Divorce in Australia – Is this an option?

You’ve met your lady in the Philippines, and it turns out she’s legally married. And after contacting that highly-experienced and well-reputed Migration Agent Jeff Harvie from Down Under Visa, you realise that this is a major obstacle to getting a partner visa or a prospective marriage visa to Australia for her. She should be legally free to marry, or she can’t legally marry you.


You have a couple of options to make it possible to apply for a partner visa for her, and these are the only realistic options:

  1. She finds a reputable attorney in the Philippines and she organizes an annulment of the marriage if this is a possibility.
  2. You look at the possibility of applying for a partner visa based on a de facto relationship.

We’ve written BLOG articles about annulments in the Philippines and how they work before. I’m sure you’ve seen them, and if not please search in the SEARCH OUR SITE section on the BLOG page. Here are a few articles on the topic in the meantime:



And we’ve also written plenty of articles about de facto relationships. Remember that you need to BE in the de facto relationship in order to apply for a partner visa based on one. There are no visas for those who wish to commence a de facto relationship. And please understand that there is a big difference between leading a genuinely shared-life and being boyfriend and girlfriend. They do need to see plenty of evidence of a strong and genuine commitment to each other.



What about getting a divorce in Australia? Is it possible?

In other words, getting a divorce in Australia whilst visiting Australia on a tourist visa!

I had someone ask me this the other day. I did my characteristic “You need to discuss this with a lawyer who specializes in Australian family law matters”, only to be told that he had and that the lawyer said it could be done on a tourist visa as long as the lady stayed for 3 months!

No, it didn’t sound right. So I made some enquiries. And again, understand that my advice remains the same about consulting an expert on family law, which I am definitely not one! The following comes directly from the Family Court of Australia, whom one could assume know their topic:

You can apply for a divorce in Australia if either you or your spouse:

  • regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely, or
  • are an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by grant of Australian citizenship, or
  • ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.


Regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely”? Tourist visas are for visiting only. So a NO to this one.

Are an Australian Citizen……”? Clearly not.

Ordinarily live in Australia, and have done so for 12 months….”? Again, no.

So a definitely NO to this as an option. Please look into the other options, and we look forward to helping you both with an Australian partner visa or prospective marriage visa application when you are ready.

Another happy couple with a Australian Partner Visa thanks to Down Under Visa
De facto partner visa applications. Easy?