn’t decide whether to grant or refuse the visa within the stipulated time, it’s assumed that the non-citizen has been granted the bridging visa at the end of that period, along with any prescribed conditions.
The time frame can be extended by agreement between the applicant and the Minister for a particular application.
Section 76: Bridging Visa not Affect Visa Applications
Firstly, Section 76 states that holding a bridging visa doesn’t hinder or influence:
- a non-citizen’s ability to apply for or receive a visa of a different class,
- nor does it prevent the granting of such a visa.
Secondly, s76 clarifies that holding a bridging visa is not equivalent to holding another visa when applying for a visa of a different class.
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