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Australia's bridging visas explained

If you hold a BVC you cannot travel abroad under any circumstances. Source: Alexandr Podvalny/Pexels

In March 2021, the number of Bridging visa holders in Australia mounted to a historic high of over 350,000. But what are bridging visas, and what rights and conditions do they come with?

In March 2021, the number of bridging visa holders in Australia ballooned to a historic high of over 350,000.

Alan Rigas from Alan Rigas Solicitors in Sydney says everyone in the Australian migration zone must be lawful, and bridging visas perform that function when someone is waiting for their new visa and their old one has expired.

"There are two types of visas. There are substantive visas, which people obtain before they enter, such as a Visitor Visa, Holiday Working Visa and even Permanent Residency, if you're not a citizen. The other ones are bridging visas. And as the word suggests, they are a bridge between one substantive visa and the other. Obtaining a bridging visa isn't an outcome; it's part of the outcome process, and that outcome process may be a new visa application to become lawful or making arrangements to depart Australia."

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