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We at Down Under Visa hear from clients and prospective clients every week telling us their tourist visa application lodged in Manila or in other overseas posts was refused. They either put the application together themselves, or used a local travel agent with no qualifications. Visa refusal is usually shattering to the visa applicant and her Australian sponsor, and no one ever expects it. They are usually upset….often confused why it happened….and sometimes angry and take it as a personal affront.

Why do Australian tourist visas get refused?

Putting it simply, it’s because the Case Officers are not convinced that the applicant is GENUINE, and that they will return again at the end of the visa period. There are either some negative signs in your application, or more often than not there is simply not enough there to convince them. Now, I won’t tell you what you need to include (or to exclude). This is our business after all, plus there is no simple formula anyway. It takes knowledge of Australian Migration Law, plus each case is different.


And why do they care that it’s a genuine application or not? And whether the applicant is likely to return?

They have a job to do. The Department names formerly known as “Department of Immigration and Border Protection”. Their job is to protect Australia’s borders from unlawful non-citizens, ie those who overstay and get jobs on the sly, or might end up engaged in criminal activities. Australians generally agree that we need some sort of control over who enters and who doesn’t. If there was an open-door policy from the Philippines, China, Thailand or Vietnam, I would say these countries would be empty by this time next week!

And they get dodgy applicants all the time, which means they need to be extra careful. And sometimes those with good intentions get caught in the middle more often due to poor applications that don’t clarify what their actual situation and intention is, so the application looks wishy washy rather than clear. This is where engaging a Registered Migration Agent comes in. We know the law, and we have the experience.


Other reasons?

Tourist visas are for the purposes of visiting Australia, ie. visiting friends and family, and doing general touristy things.

Will they believe that a girl who works in SM in the Philippines earning $200.00 a month is going to spend a 6 month holiday in Australia? Would you?

And if you are applying for a 12 month tourist visa so you and your partner can establish a de facto relationship, IS that a “genuine” application? Or are you using a tourist visa to do something that isn’t very touristy at all? Are you trying to use a tourist visa as a partner visa so you can live together? Well, whilst we can sympathise, that’s not what the visa is for. And the Australian Embassy in Manila, Bangkok etc case officers are only doing their job.

Please go to our website at and fill in the free visa assessment form. We had a 98% success rate in 2013 with tourist visas, which isn’t bad at all.

Perry Gamsby - well-known Aussie author
New Australian Permanent Residents for early July 2014


  1. Steve Hawker

    If you want success, consult a professional, simple.

  2. Andrew Moloney

    We have just submitted a application letter to extend my girlfriends tourist visa do I need to provide anything to them like a payslip we have the requirements of what she needs and it just says she has to do a chest x Ray I’m just not sure if I need to give them a payslip or not

    • Jeff Harvie

      Andrew, sorry but I can only give advice to my own clients. I can’t advise on an application where I don’t represent you.


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