In support for visa state nomination a Subclass 491 applicant who holds a Bridging Visa A, B, C or E while seeking review of a decision would be required to depart Australia in order to lodge their visa application with the Department of Home Affairs. While travel restrictions are in place many applicants will find it difficult to depart Australia and all will be unable to enter Australia (unless exempt).

In an effort to manage this situation, as of 2 April 2020 all applications on hand and lodged thereafter by candidates who hold a Bridging Visa associated with Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT) or Federal Court review will continue to be assessed as normal. Unsuccessful applicants will be advised of the outcome and should not reapply until travel restrictions are lifted. All other applications will be placed on hold in our system and when travel restrictions are lifted we will contact applicants to obtain an update of circumstances (such as current residential location and employment details if applicable) to then finalise their application accordingly.


If an applicant is currently on a bridging visa and has been invited to lodge documents with BSMQ for a subclass 491 visa, they must notify Business and Skilled Migration Queensland of any past visa refusals or cancellations.

If an applicant has received a visa refusal or cancellation whilst on a bridging visa they are likely to be subject to a section 48 bar – which means they are unable to lodge a state nominated visa (and most other visas) onshore.

Unfortunately during the COVID-19 pandemic, it not possible to go offshore to lodge a visa application, and then return to Australia.

This is because there is an entry ban on temporary visa holders returning to Australia at this time. If you or your client is section 48 barred, BSMQ is unable to nominate for a subclass s491 visa and request that the application be withdrawn.

It may be possible to submit an EOI again at a later date once the entry ban is lifted if Queensland criteria continues to be met.

South Australia:

-SA will hold existing applications affected by a section 48 bar until 30 June 2020 and
-SA will no longer nominate applicants who are unable to travel offshore to lodge a valid visa application.

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