Wise men say “only fools rush in”!
Thus spake that wise philosopher Elvis Presley (*cough*)
Actually, I will happily confess that when I proposed marriage to my wonderful Filipina wife Mila, I spoke Mr Presley’s words to her. And note that this was over the phone, and at this stage we hadn’t even met in person. Careless of me? In this case, no definitely not. We met via writing letters, and I knew after about the second letter that she was the right one for me. And everything that happened after that only confirmed that.
However, a few years earlier I had made a stupid decision and married someone in Cebu that I never should have met let alone married. I wasted a year of my life, and an estimated $20,000.00, faced a visa application refusal, and had to organise a divorce. A tough lesson, but one fortunately I survived.
Was that one a wise decision? Definitely not. I was lonely. I was charmed by a far-away place and a fresh and pretty young thing who caused my hormones to take over my brain. A really dumb decision. Fortunately the experience helped me to know and recognise quality when I found it a few years later. The Philippines is full of wonderful women who can become your best friend and a great partner in life, just like Mila is to me. However there are plenty of gold diggers who will make mincemeat out of gullible and hormone-engulfed men. And this can have long-term repercussions that can affect you for many years.
Regulation 1.20J of the Migration Regulations (Cth) 1994
This is the anti “serial sponsorship” Regulation, and it applies to Australian Partner Visa applications.
Once upon a time it was much simpler to apply for a spouse visa. You rocked up to the Embassy, stood in a line, produced a completed application form and a few photos, letters and receipts, and the application could be granted within a month or two. She would go to Australia as an instant Permanent Resident with a spouse visa or fiancée visa. If the relationship then broke down, he could come back to the Philippines and start all over again.
That person was known as the “serial sponsor”.
How common was this then? No idea. How common today? I can say I’ve never met a potential “serial sponsor” in all our years of practice in the Down Under Visa office. If there was? He would be facing:
- Around 6 months to develop a relationship
- Maybe 2 – 3 months to prepare a proper application
- Maybe 9 months for a visa grant
So that’s 18 months before the lady arrives in Australia. That time invested, plus many thousands of dollars in Visa Application Charges (and high-quality services from Down Under Visa, of course). A “serial sponsor” would have to have a lot of time on his hands and very deep pockets!
Rightly or wrongly, that’s the law. And whilst we may apply for waivers of this Regulation where compelling and compassionate circumstances exist, You don’t want to get stung by this.
What is the five year rule?
You may sponsor no more than TWO applicants for partner visas or fiancée visas (prospective marriage visas) in your lifetime, and if you are on your second sponsorship this must be more than five years since you lodged the first visa application!
This will apply if the visa is GRANTED. It has nothing to do with whether you get married, or whether she even comes to Australia. If it’s granted today and you break up tomorrow, you have a five year wait before you may apply again!
So what’s my point?
Think carefully! Don’t be a fool rushing in! Act in haste, regret at leisure!
If she’s “the one”, and you know this with a clear head, then make your decision and we will help put together an excellent visa application for you both.
But if you are acting out of loneliness and desperation, or because you are dazzled by her pretty face, or if you went to visit her and didn’t want to “leave empty handed”, or if you are hanging on despite problems because you’re don’t want to be embarrassed about your silly mates saying “I told you so”, then understand that you could face five years of loneliness if it all goes wrong!
And if you have met that wonderful Filipina lady and would like help from a Registered Migration Agent in Philippines who specialises in partner visas, please go to the Down Under Visa WEBSITE