Can I apply for a Partner Visa while on a Bridging Visa?

 

Your eligibility for an onshore partner visa while on a bridging visa depends on several factors, including your previous visa history and the type of visa you hold at the time of application.

You can hold a bridging visa A, B, C or E when submitting an onshore partner visa application; however, the following criteria must also be met before the visa can be granted by the Department of Home Affairs (Department).

 

Schedule 3 Criteria

 

If you hold a bridging visa instead of a substantive visa OR are an unlawful non-citizen when you lodge the onshore partner visa application, you must meet the requirements listed in Schedule 3 of the Migration Regulations.

Schedule 3 Criteria requires that:

  • the subsequent visa application must be lodged by the applicant within 28 days of either their substantive or criminal justice visa ceasing, or from when they entered Australia unlawfully, or
  • the subsequent visa application must be lodged by the applicant within 12 months of them ceasing to hold a substantive or criminal justice visa, or from when they entered Australia unlawfully.

If the applicant entered Australia unlawfully or did not hold a valid entry permit, they will be subject to additional requirements.

Similarly, if the applicant entered Australia unlawfully and has not subsequently been granted a substantive visa, they will also be subject to further requirements.

The Schedule 3 Criteria is a high threshold that must be satisfied, especially if more than 28 days have passed since you held your last substantive visa.

 

Waiving the Schedule 3 Criteria

 

It may be possible for the Minister to waive the schedule 3 criteria, particularly if there are compelling reasons relating to your case.

Compelling reasons may be based on:

  • the applicants’ circumstances,
  • circumstances relating to the applicant’s partner, or
  • circumstances relating to an Australian-born child.

For example, you and your Australian partner have an Australian-born child and your partner will suffer if you are not granted a substantive visa due to circumstances beyond your control, such as serious illness.

 

Bridging Visa Work Rights

 

Once you have applied for your partner visa, a new bridging visa will be granted by the Department associated with the partner visa.

Whether work rights are granted depends on the previous work rights conditions on the bridging visa previously held.

For example, if you held a Bridging visa E (BVE) with no work rights when you applied for your onshore partner visa, you are likely to be granted a BVE with no work rights.

Similarly, if you held a Bridging visa A (BVA) when you applied, then you are likely to be granted a BVA with work rights.

 

Contact Us

 

For professional consultation on applying for a Partner Visa while on a Bridging Visa, contact Bambrick Legal today:

Please note: Our migration and citizenship consultations are provided on a fee basis.

Related Blog – Ministerial Intervention

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