I love babies. I love children. I love seeing loving families with lots of kids. And most of the Australian Filipina couples that Down Under Visa help with their partner visa application management seem to be a remarkably fertile lot! And seeing photos from clients happily settled in Australia, visa in one hand and baby in the other…..lovely! I wonder sometimes how many babies have come into the world for Down Under Visa clients. Would be quite a few hundred by now!
However, much as babies and nice big round pregnant bellies and Australian visas go so well together, pregnant visa applicants who don’t have their visas can lead to a lot of fear and unhappiness especially when prospective dad and mum are in two separate countries! And NEWS FLASH! With good management, all of this is preventable!
Visa applications and pregnancy timing
It’s all about timing! Like most wonderful things, making babies can be a source of great joy or great misery. And the solution really is in your hands. But let me explain why this is such an issue.
One of the frequent insertions in emails enquiring about partner visas is “…..oh, and she’s pregnant”. There’s then usually a wish to (a) give birth in Australia in an Australian hospital (preferably with Medicare) or to (b) give birth in the Philippines with her family.
Here come some facts:
Visa processing can’t be timed, and doesn’t work around baby-making
A partner visa in Manila can take 2 months, or it could take 14 months.
Unless a baby is born to at least one Australian parent inside Australia, they are not an Australian Citizen
And non-citizens need visas and passports. That means babies born in Philippines.
Passport applications need birth certificates (a few months) and passports (sometimes 3 – 4 months)
So without these, baby isn’t going anywhere.
You may add baby to a partner visa application if the partner visa isn’t finished and granted yet
That means if the visa is granted before baby is born, it’s too late to add baby on. PLUS, baby needs a birth certificate to be added to the visa application. Possible delays to a partner visa application!
Once a partner visa is granted, it will have a “must enter Australia by” date.
Mum, the visa holder, can’t delay entering Australia or will breach visa conditions. That may mean leaving new-born baby alone whilst mum makes a quick dash to Australia and back again.
To get baby (without a visa) into Australia means a Citizenship By Descent application
This requires a birth certificate and a few months. Then an Australian passport application.
It also means pregnant visa applicant is going to be spending much of the pregnancy in a state of limbo, with husband/fiancé in another country and a blood stream full of hormones making her feel very vulnerable!
Medical care here can be excellent, but sometimes its woeful. And maybe dad-to-be is still in Australia too. Pregnant women are often easily scared, and often illogical. Her back will ache, her feet will swell. Not a good time to be going through such uncertainty.
And much as many of you who ask me wish we could ask the Embassy to hurry things along or to put you in the Express Buntis Line (“buntis” means “pregnant” in Tagalog), there is no such line. Being pregnant is neither rare nor exceptional in partner visa application matters. You will stay in the normal queue and your application will go onto the Big Dusty Pile like everyone elses!
What I’m getting at obviously is try to get the timing right! Yeah, “accidents” can happen. But most of the time it’s bad planning. Everyone knows how babies are made, right? Please don’t make me give the birds-and-bees talk about mummies and daddies who love each other very much! Unless you have tremendous self-control, staying in a room with someone you love tends to make certain things happen. And unless you took prior precautions before going into that room, there’s a good chance babies may be made. And as I explained above, there is a right time and a wrong time. Please I implore you to take responsibility for this with some proper family planning!