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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

My name is Johnny. I would like to share my experience and ask your advice.

In May 2016, my agent applied for my Permanent Residency on my behalf. Immigration Department issued me a Bridging Visa "A" with the intent of obtaining Permanent Residency. I was holding a 457 visa at the same time.

My new employer wanted me to start to work for him ASAP and I needed an income naturally as I was told that it could take 6 months until my Permanent residency was approved.

So, my agent requested cancellation of my 457 visa and waited to apply for my Bridging Visa E + Work Rights (I have been informed that a “Bridging visa E” cannot actually be applied for if one holds another visa. So, naturally we waited for cancellation notification).

Once we received the cancellation notification, my agent applied for my Bridging Visa E with work rights on the same day – as the day of the cancellation notification of my 457 visa.

She applied by electronic means as she always does, but she received email from the Immigration demanding the application to be made by hard copy which my agent did as such that same afternoon by courier transport and she got a confirmation from Immigration Department receiving the courier.

I got my Residency in January 2017 and I am eligible for Citizenship since January 2018 - at least thought I was after living for 5 years in Australia.

When I applied for my Citizenship online I got a warning saying that I am not eligible and I couldn't proceed with my application. When I called the Immigration for more details they told me that I was in Australia unlawfully for 8 days. They received my Bridging Visa E application 8 days after my 457 was cancelled and no one could explain what happened during these 8 days. It turns out that my Bridging Visa A that has been issued by the Immigration also ceased when my 457 ceased. Thus I didn’t hold any visa for a crucial 8 days.

I was suggested to apply for Citizenship under Ministerial Discretion. So, I started to write a statutory declaration to present myself I need to know few things to finalise my declaration. I was hoping that someone experienced can see my post and can give me few tips.

My questions are;

1. Are the immigration agents getting a notification for the regulation changes?

2. How and where I can find the statements of changes in immigration rules. I need to find out since when bridging visa applications are required to be submitted in hard copy.

3. Why Immigration is issuing a Bridging Visa A after the 187 – PR application? It does not serve any purpose. They tell me that the Bridging visa “A” depending on other visas. How come Immigration lets people to be unlawful? Why they would issue a bridging visa that can be ceased?

Thank you in advance for your replies. I really hope that someone can point me to the right direction. I couldn't get a reply to my questions from Immigration hotlines nor the agency.
 

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Sorry I can't answer your questions but I just wanted to say that your agent really should have told you that when you get granted a BVE anything prior to that time does not count towards citizenship. Therefore, even if the BVE was granted on the same day as the 457 was cancelled anything prior to the day date of the BVE would not count towards citizenship. This is because in order for a BVE to be granted you need to be unlawful even for 1 minute.
 

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Not to mention the BVA grant notice would have specified that if your current visa is cancelled, the BVA would also cease and you may become unlawful.

From mine: "If your Prospective Marriage (Temporary) visa is cancelled, you should contact the department immediately. Your Bridging visa may not come into effect and will not allow you to remain lawfully in Australia." And then it repeats it again further down: "If you hold any substantive visa, and that substantive visa is cancelled, you should contact the department immediately. Your Bridging visa may have ceased and no longer allow you to remain lawfully in Australia."

The purpose of the BVA is to bridge you from one visa to another. So if the 457 ended before a decision was made on the next visa, the BVA is meant to cover that gap and allow you to remain lawful. If a decision was made on the next visa before the current visa ended, the BVA would have never gone into effect. It's the responsibility of the person to maintain the conditions of their current visa until it ceases. All of these things would have been clearly explained in the BVA grant notice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@Mish

Thank you for your answer. I called the Immigration and I have been told by them that if Imigration was receiving my BVE application on the same day I wouldn't be unlawfull thus I would be elligible for Citizenship.

But your statement tells otherwise.

So, even they were processing my BVE application on the same thay I still wouldn't be eligible for Citizenship. Did I get it right? Is this statement 100% correct?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are the people allowed to leave the country while their PR application in progress? Would it be a good advice to tell people in my situation to leave the country until their bridging visa is approved so they are not unIawfully in the country during this time? When their BVE approved they can enter back?

Not to mention the BVA grant notice would have specified that if your current visa is cancelled, the BVA would also cease and you may become unlawful.

From mine: "If your Prospective Marriage (Temporary) visa is cancelled, you should contact the department immediately. Your Bridging visa may not come into effect and will not allow you to remain lawfully in Australia." And then it repeats it again further down: "If you hold any substantive visa, and that substantive visa is cancelled, you should contact the department immediately. Your Bridging visa may have ceased and no longer allow you to remain lawfully in Australia."

The purpose of the BVA is to bridge you from one visa to another. So if the 457 ended before a decision was made on the next visa, the BVA is meant to cover that gap and allow you to remain lawful. If a decision was made on the next visa before the current visa ended, the BVA would have never gone into effect. It's the responsibility of the person to maintain the conditions of their current visa until it ceases. All of these things would have been clearly explained in the BVA grant notice.
 

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The citizenship rules states that you must have been lawful for 4 years. Being unlawful even for 1 minute means you do not qualify for citizenship

What I know about BVE is that they are not good visas and any time before the BVE is granted is not counted towards citizenship.

We have quite a few people on this forum who end up on BVE (granted the same day as the previous visa cancelled) and they have always been advised that any time prior to the granting of the BVE does not count towards citizenship.

The immigration call centre do not always give the correct advice - we have seen people get visas rejected because of incorrect advice they received from the call centre.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you! This really changed the course of the Ministerial Discretion application. I wish I was advised of that.

So, anyone know the answer to my last question?

Could I leave the country after I applied for the 457 cancellation and Could I enter back with BVE? Would this action prevent me from being unlawful?

The citizenship rules states that you must have been lawful for 4 years. Being unlawful even for 1 minute means you do not qualify for citizenship

What I know about BVE is that they are not good visas and any time before the BVE is granted is not counted towards citizenship.

We have quite a few people on this forum who end up on BVE (granted the same day as the previous visa cancelled) and they have always been advised that any time prior to the granting of the BVE does not count towards citizenship.

The immigration call centre do not always give the correct advice - we have seen people get visas rejected because of incorrect advice they received from the call centre.
 

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Not sure what you're asking here. If you were offshore when the 457 was cancelled, you would have needed a visa to reenter Australia. A BVE wouldn't be granted to you while offshore. If you were onshore when the 457 was cancelled, you were unlawful.

FYI a BVE is granted to people who are unlawful. So as Mish said, it wouldn't matter if it were same day or not. The fact that you had a BVE granted meant you were unlawful at one point.

Your mistake was having the 457 cancelled. Surely your agent would have explained to you the pros and cons of such a scenario. In some cases that may be the best option, but from my understanding, a BVE should be considered last resort.
 
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