This article discusses bridging visas. Specifically for applicants who have applied for a student visa from onshore and have been granted a bridging visa.

Once you have applied for a student visa from onshore you are generally automatically granted a Bridging Visa (BV) immediately. It is not a separate application for a bridging visa and there is no visa application charge for a bridging visa. A BV simply put allows you to remain in Australian whilst a decision is made on your student visa.

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  • When will I move onto the bridging visa?

  • You will only move onto the BV once your previous visa expires.
  • For example, if you currently hold a valid working holiday visa which hasn’t expired, you will remain on the working holiday visa until it expires. You will then automatically transition onto the BV, and remain on the BV until a decision is made on your student visa.


  • What will be my work rights on a bridging visa?

  • Your bridging visa will have the same work rights and conditions as your previous visa.
  • For example, if you hold a working holiday visa and apply for a student visa, you will have the same work rights on the bridging visa as your working holiday visa – Full work rights. However, if you hold a visitor visa and you apply for a student visa, you will have the same work rights on the bridging visa as your visitor visa – no work rights


  • Once your student visa is granted you will automatically have the work rights of the student visa.
  • For example – On a student visa, applicants who study English, a vocational course or a bachelor course will generally be allowed to work for up to 40 hours per fortnight and unlimited work hours when you are on school holidays. However please note, if your new student visa has been approved, you will not have any work rights until your course has commenced. Therefore, if your student visa is approved a month before your course start date, you will have no work rights until the course start date.


  • How long does it go?

  • There is no specific length. The BV will simply go for as long as it takes for immigration to make a decision on your visa application. Once the new visa is granted, you will then move onto new visa automatically, and your BV will finish. In our estimates, for low risk countries it will take about 1 day to 6 weeks for a student visa to be processed. For high risk countries, applying for a student visa takes about 4 – 8 weeks. Also if you are including your partner on a visa, you can expect it to take about 6 – 12 weeks for a decision.


  • Can I travel when on a BV?

Generally speaking, initially the bridging visa you will be issued will be what is called a BVA. This type of bridging visa does now allow for travel. If you wanted to travel outside of Aus and back, you would then need to apply for a BVB. This is a simple process and can be done through your immi account. The cost of a BVB is $145. More information on BVB found here.

Any information provided in this article is general in nature. Please note the above information is only relevant for applicants who have a valid relevant substantive visa in Australia and have applied for a student visa. You cannot apply from within Australia if you currently are unlawful or the holder of a bridging visa.

If you are looking to apply for a student visa and have questions about your work rights, please feel free to contact Pathway to Aus. Generally speaking, Pathway to Aus does not charge any of its students who it enrolls in a course for assistance lodging the student visa.

Bridging Visa was last modified: June 25th, 2019 by Nick Yock