In case you don’t really know what an Australian bridging visa is, check out Form 1024i from the Australian Department of Immigration & Citizen which offers a decent outline.
For foreign nationals in Australia, holding a bridging visa can prove to be a real hassle. Going about your normal functions in both your life and work such as travelling outside of Australia for work, or for private reasons, can become very challenging. Even understanding what you can and can’t do while holding this visa can be challenging.
You can be holding a bridging visa for literally years. It’s rather uncommon but some people even will need to wait for decades before a determination is made in his or her application. This is potentially a very lengthy stretch of time to wait in what is effectively Australia migration law’s version of legal limbo. It is especially typical for former student visa holders to sit on bridging visas for several years as the Department processes their General Skill Migration visa application. Finding a job can be difficult for those that recently finished their studies, particularly if they’re also relatively recent to Australia. This is definitely not made any easier by holding a bridging visa. Making long-term plans can certainly be challenging as you wait for a decision to be made on your application (or appeal).
With a bridging visa, you are generally given the same legal rights and be subject to the same conditions as the last substantive visa which you held. So, if the last substantive visa which you held didn’t provide work rights, you then won’t automatically have work rights while holding the bridging visa (there is an exception if you are applying for a Subclass 856, 857 or 457 visas). You have to complete a Form 1005 and give evidence to satisfy the Department that you ought to have work rights due to ‘financial hardship’. I can probably write up a complete article that is focused on identifying what financial hardship is, but fundamentally you’ll want to demonstrate that your reasonable cost of living is greater then your capability to pay for it. Seems to be a rather peculiar point to verify since you aren’t permitted to work. Well, the Department will count on you to rely on financial support from your friends and family. By way of example, you are able to provide evidence your husband’s earnings are insufficient to pay the reasonable living expenses of the family (by collecting receipts, invoices and evidence your husband’s salary). Hence, you need to find a job. But there is some good news. The Department does appear to take a quite reasonable approach in relation to determining whether financial hardship is present. As long as you go to some acceptable endeavours and accumulate adequate proof showing a couple of months where your household’s costs is greater than your income (say 3-4 at the least), then you have a claim for being granted work rights.
The problems and inconveniences which can potentially arise for bridging visa holders are not restricted to the legal issues describe above. You might experience difficulties with performing straightforward tasks that others visa holders and Australians simply take for granted. School expenses for your children are usually quite expensive (and a lot more expensive than what the rest of the Australian community generally need to pay). You may find it hard to get yourself a employment. Getting a job, even though you have work rights along with the necessary skills / experience, can be very difficult. Additionally there is unquestionably a psychological toll as you wait for determination on your application. This uncertainty with regards to whether you’ll be allowed to remain in Australia might cause significant emotional stress for applicants.
Find more information about Australian Visas, be sure to check out the articles available here.
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