Ordinarily Immigration will only grant a visa if the person has a valid passport. If an applicant’s passport expires during the visa process, Immigration will ordinarily require the passport to be renewed before grant. Hence all visa applicants ought to operate on the same basis as the airlines – make sure every passport at all times has at least 6 months validity.   

Bridging Visa terms change – now calculated from date of decision NOT notice of decision

Migration advisers will now have to be very vigilant about the currency of their clients’ bridging visa. In a big change bridging visas will expire from the date of the decision irrespective of whether there has been proper notice of visa refusal, tribunal adverse decision or visa cancellation. Up until 19 November 2016 all bridging visas expire on a calculated date starting from the receipt or deemed receipt of a notice of decision. From 19 November 2016 all bridging visas applied for after that date, will have an expiry date calculated from the date of decision. Migration advisers will now have to carefully watch their ImmiAccounts to pick up that there has been a decision. It will require advisers to do regular ‘audits’ of all their client files to note any decisions that are made. This audit would have to be done at least every fortnight.

From 19 November 2016 the following will apply to all bridging visa applications made after that date:

All bridging visas will end 35 days after the usual defining event rather than generally 28 days. For example the standard Bridging Visa A will end 35 days after the decision to grant or refuse a visa or 35 days after the merit review of a visa refusal. The difference with the earlier law is that the period previously was 28 days after being notified of the decision. The new regime therefore ignores the method of delivery.

It could create dangers of the notice of decision not reaching the visa applicant for some reason in which case the bridging visa would end before the applicant would know it had ended.

All this applies irrespective of whether proper procedures have been followed  - see paragraph 050.511(2) :

(2) For the purposes of subparagraphs (1)(b)(ii), (iia), (iii) and (vii), the 35 day period begins to run:

                     (a)  despite any failure to comply with the requirements of the Act or these Regulations in relation to the decision mentioned in the subparagraph; and

                     (b)  irrespective of the validity of the decision.

Generally speaking every time limit is changed, for example if it was 7 working days from deemed notification it will become 14 working days from actual decision.

The above applies to all bridging visa applications made after 19 November 2016. It applies to all the bridging visas, A, B, C and E.

Changes are part of Migration Legislation amendment (2016 Measures No 5) Regulation 2016 dated 10 November 2016 applying from 19 November 2016.

Barbara Davidson