Can I work when I’m on a Bridging Visa?

Good question and this relates to a Partner Visa applicant who has arrived in Australia on a Tourist Visa which then allows them to apply for an ONSHORE Partner Visa. At some point in the Visa application process, the Visa holder will get what’s called a ‘Bridging Visa A’. This Bridging Visa A that’s granted in association with the Partner Visa has Work Rights attached to it which effectively means ‘‘YES, you can look for work.” Now a quick disclaimer – if you are intending to travel to Australia and lodge an onshore Partner Visa – please please please get advice from a Registered Migration Agent before booking any airline tickets. The last thing I would like to see happen is you jumping on a plane and arriving in Australia with plans of lodging a Partner Visa onshore and not being able to do so.

Is it easy to find work?

On the question of whether it’s easy or not to get work, I hear from the couples that we look after that it does get much easier to find work when you’ve actually been granted the Partner Visa. This is because, let’s face it, as most Aussies have the advantage of not needing visas to work and employers don’t often have to deal with issues around visa requirements, employers may just put the whole question of ‘What’s a Bridging Visa A?’ into the too hard basket. And so in my experience from listening to my client’s views on getting work, it certainly does get easier to find work once your Partner Visa has been granted.

Any other advice to consider around work when settling in Australia?

Yes, there is lots to think about on the topic of finding work and one thing that’s really important to keep in mind when you’re going through the Partner Visa process, particularly for the Aussie partner, is to be realistic about any settlement issues your partner may face. For example, if your partner is coming to Australia, even from somewhere English-speaking like the UK and holds a Visitor Visa for three months after which their Bridging Visa A is granted, it may not the best time for them to be jumping straight into work. They’re still trying to find their feet, need time to work out the new environment they have moved into and find out things such as how to get into the city and everything else that comes along with settling into a new country.
You also need to make sure you budget for a certain period where your partner will probably be without a job because firstly, it’s hard and your partner will need to settle down first. Secondly, your partner may not find it easy to walk straight into a job. Remember, there are barriers that they will have to deal with such as having a Bridging Visa A.

If you’d like to find out more about working on a visa, as we have just covered the basics here, please feel free to contact us – we’d love to help. You can comment below with any questions you may have and we will do our best to address any issues you raise. While you’re at it, check out our website, too, for our contact details and directions for assistance.

IMPORTANT: Please note, this does not constitute Immigration advice. Always seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent before applying for an Australian Visa. Migration Law is constantly changing. This information is accurate only at the time of publication.

  • ANC says:

    I’m a tourist who applied for a student visa 1 day before my substantive visa as expires.Unfortunately,student visa was not granted.An appeal at AAT was lodged but my application was reverted to immigragion coz it was submitted late by the adviser.Now my case is in federal court and pending.According to the education adviser , my Bridging visa A autmatically takes effect while under proceedings.So as the adviser said, Im on bridging visa A now.

    How can i apply for permit to work ?
    The condition in my bridging visa A states allowed to study for 3 months & not allowed to work.

    • Avelyn Chen says:

      Hi, we only work with Partner Visas and Visitor Visas. If you need help with your student visa let me know and I can recommend someone.

  • CHL says:

    Hello, I’m now planning to apply a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). However, my student visa has already been expired recently. Referring to the 485 visa, I can only apply it onshore. Does it mean i need to apply for a new visa(sth like tourist visa) which allows me to enter Australia again and then apply the 485 visa? Can you give me some recommendation?

  • NP says:

    Hello Avelyn! Thank you for your post, I found it helpful. I’m currently in Finland and planning on coming to Australia with a tourist visa in September with my Australian fiance. I already have a tourist visa that I applied december 2018 because we visited Australia early this year and my eVisitor visa is valid until december 2019. We are planning on arriving to Australia, getting married as soon as possible (november?) and then lodging in an on-shore Partner Visa before my tourist visa expires in december. We are aware there’s plenty of things to prove our relationship and we are preparing everything right now. We have been living together in Finland and Australia, and have been together for 3 years in September. As we lodge in the application for Partner Visa, I’m applying for Bridging Visa A. Do you think I’ll have full working rights even if I had the eVisitor visa? Or should I prove that I am in financial crisis to need the working rights? I don’t want to wait 15-20 months in Australia before I can work! Thank you so much in advance!

    • Avelyn Chen says:

      Hi, if you meet the criteria and you can lodge a successful onshore application then you will be given work rights as soon as the application is lodged. You should really check out our it is the ideal solution for someone who is in your situation.

  • Yamini says:


    I Have Some Question Briding Visa
    Briding Visa Work right to regional area .
    sydney city work right allow to briding visa
    briding visa convert to pr how much time?

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hi Yamini, that’s a lot of questions to answer over a blog comment, I think you would be best to give our office a call on 07 3063 1200 and we can help you better.

  • Melanie says:

    Hi there,
    My partner who is french is currently on a visitor Visa and have been granted a bridging visa when his tourist visa expires. My question is can he work for an overseas company (get paid overseas and pay tax overseas) while being here in Australia on tourist visa waiting for his partner visa?

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hi Melanie, tax advise is not really something we could help as we specialise in migration matters.

  • max says:

    Hi, I’m french my Partner is From NZ and we want to apply for the 461 visa (New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship).
    I’m back in Aus now and on a tourist visa, so i’d like to know if i apply for this visa would i be allowed to work on a bridging visa while waiting fro my visa to be granted ?

    • Emma Drynan says:

      Hey Max, this is something we can help you with but we will need more details, give our office a call at 07 3063 1200 so we can discuss your options.

  • Jan says:

    My daughters partner is applying for a Partner Vida. They are self employed, will this make it easier for him to work?

    • Emma Drynan MARN0960361 says:

      Hi Jan, our company specialises in Partner Visa Applications. We don’t normally handle other visa applications, however, please call our office so we can send referrals your way to help you with your case. Here’s our number: 07 3063 1200

  • About the Author Emma Drynan MARN0960361

    Emma is the founder and principal migration agent at Freedom Migration. She is extremely passionate about uniting partners and families with their loved ones overseas. It might be because she's a product of a partner visa family.

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