Down Under Visa Logo

Plenty of people do apply for Australian visas by themselves, just as not everybody represents themselves in court or goes to the doctor every time they are sick. But I think the wisdom comes from knowing when you’re out of your depth and when to call in a professional (ie. a Registered Migration Agent specializing in visas from Philippines to Australia as well as China, Thailand and Vietnam).


facebook experts


I did my own divorce papers many years ago. The Family Court puts out a “kit” and you follow the instructions. But then again, divorces are fairly simple usually. The main “regulation” you need to meet is being “incompatible”, which is evidenced by being apart for 12 months or more. And no doubt if visas were that simple and if the Migration Regulations weren’t as thick as a phonebook, then visas would be easy too. Imagine!

Are you married to the sponsor who is an Australian Citizen?” YES. “Submit a copy of his birth certificate and your marriage certificate, and your visa will be in the mail next week!

Well, it isn’t!

The Migration Regulations are all written in legal-speak, and each visa class and subclass has a long list of Regulations which need to be met before you get a visa grant. And there is a Departmental policy manual telling the Department staff how to interpret the Regulations. Then on top of that is a whole lot of practical stuff that isn’t written anywhere, as well as local knowledge needed about local paperwork and local issues. This is particularly significant here in the Philippines with the complicated system of Government documents.

The advice forums and Facebook groups


I saw a posting from someone the other day on one of the Facebook groups for Australian men with ladies from the Philippines. They had enquired of us last year and asked lots of questions regarding a partner visa, and decided that we were too expensive, all without knowing the workload that is involved. He ended up applying for a tourist visa with some help from somebody definitely not registered with MARA (, and had lots of encouragement from the fellow Facebookers who all offered their pearls of wisdom.

Well, the end result was that someone had told this fellow to book an airline ticket before the tourist visa was granted (assuming it will in fact be granted), and he’s now stuck with it. He mentioned that it was a one-way ticket too, which would have caused him additional problems had his lady tried to get on a plane with it.

Facebook has its place. I use it (although not for discussing visa matters with clients, take note) and we have our Philippines To Australia group on there. Great way of keeping in touch with friends and colleagues and for feeling less alone. But it is NOT a place to go to get advice. It’s actually illegal for anyone who isn’t a Registered Migration Agent to give “migration advice”, with a $10,000.00 fine and jail-time for offenders. The reason for this is that bad advice can cause utter misery and suffering to people, and can keep loved ones apart sometimes for years. Run up against Regulation 4020 (false statements and bogus documents) and quite a few others and you’ll know what I’m talking about!

By all means find a group of likeminded people and share your experiences and your thoughts, as well as your wedding photos and great news of visa grants. But don’t go looking for advice! It’s definitely not the place, regardless of how well-meaning people can be. People do and say all sorts of things when they are alone and staring at a screen, where they don’t see the faces of those they could inadvertently hurt!

And please think very carefully if Australian Migration Law is an area where you wish to take a punt and try it yourself. Would you defend yourself in court? You generally wouldn’t. And the judge would talk you out of it too. Why do this with your future happiness with your fiancée or wife?

And no, if you come and see us after a failed attempt at getting a visa (ie a refusal), we won’t say “I told you so!” We see it all the time, and we DO understand.

Australian Partner Visas – Migrating with kids included
Australian Visas for Family Members


  1. Scott Archer

    Hello, I’ve only recently stumbled across your site and I appreciate your forthright ‘no beating about the bush’ way of operating. If you are willing, would kindly answer 2 questions for me: 1] what are your general costs for the preparation of a ‘prospective marriage’ visa & 2] at present, what is the normal processing time of this visa? Philippine national [working in Dubai] coming to Australia……
    Thank you in advance.

    • Jeff Harvie

      Hello Scott. Yes, I remain a brash Aussie in my communication style. Glad you like the site.

      If you can complete our free visa assessment form, I can tell you all of that as well as whether you would qualify. Cheers.

  2. Glyn

    We went it alone and all it did was add a couple of years to the process.
    Any one thinking they can do it might be able to but in this day and age it is easier for a government worker not to accept something that looks wrong or out of place and reject your application. Go with a registered agent and get it right the first time.


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. Required fields are marked *

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

Podcast Episodes

Jeff Harvie Podcast Image

HINT! Listen in the car...or the bus, or on the train.

Happy Couples

Happy Couples Image


Google Reviews

See All Reviews

Facebook Reviews

Subscribe to our BLOG

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 Partner Visa: The Journey (Philippines to Australia) Image Filipina Wives Blog Image