New Bridging Visa Provisions

The Migration Act 1958 (the Migration Act) is an Act relating to the entry into, and presence
in, Australia of aliens, and the departure or deportation from Australia of aliens and certain
other persons.

Subsection 504(1) of the Migration Act provides that the Governor-General may make
regulations, not inconsistent with the Migration Act, prescribing matters required or
permitted to be prescribed, or necessary or convenient to be prescribed, for carrying out or
giving effect to the Migration Act.

The Migration Amendment (Bridging Visas) Regulations 2024 (the Amendment Regulations)
amend the Migration Regulations 1994 (the Migration Regulations) to clarify the
circumstances in which the Minister may grant a Bridging R (Class WR) visa (BVR) without
application to certain eligible non-citizens who may be unlawful non-citizens at the time of
grant, or who already hold a visa other than a substantive visa, a criminal justice visa or an
enforcement visa.


The grant of BVRs is an essential tool in the management of non-citizens released from
immigration detention following the High Court judgment in NZYQ v Minister for
Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs [2023] HCA 37 on 8 November 2023.
NZYQ-affected non-citizens are granted a BVR to manage their immigration status and
ensure that they are subject to appropriate and enforceable visa conditions while in the
Australian community. In practice, this means that an individual may need to be granted
further BVRs to allow for the imposition of certain visa conditions to be adapted to reflect the
individual’s changing circumstances.

Before the commencement of the Amendment Regulations, the Migration Regulations
allowed for the grant of a BVR without application to an eligible non-citizen as follows:

  • regulation 2.25AA provided for the initial grant of a BVR to an eligible non-citizen
    who is an unlawful non-citizen;
  • regulation 2.25AB provided for the grant of a further BVR to an eligible non-citizen
    who holds a BVR – effectively providing for a replacement BVR to be granted to that
    non-citizen in circumstances where the Minister decides that it is appropriate to
    impose, or vary the imposition of, certain visa conditions for the purposes of
    community protection.
    The Amendment Regulations remove the requirement contained in regulation 2.25AB for a
    person to already hold a BVR before they may be granted a further BVR. This allows
    regulation 2.25AB to operate as a standalone provision under which eligible non-citizens in
    the NZYQ-affected cohort may be granted either an initial BVR following their release from
    immigration detention as an unlawful non-citizen, or a subsequent BVR where they are in the
    Authorised Version Explanatory Statement registered 11/04/2024 to F2024L00441

    community. As amended, regulation 2.25AB is available to grant a BVR to an NZYQaffected non-citizen so long as they do not hold a substantive visa, enforcement visa or
    criminal justice visa. This amendment simplifies and enhances the effective administration of
    the BVR scheme.
    In particular, the Amendment Regulations:
  • amend regulation 2.04 to confirm that, while the circumstances in which a visa may
    be granted are generally set out in Schedule 2 to the Regulations, this is subject to
    other provisions of the Regulations that may deal with the circumstances applicable to
    grant (such as subregulation 2.25AB(2)); and
  • amend regulation 2.25AB to remove the requirement to hold a BVR to be eligible for
    grant of a further BVR under this regulation, and replace this with a requirement for
    the Minister to be satisfied that the non-citizen does not hold a substantive visa, a
    criminal justice visa or an enforcement visa to be eligible for grant of a BVR under
    this regulation

Written by Ross Ahmadzai

12 Apr, 2024

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1 Comment

  1. Shailesh Patel

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    Reply

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