Bridging Visa E (Class WE) is one of several bridging visas which allows an unlawful non-citizen to remain lawful in Australia when they do not hold a substantive visa under certain circumstances. An unlawful non-citizen is a person who continues to stay in Australia without a valid visa for reasons such as visa expiry, visa cancellation, visa refusal or such other circumstances.
There are two subclasses of Bridging Visa E, Bridging E (General) (Subclass 050) and Bridging (Protection Visa Applicant) (Subclass 051). This blog discusses Subclass 050 visa hereinafter referred to as ‘BVE’.
BVE is a temporary visa which allows an unlawful non-citizen to remain in Australia temporarily for a specific purpose for following circumstances.
Circumstances for BVE Application
- You voluntarily present yourself as an unlawful non-citizen to the Department.
- You are located by compliance action team as an unlawful non-citizen.
- Your visa was refused, including any family members.
- Your visa was cancelled, including any family members.
- Your visa refusal or cancellation decision was affirmed by a review authority.
- Your protection visa was refused previously.
- Your student visa was cancelled automatically, including any family members.
- You are in criminal detention.
- You had your citizenship application refused, including any family members.
- You are an unauthorised maritime arrival or irregular air arrivals released into the community.
The situation has become increasingly alarming in context of ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which has brought the world to a standstill and directly affecting many temporary visa holders as there are many cases of visa expiry and visa cancellation due to closing down of borders and severe travel restrictions worldwide.
The next question is, who is eligible to apply for this visa?
Eligible Non-citizens for BVE Applications
- If you have been immigration cleared; or
- If you bypassed or were refused immigration clearance on or after 1 September 1994 and have not been granted a substantive visa or entry permit since and have not come to notice within 45 days of entering Australia; or
- If you last held a student visa that was cancelled and have been refused immigration clearance.
Conditions to Apply for BVE
- You must be in Australia but not in immigration clearance.
- If you are in immigration detention, the detention review officer must be informed of the application.
- You have previously NOT held a Bridging Visa E that was cancelled for engaging in criminal conduct or breach of signed code of behaviour imposed by public interest criterion.
- You have previously NOT held a visa that has been cancelled on a ground of criminal conduct.
Please know, there is no visa application charge by the Department for lodging a BVE application. If you continue staying in Australia without a valid substantive visa or a bridging visa, you may face some serious consequences including detention and removal from Australia. Thus, it is advisable to apply for BVE as soon as your visa is expired, or is refused or cancelled by the Department, or you are in any of the above mentioned situations, to maintain your lawful status in Australia. If you do not do so, your status will be considered as unlawful which may affect your ability to be granted a future visa.
Lastly, you may be able lodge a valid application for a substantive visa, if you are eligible, at the same time and on the same form as your BVE application. You can also combine your BVE application with applications of your dependents who are members of the family unit.
If you are stuck in any such situation or are facing issues of visa expiry, visa cancellation, visa refusal or any other migration related matter, call us on (02) 4626 100 to discuss your situation or Contact Us so that one of our Registered Migration Agents can help you with your BVE application.