Visa Newsletter – 12 January 2018
Happy New Year
An enthusiastic Happy New Year to all of our clients, new, existing and former clients. To those newer Australian Filipina couples who find themselves entering a scary and daunting tunnel that is the process of migration to Australia with Australian visas…..to those who can see the light at the end of the tunnel already….and to those Australian men and their Filipina ladies, wives and partners, well and truly settled in their homes in Australia to whom the scary times are well and truly over and who are just grateful to have each other.
To all of you, a happy new year. May this year bring you all that you want, and may it especially bring you closer to those that you love. For us? We’re just thankful to have played our part.
Changes to Australian Partner Visas
Not all that scary actually. The Australian Embassy staff in Manila were generally pretty speedy before Christmas, giving plenty of clients that very nice surprise. Even the Department of Immigration (now apparently known as the Department of Home Affairs, but no one has told us that officially) managed to grant some onshore partner visas quicker than we expected. No idea if that will continue or not.
But no new fees. And they’ve promised to only raise fees in accordance with the Consumer Price Index on 1 July every year.
Decision-Ready Partner Visa Applications
And most of you already know that they are insisting on Decision-Ready visa applications for partner visas and prospective marriage visas. The days of putting in an incomplete application and waiting for them to provide guidance through the rest of the process, those days are long gone.
We have always insisted on that standard, and only on a handful of occasions where a client has been desperate did we ever lodge something of a lesser standard and only after the client promised to make up the deficit in a timely fashion. Even that is a thing of the past now. So try to understand why we do get tough, and why we will continue to be tough on you so we can put together the best possible visa applications which will put you and your relationships in the best possible light.
Same-Sex Marriage and Partner Visas
As we announced in December 2017, changes in the Marriage Act 1961 have meant that as far as the Migration Regulations definition of spouse includes same-sex marriage (gay marriage). Therefore the doors are open for genuine Australian Filipino same-sex couples to apply for partner visas and prospective marriage visas based on actual or intended same-sex marriages in Australia.
There is some misinformation getting about that as the Philippines Government doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage that it will not recognize Australian Filipino same-sex couples who marry in Australia. Completely untrue! We’ve already had a trickle of same-sex couples with marriage intentions come to us since then, as have professional colleagues of mine who deal with other prospective migrants to Australia.
False information and Visa Refusals
The every-present tendency to lie on visa applications still exists, sorry to say. We have a few clients at the moment who are being asked to explain themselves by the Department. If these are established without doubt as being false information, the end results won’t be pleasant at all.
I won’t go into detail, for obvious reasons. Just be completely aware that they are looking at false statements and bogus documents, omissions of important facts and anything that puts the identity of the applicant in doubt. Leave out some essential information, and your application form becomes a bogus document. Leave out kids or other family members, including adult children and former de facto partners, and you have made a false statement. Official documents with wrong information that could sway a decision or conceal some essential facts, and you’ve lodged bogus documents. And ignorance of mistakes is no defense at all. Saying that your parents or your auntie made the error is also no excuse.
So please take this all very seriously when we ask you to check and double-check your facts. And try to understand why we won’t lodge your visa the moment the last document lands on our desk. Act in haste and regret at leisure…..something you will never see Down Under Visa doing. All our warnings and our insistence on accuracy and thoroughness is all for you, our valued clients.