A bridging visa is not, in itself, a substantive visa. A bridging visa cannot (usually) be applied for, but is granted by DOHA in cases where the substantive visa has either ceased or been revoked.
For example, an international student who is required to apply for a new student visa to extend their period of study may be placed on a bridging visa to allow them to remain lawfully in Australia once their current substantive student visa expires and they are waiting on a decision about their new visa application. Similarly, a student who has inadvertently allowed their student visa to expire, may be put on another bridging visa type to allow them time to pack up their belongings and leave Australia.
There are five classes of bridging visas - they are used to make 'non-citizens' lawful who otherwise would be unlawful in the following situations:
• during the processing of an application, made in Australia, for a substantive visa (any visa which is not a bridging visa or criminal justice visa), including merits review of a decision to refuse such an application
• while arrangements are made to leave Australia
• at other times when the 'non-citizen' does not have a visa (for example, when seeking judicial review) and it is not necessary for the person to be kept in immigration detention.
If you are issued a bridging visa at any time during your studies, it is important to know the conditions that come with it. Some bridging visas do not permit work or study, so you should ensure that you understand your bridging visa conditions. Your visa conditions will be listed on your visa document.