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In the bad old days of almost-compulsory No Further Stay (Condition 8503) conditions on tourist visas from Philippines to Australia, your Filipina lady came to Australia for a 3 month stay and that was it! Back on a plane and out of there! There were no options for “extending” or “getting an extension”.

The Condition 8503 still exists. It hasn’t disappeared. However whilst I can’t speak universally, I will say that we haven’t seen one from the Australian Embassy in Manila for any Down Under Visa client for about 3 years. So whilst we still warn our clients of the possibility, it’s not something we really expect these days at all.

extending a tourist visa in Australia requires some preparation

No Condition 8503. What does this mean?

It means there is nothing stopping you from applying for another visa when you are inside Australia. Extending a tourist visa in Australia is a real possibility. Turning a 3 month stay into a 6 month stay can usually be done. Not so easy to get a 6 month tourist visa to Australia in Manila, as many of you will realise. But changing that stay from 3 months to 6 months just before the first tourist visa runs out in Australia? It can normally be done.

This same principle applies also if you want to apply for a partner visa inside Australia (a) if you are QUALIFIED/ENTITLED to a partner visa grant, and (b) if you are READY. If you are not already married (or in a de facto relationship that qualifies for a partner visa) and you are aware of how much work is involved, then you may apply with confidence.

How to apply for an extension of a tourist visa

OK, first important point. I use the words “extend” and “extension” not because they are correct, but because that’s what everyone calls it. The reason I don’t like the term is because the words imply an easy task. The hard work is done, presumably. A bit like asking for a refill! No, think again! It’s a new application! Yes, you gained SOME ground by being in Australia already, but the application is still a new one and the visa applicant still needs to meet the Regulations just as the first application did.

Now, we have clients who say “Can’t they just look up the old application?” They could make you an icecream sundae with chocky sprinkles too if they wanted! But they won’t! Had someone ask me the other day “Can’t they look up the international movement records to get my flight details?” Again, yes they can, but why on earth would they? Visa are grants. That’s the way it is, and it’s our job to tell you how it is. You apply, and they make a decision whether to grant it or not. And you sit and wait.

If you want another tourist visa before the current tourist visa runs out and she’s still in Australia? Please contact Down Under Visa. And let us know in plenty of time, because deadlines are deadlines. Once the current tourist visa runs out and she has no already-lodged application, she has no more legal right to be in Australia and will need to leave. Contact us, and be prepared for an actual visa application to be prepared. Don’t get annoyed and tell us you’ve already done all that already.

How to apply for a partner visa in Australia?

I had someone the other day tell me if they decided to marry at the end of the tourist visa stay, they would get married then apply for a partner visa inside Australia. I told them they had no chance of that working out. They would either run out of time and she would leave, or they would lodge a rush-job visa application that would probably end in a refusal.

Getting married in Australia takes a month to get a marriage license, so you can’t just decide on that spur of the moment. It’s not Las Vegas. There are no drive-through Elvis Wedding Chapels in Australia. And ladies, Filipina ladies or otherwise, do like a bit of romance as a rule. You have a wedding to organize, and this will take up preparation time as well as real time.

And an Australian partner visa can’t be just slapped together at the last minute. In most cases it takes a few months to prepare it properly. You are also probably employed too, and need to do the shopping, mow the lawn and spend quality time together. You will need that few months to get this right. Well-prepared partner visa applications slide through the system like butter. No stumbling blocks. Make mistakes and leave serious omissions, and you risk having the application refused. The other issue is that you WILL find that there are things you need that are back in the Philippines, which will be hard for you to get from inside Australia.

The key? Start early. Don’t kid yourself that you can deal with it at the last minute. Discuss it with us, and let’s get it done right.

What happens when the first visa runs out?

When a valid application for another tourist visa (or even partner visa) is lodged inside Australia before the current tourist visa expires, the visa applicant will automatically go onto a Bridging Visa A. That keeps the applicant lawfully inside Australia and remains until a decision is made on the new visa application. So no need to leave the country at all. A bridge between the two visas, which is why it’s called a Bridging Visa.

So yes, it can all be done. Just please do yourselves a favour and work WITH us. If you don’t, you can end up making mistakes and watch your dreams crumble before your eyes.

Further Reading

Bridging Visas – The Facts

Can I get an Australian tourist visa extension?

Onshore partner/spouse visa applications for Australian Filipina couples


Down Under Visa - Visa Q & A - 29/11/2016
Partner Visa to Australia - Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Mike Regan

    Hi Jeff, this sounds like a good idea for when my fiance comes on a tourist visa to Oz next year I hope. One question if I may…. If successful, when would the second tourist visa begin…. from the time it is granted… or from the time the Bridging Visa starts?

    • Jeff Harvie

      From the time it’s granted, Mike. Cheers

  2. ma.vicenta bailey

    Hello Jeff ,
    it’s me again,I would like to ask if it’s possible for me to apply for a tourist visa here in the Philippines to visit my husband there and is it possible if we apply a partner visa over there? thank you in advance

  3. Ma. krisel Joy Mencede

    Hi Jeff,

    My husband and I want to apply for extension, which is we want to know how . thank you..

    • Jeff Harvie

      Please complete one of our visa assessment forms, Krisel. We can then see if we can help you.


    Your comments about a n extension, was very informative.
    can we speak more please


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