If you apply for a partner visa onshore, you will be granted a bridging visa as long as you are not unlawful.
There are pros and cons when you are choosing to apply for your partner visa onshore or offshore. You can read more about that here.
What is a bridging visa?
Essentially a bridging visa ‘bridges’ the gap between visas. It give you a valid visa status to remain in Australia while a visa application is being processed.
Bridging visas for partner visa
If you lodge a subclass 820 application, you will be eligible for a bridging visa. If you lodge a subclass 300 or 309 application, you will not.
If you apply in Australia for a Subclass 820 visa, you are granted a Bridging Visa and allowed to remain in Australia until a decision is made on your partner visa application.
Unless you are unlawful or hold a Bridging Visa C, D or E when you make this subclass 820 application, you will most likely receive a Bridging Visa A – this will include the right to work and enrol in Medicare. With permission (in the form of an application for a Bridging Visa B) you can also travel.
If you are unlawful, it’s a bit more complicated. You should contact a Registered Migration Agent as a matter of urgency.
Bridging visa A processing time
When you lodge your partner visa application, your bridging visa will be issued immediately. The email might take a few hours to come through though! There is no ‘processing time’ as such for a Bridging Visa A.
For most people, the Bridging Visa A won’t be active when you receive the email. It will activate when your existing visa expires.
Bridging visas can be extremely complicated and it’s not something you want to take a risk with. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a registered migration agent.