I’ve covered this topic before in BLOG articles, but it remains an issue. Understandable, because the Department of Immigration (now Department of Home Affairs) website makes it all look like a formality. And Australians are accustomed to being fairly in control of what they consider to be “their business” and assume it’s every Aussie’s right to get a visa to bring his Filipina lady to Australia from Philippines. So the illusion of the “easy visas” and simple tourist visa applications evolves naturally.
But then, fortunately most Australians do appreciate the straight-shooter, who doesn’t talk bull$#!+. So whilst Down Under Visa disappoint many an over-enthusiastic Australian man-in-love, I think most still appreciate Jeff Harvie telling it like it is. And I tell people nearly every single day that we can’t help them. We are not opportunists. We are Registered Migration Agents, which means we are consultants who advise on Australian Migration Law. And we are duty-bound like all professionals to be truthful about the likelihood of success.
The Easy Tourist Visa Application
This one probably is surrounded by the biggest collection of myths, probably because for Australians to go anywhere it’s not a big deal. Most countries for us Aussies don’t require visas at all for short stays, and those that do it’s just a simple form. I went to Vietnam for a seminar a few years back. A form, a fee and a few days I think. Never even considered getting knocked back.
The problem for Filipinos? Overstaying! Working illegally! Working as waitresses, on building sites, picking fruit, cleaning houses, and of course things like prostitution and drug dealing. And in many cases its family members who do the inviting and give the assurances that their relative from the Philippines will do the right thing and return on-time. Thus, the high visa refusal numbers out of Manila.
And we get the complaints of why we ask for so much documentation for “just a simple tourist visa”! I mentioned that to a client in the office the other day, who said “Tell them to ask me! Two refusals! That’s why I’m here!” Yes, you may get away with a “simple visa application” for a tourist visa, but you have around a 1:4 to 1:5 chance of refusal. Our success rate is considerably better than that, which is why we ask a lot from you. You pay us for professional services, and you will get a professional job done.
The One Year Tourist Visa
I’ve also covered this topic before, but worthwhile covering again because the Department website makes it look like you can just choose your length of stay like choosing what size cornflakes packet to get. Three months, six months or twelve months! Now, yes they will on occasions grant a 12 month stay for an elderly parent who is healthy and stable and unlikely to run off and start working. But for you to expect they will grant a 12 month stay to your 26 year old girlfriend is far from realistic.
Why? Because a tourist visa is for visiting! It’s also called a “visitor visa”, and it’s for people to visit friends and family, and to do tourist things. No one takes a 12 month holiday! I don’t! Yes, maybe elderly mum does, but under normal circumstances the average person doesn’t get that much time off.
The main issue is that you can’t use a tourist visa to live together because you can’t afford a partner visa application. I even saw a man once apply for 12 month tourist visas for his wife and kids, with the reason for the application quoted as “Because the partner visa application is too expensive”! Of course it was refused! Just because he was married with kids didn’t change anything. The Migration Regulations 1994 which contain the decision criteria are written into law, and they had no choice to refuse because he was applying for the wrong reasons.
The Department of Immigration (Home Affairs) – Their Job
Their job? Are they the One Stop Visa Shop? Service with a smile? Dedicated to customer satisfaction! Hardly! Not knocking them. Not at all. Their job is to guard Australia’s borders, and they do a pretty thorough job! And this is why they refuse visa applications when not utterly convinced. And this is why Australia is not overrun with unlawful non-citizens (the term for “illegal aliens”).
And this is why Down Under Visa don’t always say YES to every request for help with a visa application, and this is why we’re like cranky ol’ school teachers who pick on you when your homework isn’t perfect! Because the ones who examine your visa applications are very strict, and we don’t want you flunking!
So please understand that visas to Australia from Philippines are grants, and not rights! And understand why you can’t fly out here, meet your Filipina girl and then bundle her up and put her on a plane a few weeks later. I had one just before who wants a partner visa prepared and granted in three weeks for a girl he met a few weeks ago online. I hope he doesn’t read this later and thinking I’m making fun of him. I’m most definitely not! Why would he or anybody know otherwise? Australian Migration Law in print is like the old Sydney phonebooks (do they still have phonebooks??), and people expect to manage their own visa applications based on what’s in those volumes! If the outcome matters to you, get some help from the experts in visa applications for Australian Filipina couples!