Visas and Christmas – Reality-Check in the Silly Season


Christmas – Silly Season

Christmas seems to bring out the best and worst in many of us. Always been this strange mixture of religious and secular, and somewhere along the way it was mixed with American consumerism with the expression “Christmas is a time of giving” (which means a time of SPENDING!), and of course “EIGHT SANTAS – NO WAITING!”

In Australia, it’s always been a time of families getting together, exchanging gifts, eating and drinking to excess, and usually someone fighting with someone and swearing never to attend a family get-together ever again!


Down Under Visa, visas and Christmas 2018


The point is that regardless of how you celebrate it, it’s a time of high expectation and of high emotions. Add a long-distance relationship to that, and emotion can often win over logic and practicality. How does this affect the quest for an Australian visa?

So, time for a little reality-check.


Visas and Christmas


Fact One – What the Australian Embassy say

If you are planning to travel to Australia over the festive periods, please lodge your Visitor (subclass 600) visa applications before Friday 23 November 2018.  

The Australian Embassy will be closed for public holiday from Tuesday 25 December 2018 until Tuesday 1 January 2019. Visas will not be processed during this closure.


Fact Two – Down Under Visa annual holidays

Our last day of work is 20 December 2018


Fact Three – Normal processing times

At a normal time of year:

  • Tourist visas take a few weeks to prepare
  • Then tourist visas take a few weeks to be processed by the Embassy

 We don’t have four weeks left!


Fact Four – Airline bookings

Airline bookings around Christmas is the busiest time of year and therefore empty seats are few and far between. Anything you can get late in the year is going to be horribly expensive too.


So, what to do?

Firstly, please don’t tell us you want to start a new visa application so you can be together at Christmas! It won’t happen! Not at this stage, sorry.

And if you’ve been waiting for your visa application to be lodged, we will lodge it as soon as we can. But we don’t rush things through and risk making horrible mistakes. Our admin staff are trained to be efficient and not to waste time, but their priority is quality. We have a zero tolerance of errors, and this will never be compromised.

So, in advance? We thank you for your patience and your understanding of reality.

And to all of you, we hope you will enjoy your Christmas and New Year as much as we fully intend to. We hope this time brings you closer to those whom you love and who love you. Let it be a time to realise that there is nothing more important than these precious people, and we wish you the peace and the time to reflect on this.



Megan – born 26 Nov 2018

Note that we already have our Christmas present for this year. This is Megan, and she came to join the Harvie family last week. New to the world, and rescued from what would have been a hard life. So we’re happy!


Free online visa assessment form from Down Under Visa


Jeff Harvie is a Registered Migration Agent from Australia, but resident in Philippines since 2010 with his Filipina wife Mila and large extended family. Experienced with the Philippines culture, cross-cultural relationships and bureaucracy as well as Australian visas and Australian Migration Law, he writes with authority and fortunately with enough informality and humour that the average Aussie gets it!




Serial sponsors and Australian Visa Applications? Do they exist?
Do you qualify for an Australian visa? The Down Under Visa way