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Guest Ladygray

Bridging visa question

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Guest Ladygray

Hello everyone.

 

I do hope someone can give me some advice.

 

My mother and step father lodged a CPV on Nov 17th. This was an 'off shore' application. Mum and S/dad then flew into Australia on a 676 multible entry visa (3month stay) and an ETA. Early Jan Mum called DIAC and asked about the possibility of getting a bridging visa A to allow them to stay with us while their CPA is being processed. She was advised that the Bridging visa A is automatic has they have an application pending. Also advised that if they needed to travel out of Australia they would need to apply for Bridging visa B.

 

Well mum needs to travel to the UK so she called DIAC and asked what the proceedure was to get a bridging visa B. She was then told that she is in Australia illegally and must 'get out'. Was also told that her 4 year validity 676 visa is now cancelled.

 

We are now beside ourselves with worry. We are travelling to Brisbane DIAC to try and sort this out, but when I read the form 1024i it clearly states that you can obtain a bridging visa A if you have an substantive application pending.

 

Are mum and dad now going to be kicked out?????

 

If anyone has any advice please feel free to let me know what you think or if you have had any experience in this area.

 

Regards

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Guest Gollywobbler

Hi Ladygray

 

Welcome to Poms in Oz.

 

You say that your Parents applied for an offshore CPV? If so then they applied either for the CPV 143 or for the CPV 173. Which one have they applied for, please?

 

It is not - repeat not - possible to apply for any sort pf a Bridging Visa if one has applied for an offshore visa of any sort. So are you absolutely positive that your Parents have applied for a CPV 143 or 173 rather than applying for the onshore Contributory Aged Parent Visa sc 184 or 884, please? If they have applied for an onshore visa then their original ackowledgment letter from the Parents Visa processing centre in Perth would have confirmed that a Bridging Visa A came into effect because the PVC arranged that it would do so? Do your Parents have a copy of the acknowledgement letter, please?

 

If they do not have a copy of the acknowledgement letter, I would suggest that you make an urgent phone call to the Parents Visa Centre and ask them to confirm which visa has been applied for and explain the present problem to them as well. The PVC are exceptionally helpful towards Parent visa applicants. Their contact details are below:

 

Parent Visa Centre

 

My mother and step father lodged a CPV on Nov 17th.

 

Do you mean 17th November 2009?

 

Mum and S/dad then flew into Australia on a 676 multible entry visa (3month stay) and an ETA.

 

This is a bit woolly, with respect! Why would anybody apply for a long stay sc 676 Tourist Visa if the intention is confined to making short visits to Australia only?

 

Visa Options - Tourists - Visitors - Visas & Immigration

 

What is your Parents' country of origin, please?

 

Early Jan Mum called DIAC and asked about the possibility of getting a bridging visa A to allow them to stay with us while their CPA is being processed. She was advised that the Bridging visa A is automatic has they have an application pending. Also advised that if they needed to travel out of Australia they would need to apply for Bridging visa B.

 

This advice is inccurate - legally and factually mistaken rubbish - unless the substantive visa which has been applied for is an onshore visa. Phoning the general Helpline for DIAC usually does result in the caller being told a load of rubbish by the lowest of the low working for DIAC, so being given inaccurate information is par for the course, unfortunately.

 

Well mum needs to travel to the UK so she called DIAC and asked what the proceedure was to get a bridging visa B. She was then told that she is in Australia illegally and must 'get out'. Was also told that her 4 year validity 676 visa is now cancelled.

 

It sounds as if Mum rang DIAC and spoke to a prize jobsworth the second time. Cancelling the tourist visa on the strength of an honest mistake is completely unnecessary and heavy-handed in my opinion.

 

No tourist visa is valid for 4 years, either, so Jobsworth was wrong about that bit as well. They are only valid for 12 months from the date of the grant. That goes for all tourist visas.

 

She was then told that she is in Australia illegally and must 'get out'.
How incredibly rude and unnecessary. There is no requirement to "get out." It is obvious that your Parents are perfectly normal CPV or CAPV applicants who have been told a load of rubbish by various people who are paid by DIAC for their staff's information to be accurate, not wrong, and then the Aussie employees of DIAC are rude to your mother as well????? Do they know what a CPV costs????? If she were my mother, I would complain vociferously to DIAC's Global Feeback Unit about that:

 

Contact Us – Compliments and Complaints – Department of Immigration and Citizenship

 

If your Parents are British, I would also complain vociferously to David Wilden. He is DIAC's Regional Director for Europe, based in London. David Wilden set up the Global Feedback Unit originally and he ran it himself until he got the London gig instead, so he knows how it works and can sort the mess with your Parents out as well. Please click on my user name to the left of this reply and send me an e-mail, not a Private Message. The PiO software has been set up in a way that protects Mr Wilden - by scrambling his e-mail address automatically. My e-mails have not been scrambled so if you e-mail me and then I e-mail you in reply, I can send you the direct contact details for both Mr Wilden and for the Principal Migration Officer in London (who is a lovely lady. I have met both the PMO and Mr Wilden. The PMO knows more about the nuts and bolts of visa applications than he does, as a matter of fact, but he has the clout to talk to his very senior colleagues within DIAC.)

 

What will actually happen with your Mum (if you see someone semi-competent in Brisbane) is that first checks would be made in order to see which Parent visa has actually been sought. Then the status of the tourist visa would be checked, to find out whether Jobsworth did actually cancel that or merely threatened to do so.

 

If the tourist visa has been cancelled, it might not be possible to make an immediate application for a 12 month stay in Oz on a subclass 676 tourist visa. Something called Section 48 might bite in this situation.

 

However if a sc 676 visa cannot be arranged in Australia, it definitely can be arranged in London so please do not fret unduly about that.

 

If the worst comes to the worst, DIAC will give your Parents an emergency Bridging Visa (hold out for at least 28 days on that, not 7 days) in order to give your Parents time to arrange for an orderly departure from Australia. They clearly aren't trying to remain in Australia unlawfully (and the word is unlawful, not illegal , because making a few mistakes with Aussie visas is not a criminal offence.)

 

So your Parents would have time to arrange for an orderly return to the UK, which you say that Mum wants to do anyway. Probably both Parents would have to come to the UK in order to sort the situation out properly, but I assure you that it can be sorted out properly and DIAC would not continue to make one mistake after another once the Top Brass in London are involved, I assure you.

 

Send me an e-mail, I suggest, and we can make a start on sorting the situation out. Meanwhile, please reassure your Parents that there is nothing to worry about.

 

Cheers

 

Gill

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Hi LadyGray

 

Just to add afew technical points to Gill's practical advice:

 

Assuming your parents made the off-shore application then yes, they are unlawful and no bridging visa related to the CPV aaplication is possible. 4 year travel 676 visas are common where there is low-risk however, if at any time during the 4 year validity, you overstay the remain period, the visa automatically ceases to be in effect - it is not cancelled - it ceases automatically under law.

 

Step 1 - get your parents to book a flight home and then go to DIAC and apply for a BVE to keep them lawful until the booked departure.

Step 2 - if they wish to visit again prior to the grant of the CPV visa, they will need to request waiver a 3 year exclusion period that will then exist for the grant of most temporary visas (but not the temporary CPV visa). This is where the background/bad advice etc. becomes relevant.

 

As Gill says, it is not a capital crime, just a mis-understanding between the first DIAC officer and your mum.

 

Regards

 

Tony


Anthony Coates MARN: 0601801

tonycoates@eircom.net

 

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