Can I Work On A Bridging Visa?

Disclaimer – I do not work for immigration, I am just someone who has been through the visa process. This is my account of how I found the bridging visa process whilst awaiting the 820 defacto partner visa. 

I’m so pleased I’ve been able to help some of you who are applying for the Subclass 820 Defacto Partner Visa to Australia through this post. I get a lot of emails asking me a lot of questions and understandably it’s an overwhelming experience as there’s not a lot of information out there. A few month’s ago I decided to write a post answering all your questions here but the main question I always get asked is ‘When Can I Work on A Bridging Visa?’. I’ve therefore decided to write a post dedicated to answering this question in as much detail as I can. You can also check out my video I made which shows you visually how I put my application together here.

Can I work on a Tourist Visa?

Firstly, for those of you who aren’t aware, I came into Australia on a 3 month Tourist Visa with my Australian boyfriend. This meant I could not work whatsoever. I didn’t even bother to try to get work cash in hand over the fear of getting found out by immigration and I wouldn’t recommend doing it neither. Let’s face it, you’ll be paying a lot of money out for this visa so don’t push it just for 3 months extra work if you’re going to go through the same way like I did.

When Does the Tourist Visa Change to a Bridging Visa?

I spent my first 3 months in Australia getting my application ready to apply for the 820 partner visa. It took a long time to organise. I advise you to make a start your application asap. I wanted to make sure I had as much information to make sure my visa was going to be approved. Remember – all you need to do is provide information that will convince a stranger you are in a genuine relationship. That’s it. There are people out there who do try and fake it, trust me, I’ve met some of them that have done it already.

I sent my application off in the post about a week before my tourist visa was up. You can send it off anytime you like but make sure whatever visa you are on, you send your application off BEFORE your current visa expires. I didn’t have to leave the country to apply, I just stayed put in Sydney.

A few days later I was sent a confirmation email saying immigration had received my application.

Here’s the important part – The day after my tourist visa expired I automatically went onto a Bridging Visa. 

Can I Work On A Bridging Visa?

As soon as my Tourist Visa turned into a Bridging Visa meant I had full working rights to work in Australia. Just like any Australian citizen, I then had the same working rights as everyone else. If you are changing from a Working Holiday Visa onto a 820 Partner Visa, you can now work for an employer for as long as you like so you won’t have to move jobs every 6 months like on the WHV.

How Long Will I Be On A Bridging Visa For?

The Bridging Visa is a temporary visa meaning you’ll be on it until the 820 Visa is granted. I was on it for a whole year before my visa was granted. I was just sent an email saying it had been granted and that was it. Happy Days!

Can I Leave Australia Whilst On A Bridging Visa?

It’s not advised to leave Australia whilst on the Bridging Visa but if you need to do so then you’ll need to contact immigration. I know someone (a British girl) who had booked a course overseas a while back before she knew she was going to apply for the partner visa and had to pay something like $100 to immigration to leave the country before returning a few weeks later. Definitely check with immigration on this one though.

Hope this answers your Bridging Visa questions! I know it’s a stressful time applying but it will all be worth it in the end!

Best of Luck and Thanks for reading!