Many thanks for this post and of course I remember you, hon!
At the risk of sounding like Cassandra, I don't think that your in-laws' current idea is sensible, to be honest. It "feels" like it would be a premature application and, personally, I think there would be too much likelihood of a visa refusal by the Parents Visa Centre. If they refuse the visa application then your family's only real option would be to appeal to the Migration Review Tribunal - which would involve cost, considerable delay and a huge amount of stress because there would be no certainty that an appeal would be successful.
Please read the article below by Alan Collett of Go Matilda:
As Alan has identified, the Sponsor has to do a heckuva lot more than just describing his/her job and I agree with Alan that the evidence that the Sponsor is "settled" should be provided up-front, in the hope of forestalling any argument from the PVC.
As I understand it, you and Lisa do not have any young children so it would be impossible to argue that care of the grandcubs would have anything to do with it. Also, in the second case cited by Alan, the elderly Parents, Mr & Mrs Badcock, had travelled to Australia by sea:
Personally, I'd have made more of that fact than Mr & Mrs Badcock's daughter did! (In 2007 & 2008, I got involved with trying to send a British couple called Ruth & Monty out to Australia by sea! It turned out to be extremely difficult to do - much harder than I had imagined.)
However, the evidence would be that your in-laws have no reason not to travel by air, so it would not be possible to argue extenuating cirumstances because of the nigh-on impossibility of actually getting to Australia by sea nowadays.
It is also difficult to argue about the need for/desirability of family unity if the facts reveal that within minutes of getting a Bridging Visa A, the APV applicants had promptly obtained a Bridging Visa B and gone trotting off out of Australia.
The PVC would know about the application for a BVB, whether or not that was granted, because it would be shown on the DIAC computer by the time that a CO at the PVC considered your in-laws' APV application. I think the CO would think, "Why on earth have this family jumped the gun in the way that they seem to have done?" My instinct is that it would be extremely difficult - if not impossible - to dispel/refute this "first impression" and if it led to the PVC's refusing the visa application, what grounds would one have for trying to argue the toss with the MRT next?
Isn't the real truth simply that your family wishes to jump the gun, regardless of DIAC's own policy preference and regardless of DIAC's undoubtedly long and very wise experience of why their policy about this is to insist that families must act slowly and cautiously? From what you have said so far, my feeling is that your family's reasoning is too simplistic and it does not persuade me, so why should it persuade the PVC?
It could be that you could work this up into a much more persuasive argument than you have told me about so far - but doing so would take more than a couple of days, John! If this is not to look like gun-jumping then it must not be gun-jumping, OK?!
I am also unhappy about the idea of applying for a BVB so soon after receiving a BVA. The BVB application would be processed by the DIAC office in Brisbane but the CO there would know why the BVA was granted, when the APV application was lodged etc. I think it would look like a couple who might want to settle in Australia for good at some future time but not just yet, apparently!
Also, granting a BVB is discretionary. What would your plan be if the BVB application were to be refused? Sure, you could make another application for a BVB at a later date but in the meantime, who is looking after your in-laws' home in the UK? Would the current caretaker agree to continue to look after the place indefinitely until such time as your in-laws are able to get back there themselves?
Also, even if it were granted the BVB would not allow rhe couple to spend more than 90 days outside Australia in each calendar year. The domestic property market in the UK at the moment can only be described as "very sluggish." So would 90 days be long enough to get the property ready for sale and then get it sold? Have your in-laws taken advice from any Estate Agents and solicitors in the locality of the property, to find out what sort of time-scale they would predict for the type of property concerned?
The whole thing "feels" to me like a family that is trying to do too much in too short a time, really?
Whaddya reckon please, John?