FAQ – Post-lodgement
The following information is aimed towards employer sponsored visa types, primarily the subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa and the subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa.
- What are the processing times?
- Can I check the status of my application?
- When do I need to do my health check?
- Will I get a bridging visa?
- When does a bridging visa become active?
- Can I work on an active bridging visa?
- Can I travel on an active bridging visa?
- Will I be required to provide biometrics?
1. What are the processing times?
Processing times are incredibly inconsistent and impossible to predict. We will give you an estimate based on recent experience, but cannot make any guarantees as every application is different.
The Department’s published processing times can be found here and are based on the age of applications finalised in the previous month.
2. Can I check the status of my application?
Your application will be lodged in one of our firm’s ImmiAccount accounts. Once it has been finalised, you can import it into your own account. We ask that you do not do this before a decision has been made, as it impacts our ability to manage the application.
The Department of Home Affairs does not provide detailed application status updates via ImmiAccount, email or any other method. For example, the auto-reply for the Employer Sponsored mailbox specifically states “the Department is not able to respond to individual requests for processing updates on the status of their visa application. Responding to status enquiries diverts resources from processing applications, creating a further impact on processing times” and that requests for priority processing “will not receive a response nor will be actioned“.
ImmiAccount only shows limited status updates:
- Submitted – i.e. the application has been submitted and received by the Department and will be assessed within the current processing times.
- Initial assessment – i.e. a case officer has reviewed the application and requested that you provide further evidence.
- Further assessment – i.e. you have provided the requested information and the application will be assessed again
- Finalised – a decision has been made on the application.
This means that the only substantial updates we will receive will be when (1) more information is requested or (2) the application has been finalised. We do not need to check ImmiAccount regularly for these updates – we will be notified directly by email. As soon as we hear anything from the Department we will let you know.
3. When do I need to do my health check?
If you need to do a health check, we will be able to generate the required referral letter after your visa application has been lodged. We will then send it to you along with instructions on the tests needed and how to make a booking.
Health check results are valid for 12 months, and must be valid at the time your visa application is decided. Unless we expect your application to take over 12 months to be processed, we recommend that you complete your health checks as soon as possible. If you are applying for a visa with an extended processing time, it is best to wait until you receive a request to complete the health checks, otherwise they might expire before your application is assessed.
If you have completed some or all of the required tests within the last 12 months as part of a previous visa application, you will not need to re-do them unless they expire before your new visa application is finalised.
4. Will I get a bridging visa?
If you are in Australia on a valid, substantive visa (i.e. not a bridging visa) when you lodge your new visa application, you will be granted a bridging visa A.
If you are in Australia on a bridging visa at the time of lodgement, you will be granted a bridging visa C.
A bridging visa is automatically granted to eligible applicants upon lodgement of the visa application. Sometimes the automatic grant can be delayed – if this happens, we will follow up on your behalf.
If you are offshore when you lodge your application, you will not be granted a bridging visa.
5. When does a bridging visa become active?
A bridging visa only becomes active if the visa you held at the time you lodged your new visa application expires before that application is finalised.
6. Can I work on an active bridging visa?
It depends. If you have applied for a temporary visa and have been granted a bridging visa A, the bridging visa A will have the same work rights as the visa you held at the time of application. E.g. if you held a visitor visa when you applied for a subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa, then the bridging visa will not allow you to work, as a visitor visa does not have work rights. You would only be able to work if/when the 482 TSS visa is granted.
If you have applied for a permanent visa, however, then a bridging visa A will not have any work restrictions.
A bridging visa C is generally granted without work rights.
You can reapply for a new bridging visa A or C with work rights, but will be required to show that you are experiencing financial hardship.
7. Can I travel on an active bridging visa?
If you depart Australia on a bridging visa A or C, they will automatically cease and you will not have a valid visa to return on. You will need to wait for your visa application to be approved, or apply for another visa, if available.
If you hold a bridging visa A and wish to travel, you will need to apply for a bridging visa B. A bridging visa B application can only be lodged and approved while you are in Australia, so you will need to do it before you depart. If you are granted a bridging visa B, it will allow you to travel in and out of Australia up until a fixed date. The date generally depends on your travel plans, although a longer period is often given for permanent visa applicants. You will not need to apply for another bridging visa once the travel facility on your bridging visa B expires, unless you want to travel again.
If you plan to travel while you hold an active bridging visa A, or if your current visa will expire during your travels, you should let us know as least 2-4 weeks before you depart so we can advise you accordingly.
Unfortunately, you cannot apply for a bridging visa B if you hold a bridging visa C.
8. Will I be required to provide biometrics?
Biometrics can be requested after lodgement from visa applicants from certain countries applying for certain visas. This is incredibly uncommon, however, especially for the subclass 482 TSS visa. If we receive a request for you to provide your biometrics (facial photograph and fingerprints) we will advise you immediately. Note that biometrics can only be provided at an Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) or an Australian Biometrics Collection Centre (ABCC). Further information can be found here.