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No Bridging Visa B but travel anyway??? What the....

I do not know what is happening but perhaps there has been a rip in the space time continuum.

An unbelievable number of enquiries from both practitioners and individual applicants who seem infected by a virus which sees them lodge an application onshore, get a BVA but then travel and get stuck offshore.

One of my clients who had a complex and at that stage unresolved application for review, rang me on after Christmas and said, "They wont let me board my flight".

I said: "Where are you?"

She said:" St Petersburg"

I said: "Why are you in St Petersburg?"

She said: " I needed a break" ("WTF!!!) [I NEED A BREAK TOO!]

When I remonstrated with her she complained that I had not told her she could not travel.

With the benefit of hindsight she was perfectly correct. I had not told her and the only reason I had not told her that was because she had been referred to me by a colleague who was originally handling her spouse visa application. It had never occurred to me that she did not know.

Since then I have given advice to people on cruise ships and at almost every offshore location, each of them were blissfully unaware or did not care that they need to obtain a BVB in order to travel offshore and then return.

I have heard every excuse in the world as to why a person who holds a BVB does not return before their BVB expires (including a snow storm and bad roads in Syria); Notably a cruise ship is deemed not to have left Australia.

I think we need to advise our clients that if they decide to make an application in Australia they should remain here no matter what unless it is an absolute emergency.

Why?

  1. If you have an unresolved onshore application and you are offshore when the application is refused you may lose appeal rights.
  2. If you hold a BVA then don't travel unless you have a BVB
  3. Comply with the conditions of the BVB including returning on time (no excuses)
  4. If you hold a BVA and you are offshore how will you able to return if the overseas post says that you are not a genuine temporary entrant ( GTE)
  5. Don't place yourself at the mercy of an overseas post
  6. If you want to travel (contrary to advice) seek your BVB at least 6 weeks clear of the travel date.
  7. Wait for the outcome of that application for the BVB and don't travel in anticipation of an approval.
  8. Be aware the fact that the BVB application is online and by reason of that convenience the processing time  is now weeks not days.
  9. Don't travel overseas unless you absolutely positively have no other choice.
  10. Stay here and dig in and be aware that no one at the airport is going to tell you that you need a BVB as you are leaving Australia.
  11. You cannot travel or get a BVB if you hold a BVC or worse...something to think about just in case you want to voluntarily cancel your visa! 

Finally, my advice, TELL EVERYONE!

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Comments

  • Guest
    Electric Boogaloo Wednesday, 22 May 2019

    Overwhelmingly obvious. It's in our standard information pack and initial advice - anyone who becomes our client gets one. We also have them sign a AMA (against migration advice) if they choose to proceed with the BVB - which includes the risks and possible future costs for fixing their stupid mistakes... perhaps not in those words!
    It's why lawyers run cases the way they do - that is.. because clients do stupid things for very odd reasons sometimes.

  • Guest
    David Coote, MARN#9577328 Wednesday, 22 May 2019

    I have had similar issues with a number of clients over the years. My advice to all my clients is:
    - if you are in Australia stay here until you get your visa;
    - DO NOT do anything without consulting me and I teach them AA Milne "James James Morrison" (Don't know it? Look it up!);
    - if in doubt ask an expert, not neighbours, friends or relatives.
    The fact that they do NOT really know will not prevent them giving you advice!

  • Guest
    Aimo J Aho Wednesday, 22 May 2019

    For me its has been standard practice to always advise all clients - you can travel on a BVA: but you won't get back. The last BVA application I lodged a few days ago, I got the grant the following day. It was a complete application. My first client who applied for a BVB (many years ago) flew out and left a person from the same home country to look after the business they were running to apply for a PR Business visa. I received a plaintiff call from overseas saying, I fully remembered your advice, asking me if I could get a new BVB as she forgot her visa expiry date. I did get the client back - 9 months later. In the mean time the business had been mismanaged and the client came back to a bucket full of legal issues that cost another bucket full of money. Yes, good advice, always tell (in writing preferable) the client if they want to go overseas, or not, get your BVB before you go.

  • Guest
    FRank Richter Wednesday, 22 May 2019

    I even took over client (secondary applicant) from another agent, who was not in Australia when his application for substantive visa vas lodged so he was not granted bridging A visa. Then he returned before his substantive visa expired, and thought that he has bridging visa, which he did not. When we realised that he was unlawful we quickly organised bridging E visa and departure, luckily 28 days were not passed yet.
    Previous agent failed to tell him that he has to be here when application for next visa was lodged, and again when his previous substantive visa expires, so that Bridging A visa can be activated. He then obtained another visitor's visa, but because substantive visa was refused he is not in the review application with AAT

  • Guest
    Guest Thursday, 23 May 2019

    I had a similar situation with a client waiting for a decision on his Partner Visa and only just got his BVA reinstated yesterday. The difference is my client knew he needed a BVB to travel. The issue for him was, he misunderstood his status when he looked on VEVO, he thought he was on a BVB because that was what it showed as his Visa status. The issue was he didn't pay attention to the date which said he must not arrive (dd) December 2018. All he saw was his Vevo status saying he was on a BVB and booked a flight and left the country. Of course no one at customs cared to stop him or remind him that he won't be able to return to Australia on his current Visa. So he called me overseas late month when he realised he was no longer on a valid visa to return to Australia.
    As with Christopher, it was a WTF moment and he obviously didn't realise the seriousness of this situation because he said we'll have a good laugh and a beer over this when he gets back. Please advise your clients to inform you if they intend to travel overseas, even you have told them about requiring a BVB to travel and return to Australia. My client knew he needed a BVB to travel, he just didn't read the conditions on his VEVO visa status properly and didn't think to consult with me before travel and went off on his jolly way for a holiday without telling me until after he left Australia. Thank goodness I got him back in and reinstated his BVA but it's certainly something you would want to avoid!

  • Guest
    Bea Leoncini Thursday, 23 May 2019

    Absolutely right, Chris... clients will do whatever they think it's logical for them most of the time, Over the years (seems like a lifetime) a few clients left thinking that the bridging visa A they held, WAS a bridging visa they could 'leave' Australia with (even if the grant letter says 'no travel'), no MATTER how many times they would be advised at the beginning of the process or follow up in writing or via a written response to an email asking if they could go to Thailand next week for a few days and the follow up call saying: 'NO, unless you apply and are granted a BVB' - 'but I already bought the ticket and don't want to lose it!' would be THEIR response, followed by murderous rage because you can't waive a magic wand. I agree with Electric Boogaloo, always include it in the cost agreement, as a standard clause and warn of the consequences (including your additional costs and possible time waiting overseas) if the choose to travel without applying for a BVB.
    Would a brief and general monthly Agent 'update' for clients help? perhaps incorporating some of the issues raised in the MA blogs; it would keep clients engaged and informed throughout those years of waiting for a visa (or AAT) process to come to fruition, possibly help avoid potential complaint headaches and cover our backs - even if some clients don't seem to get it, no matter WHAT you do.

  • Guest
    Scott Kim Thursday, 23 May 2019

    Hi Chris,
    Can you advise on the below case?
     My client and his family members are currently on 457 visa valid until Aug 2020.
     He applied for ENS (TRT stream) last year based on his 2-year work with his current employer and got his nomination refused last month.
     He lodged the AAT appeal for the nomination but his visa application for ENS has yet to be refused.
     He is still in Australia but his family members are off-shore at the moment.
    My question is that if his visa for ENS is rejected in this situation, what will happen to the appeal rights of his family members? There may be no problem with his appeal rights, but is there a problem with his family's rights?

    Thank you in advance for your advice.

    Best regards

    Scott Kim

  • Guest
    Scott Kim Thursday, 23 May 2019

    Hi Everyone,

    I currently have issues with one of my clients for his appeal rights.
    May I ask you for some advice on the case below?

    - My client and his family members are currently on a 457 visa valid until Aug 2020.
    - He applied for ENS (TRT stream) last year based on his 2-year work with his current employer and got his nomination refused last month.
    - He lodged the AAT appeal for the nomination but his visa application for ENS has yet to be refused.
    - He is still in Australia but his family members are off-shore at the moment.

    My question is that if his visa for ENS is rejected in this situation, what will happen to the appeal rights of his family members? There may be no problem with his appeal rights, but is there a problem with his family's rights?

    Thank you in advance for your advice.

    Best regards

    Scott Kim

  • Changsoo Woo
    Changsoo Woo Thursday, 23 May 2019

    Hi Everyone,

    I currently have issues with one of my clients for his appeal rights.
    May I ask you for some advice on the case below?

    - My client and his family members currently hold a 457 visa valid until Aug 2020.
    - He applied for ENS (TRT stream) last year based on his 2-year work with his current employer and finally got his nomination refused last month.
    - He lodged the AAT appeal for the nomination but his visa application for ENS has yet to be refused.
    - He is still in Australia but his family members are off-shore at the moment because his wife needed urgent medical care.

    My question is that if his visa for ENS is rejected in this situation, what will happen to the appeal rights of his family members? There would be no problem with his appeal rights, but is there a problem with his family's rights?

    Thank you in advance for your advice.

    Best regards

    David Woo

  • Christopher Levingston
    Christopher Levingston Friday, 24 May 2019

    Scott, If the Nom has been refused and you on appeal at the AAT, my experience tells me it is only a matter of time before the visa application is refused. If you can email me the nom refusal i can have a look at it and give you specific advice and try to put you into the drivers seat as far as the strategic position that arises by virtue of the fact that you client still holds a valid substantive visa and is thus, at this stage beyond the reach of section 48.
    Any question, any time!
    Christopher@levingston.com.au

  • Guest
    JH Monday, 22 July 2019

    Hi Christopher,

    My husband and I (Australian citizen) have applied for partnership visa while on holidays (visiting my family and getting married). I had no idea that we would be granted bridging visa A pretty much straight away and that my husband needed to apply for bridging visa B before leaving the country. To my horror I have discovered this now (almost 8 months later), when we are planning to return to Australia (We have been residing in Switzerland for the last 8 months) as my husband is working here. Few days ago he received an offer to work in Sydney and is about to sign the contract. He has a travel visa that expires in 3-4 months and we were planning to return 16 days before the travel visa expires. What do we need to do? We had no idea and have completely overlooked this (now when I'm reading the reviews about this issue I am really worried).

  • Guest
    Jake Maniyul Thursday, 25 July 2019

    email chris
    christopher@levingston.com.au

    its easier

  • Guest
    Benjamin Tuesday, 23 July 2019

    Hi there I currently have a problem with my spouse visa.we contacted the department of immigration and ask them if we were able to travel while on spouse visa 801. The department said that that was ok.so instead of getting a second opinion I just took their word for it and we both went on a holiday back to her home country to visit a wedding that we were invited to. Long story short I left one week early before she did and when she went to leave she was held at the ticket desk stating that she didn't have a visa to leave her country. I know it's my fault for not checking whether the visa was valid I getting a second opinion. Now she is stuck in her home country and I am wanting to get her back to Australia. Is it just a matter of simply applying to get another tourist visa and then when she gets here continuing on with the spouse visa. The immi website is very vague on how to apply for bridging visas when you are not in the country. My problem is I do not want to lose the $7,000 that I paid to organise the spouse visa. My main question is can I get her here on a visitors visa and then apply for another visa. What do you think my options are.

  • Christopher Levingston
    Christopher Levingston Wednesday, 24 July 2019

    Benjamin,
    Are you sure that your wife held a visa subclass 801 at the time she left Australia. Do you have the visa grant letter?
    If so, that visa grant letter will inform you that first she has the 801 and further that she holds a 5 year RRV.
    What country has she travelled to?

  • Guest
    Benjamin Saturday, 27 July 2019

    Sorry for the confusion Christopher. We currently have applied for partner visa 801 but have not received it yet. We are on a temporary visa 820 I think. Going by the immigration website ( https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/partner-onshore/temporary-820 ) it says With this visa you can
    live, work and study in Australia while we process your permanent Partner visa
    travel to and from Australia as many times as you want
    attend free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program. I would assume by it saying travel to and from Australia as many times as you want that I would be right in what we did. We have not finished 801 because we still have to do the medical checks. ( The other reason we were travelling to the Philippines to pickup x-rays and medical assessment report).

  • Guest
    Prashanth Balla Wednesday, 24 July 2019

    Hi,
    I am international student studying in Sydney and my visa expires on September 19th and I am planning to visit my family in the month of August 2019 1 st week and I am going to extend visa this month end July last week so do I need to take bridging B visa for travel to my country please advice me because I am already booked tickets kindly waiting for u guidance.

  • Guest
    Peeta Thursday, 25 July 2019

    email chris
    christopher@levingston.com.au

  • Christopher Levingston
    Christopher Levingston Saturday, 27 July 2019

    Benjamin, check VEVO and find out what visa has been granted. If she holds an 820 then you will know for certain...the 820 should have travel rights.

  • Guest
    Karthik Saturday, 03 August 2019

    Hi am in student sub(500) as my visa expires in 07/08/2019.so I have applied for post study work dub(485) temporary visa so I got my bridging visa A but I have applied for bridging visa B today morning in 02/08/2019.because the situation is very worst my dad has passed away today evening after my application so I called to immigration customer service team they said they will gonna transfer the file to Orange team was fast processing so how much they will take in this situation please respond thanks

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