Down Under Visa Logo

If you thought that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection was a “Visa Shop”, you would be fairly disappointed in how limited and inflexible the options can be. You’ve gone into the “Visa Shop” and tried to find a visa that’s exactly what you want, which suits your wishes and plans, and they just don’t budge.


And we at Down Under Visa often have these back-and-forth emailing sessions with enquirers who have this in mind. Many probably think I’m being inflexible or unreasonable or that I’m just unwilling to help. Nothing could be further from the truth. I just tell you like it is, and I probably come across as blunt sometimes. Believe me when I say it’s better that way, as I want to stop you wasting your time chasing things that won’t happen.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Visas are “grants”, and not “rights”!

And the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Australia, and its staff in the Australian Embassy in Manila are not running a “visa shop”. They are assessing visa applications to see whether they comply with Australian Law. That’s their job.

And my job as a Registered Migration Agent? It’s to manage your visa applications ensuring that they comply with Australian Migration Law so that the staff in the Embassy will hopefully grant the visa applications when they are lodged. And that means that if you have a wish and a plan for a visa application that won’t comply with Aussie Migration Law, then I can’t and won’t agree with you and waste your time and money. I will always tell you how it is. I don’t always agree with the Laws as they are, but neither I nor the Embassy can do anything about that.

Now, onto the topic!

IS there a visa for you to bring your girlfriend to Australia so you can live with her for a year or two and see if the two of you are compatible?

Simple answer? NO!

Prospective Marriage Visa

Can you get a Prospective Marriage Visa (aka fiancé visa, fiancée visa, prospective spouse visa or PMV) and use that initial 9 months of the visa grant to see how well you get on?

No, sorry but you can’t.

The PMV has written in its Regulations (Reg 300.211) that the “applicant intends to marry a person who is: an Australian citizen; or an Australian permanent resident; or an eligible New Zealand citizen”. If that intention is not there at the time of the application, the visa will be refused.

And if by chance you managed to sneak past them and pretend (not a good idea!), you will find yourselves on a 5 year restriction that prevents you from making another similar application.

So not a workable option!

If you’re not in a committed relationship and committed to marrying, then this is not the visa for you.

My advice to people who say “But I’m just not sure yet!” is to say “Sorry, but you need to wait until you ARE ready. Visit again. See us about getting a tourist visa for her to visit you. And have a good long think and a talk about it. Many times the couple come back and realise they are just having a dose of the cold-feet!

Is “cold feet” common? Oh, yeah!

Tourist Visa

Can you get a 1 or 2 year tourist visa so you can live together and see if this is what you want?

Again, no.

Tourist visas are for people visiting Australia to visit friends/family and to do tourist things and then going back at the end of their holiday. If they think you are intending to use the visa as a substitute partner visa, they will refuse it outright.

A 3 month visit where you can spend more time together and to help yourself to decide? Sure. Not a problem. But for a long stay? No, it won’t work.

We have an outstanding success rate, we don’t mind admitting. And that happens because we work within the system, and because we don’t take on cases which simply won’t work. And we won’t lie to you either simply to get your business. We have enough legitimate business to not need to do that. Hope we can help you one day soon.

Down Under Visa clients - Now Aussie Citizens
Bridging Visas – Can you get one?


  1. merv wright

    Jeff, are you telling me there are brainless people out there thatbthink try before you buy visas are an option? Shit. The federal govn are bad enough at making decisions. Don tell me there subjects are the same?. Yes jeff, i guess they are.t

  2. Geoffrey ronald davies

    we do every thing right but no go please help

    • Jeff Harvie

      Already replied to your emails, Geoff


Questions: Please search our BLOG menu or Visa Knowledge Base

Submit a Comment

NOTE: Please restrict your comments to what's written on this page.

PLEASE NOTE: You may comment on posts, and you may ask general questions about the visa topic. However requests for “how-to?” information on how to lodge visas or how to deal with specific problems will not be answered. Please engage the services of a professional Registered Migration Agent for actual assistance or advice. Thank you.

Your email address will not be published.

Questions about visa types we don’t handle, or about countries we don’t apply for visas from, will not be answered, Philippines to Australia visas for couples and families only.

Do you have suggestions for topics you would like to read an article about? Click HERE and we will see what we can do!



How does it work?

How It Works Image

Search Our Site

Happy Couples

Happy Couples Image


Google Reviews

See All Reviews

Facebook Reviews

Subscribe to our BLOG


Want the latest in Australian Visa information?

SUBSCRIBE to the Down Under Visa BLOG Page

Never miss a single important update!

BONUS EBOOK! “Philippines to Australia – Australian Visas, Frayed Emotions and a Journey You Will Never Forget” by Jeff Harvie RMA

Just want to buy the book? Purchase directly from Amazon by clicking HERE

We never share or sell your data

Migration Law

Registered Migration Agent Details Image

Should you use a Registered Migration Agent or not?



Migration Alliance Image

Latest Posts

Useful Links

Filipina Wives Image Down Under Visa - Visa Q & A Image Online Filipino Weddings Image
Online Weddings for Australian Filipina couples