You are a registered migration agent. Your first client for the day is Charlie Styles, a citizen of Malaysia. Charlie arrived in Australia on an ETA Class UD Subclass 601 visa four months ago. He has really enjoyed his time in Australia and has been travelling around and exploring all the world-famous sites. He tells you that whilst he was in Australia, he was looking for love as he had just broken up with his long-term partner and thought to come to Australia as his best friend found his wife in Australia while studying here. Charlie tells you that he did meet someone in Australia, however, last night while watching the sunset, she let him know she was not interested in continuing their relationship anymore and did not think they would be a good fit long-term. Charlie, having recently read a self-help book, took this as the universe saying that he should remain in Australia until he finds his true love. Charlie, an engineer, set out to find an employer in Australia to sponsor him. While searching on the internet about what he needed to do from a migration perspective, he came across a forum which stated that in his circumstances, he should apply for a Protection visa as that would buy him time. Taking this advice on board, he lodged an application for Protection Class XA Subclass 866 online prior to coming in to see you. Charlie would like your advice on a number of matters:
1. What bridging visa would he be eligible for and when does it come into effect?
2. Would he be eligible for work rights?
Charlie also asks you questions about what would happen if he found an employer who could sponsor him for a Temporary Skills Shortage Class GK Subclass 482 visa while he is awaiting his Protection visa application to be processed. In particular:
3. What bridging visa would he be eligible for and when does it come into effect?
4. Would he be eligible for work rights whilst his Temporary Skills Shortage Class GK Subclass 482 visa is processed?
You must refer to the relevant legislative provisions and any applicable policy in your answer.
(Maximum Word Limit: 1,100 words)
Bridging Visas and Work Rights for Prospective Employer Sponsored and Protection Visa Applicants
Charlie’s situation raises important questions regarding bridging visas and work rights under different visa application pathways. As his registered migration agent, let us examine the options and obligations at play.
Bridging Visa A and Work Rights for Protection Visa Applicants
Upon applying for a Protection visa (Subclass 866), Charlie would be granted a Bridging Visa A (BVA) (Migration Regulations 1994 s.065). The BVA comes into effect when his existing ETA expires (Migration Act 1958 s.75). As a Protection visa applicant, Charlie would be eligible for work rights on the BVA (Migration Regulations 1994 s.065(2A)). This allows him to support himself financially while his application is processed.
Employer Sponsorship and Bridging Visa B
Should Charlie find an employer willing to sponsor a Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa (Subclass 482), his situation becomes more complex. Lodging a new TSS application would trigger cancellation of his existing Protection application (Migration Act 1958 s.48A). Upon cancellation, Charlie would be granted a Bridging Visa B (BVB) (Migration Regulations 1994 s.075).
The BVB comes into effect upon the cancellation of the Protection application (Migration Regulations 1994 s.075). Importantly for Charlie, the BVB also permits work (Migration Regulations 1994 s.065). This allows him to legally work for his prospective sponsor while the TSS application is processed.
In summary, both the BVA and BVB bridging visas permit Charlie to work legally in Australia. The BVA applies if he pursues only the Protection pathway, while the BVB would take effect if he cancels the Protection application by lodging a new TSS visa. As his migration agent, I hope this clarifies Charlie’s options and obligations under the different application processes. Please let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions.
Migration Act 1958 (Cth).
Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth).
Australian Government. Department of Home Affairs. “Bridging visas.” Accessed September 10, 2023. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/bridging-visas.
Australian Government. Department of Home Affairs. “Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482).” Accessed September 10, 2023. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/temporary-skill-shortage-482.