February Mini-Philippines-To-Australia Topics


Sometimes issues come up where clients and prospective visa clients get a bit off-the-track, and I feel I should take the opportunity to make things clearer. No, of course I never expect the average punter to know all the answers, and I very rarely roll my eyes. If it were so each, why would you need me in the first place? I do blame the Department (Home Affairs, until the next name-change!) for making it look so easy!  I want the journey from Philippines to Australia to be easier for all of you, thus my BLOG article today.


Down Under Visa various topics about Australian visas from Philippines to australia

Some visa facts to increase your visa wisdom  


So let’s see……Readers Digest Australian Visa Edition!  


What are my requirements?

“What are my visa requirements?” I think this expression stems partially from the employment agents here, ie the ones who get OFW jobs for Filipinos who work in Dubai or Hong Kong or wherever. Same list of documents for everyone, and the applicants rock up with these in hand and the agent tries to find them a job. 

Visas to Australia are not that simple. They need to know more than how old you are, how healthy you are and if you’re a criminal. They also need to be sure of who you are, and most importantly whether your relationship is real or not. And everyones situation is different, therefore no “standard list” of visa requirements, sorry. If anyone offers you a list of visa requirements without detailed scrutiny, they’re treating you as a number and your chances of success will be questionable!

However, once you DO become our client, rest assured we will spend a great deal of time in scrutinising you and your partner and designing a personalised To-Do List of visa requirements for you that will show the Embassy or Department Case Officer everything they need to understand you as people and your relationship as what it really is. This is 80% of the work, because this is what tips the scales between refusal and visa approval.  


Can I get a one year visa?

One-year tourist visa! A common strategy for those who are either not yet committed to a relationship with a Filipina lady, or for those who want to build up 12 months history so they can apply for a partner visa (aka spouse visa) based on a de facto relationship. They either think they can get a straight one year visa, or they think a 3 month multiple-entry visa mean they can spend a year together with a few weekend trips overseas during that year. Well, think again! 

One year visas? Please read THIS.

Multiple-entry visas to spend a year in Australia? Please read THIS.

If you can’t stand being apart from each other? Talk to us about a partner visa. Don’t expect that the humble tourist visa will take up a role for which it wasn’t designed for. It’s for visiting friends and family, and it’s for patting koalas and admiring Australia’s wonderful beaches. That’s all!

IF you’re wanting to apply for a spouse visa based on a de facto relationship (possibly because the Filipina lady is still married and you’ve discovered how complicated and slow Philippines annulments can be), and you know you need time together to give yourself that history? Well, talk to us. Don’t plan a strategy that won’t work. We’re very good at this!  


The last-minute partner visa application

The outcome of a spouse visa application is VERY important, right? You found the love of your life, and you want to be side-by-side from here to eternity. So why on earth would you decide that the very application that will assure that this happens is something you can leave to the last minute? Sorry, but I don’t get it!

Partner visas are very very detailed! They are not like tourist visas, and no having done a tourist visa before does NOT give you a special boost. You haven’t done most of the work during the tourist visa application, allowing us to slap this together quickly. Not at all. Picture about five tourist visas in one! Never simple and never quick.

And what’s more:

  • The Filipina visa applicant will have things she needs from the Philippines, and this isn’t always always easy or quick
  • You will probably still have to go to work while this is being prepared. And you will still need to mow the lawn, do the shopping and unblock the sink!
  • You will have the temptation to want to spend all your time cuddling! You will have a lovely distraction there, and the tendency to think nothing could go wrong because the world is full of flowers and butterflies!
  • And possibly you will have a wedding to organise!

And if you try to lodge a half-@&$#* partner visa application, the Department will be very unimpressed with you and may well refuse the application, and that’s the point of my rant! Don’t take risks with something that should matter so much to you. Start early. Don’t let the expense influence your decisions, because you have to pay it anyway. Get it right!


Profoundly important statements

  • The Department and/or Embassy set the rules and make the decisions. If we ask you for something or if we say something isn’t of sufficient quality or quantity, it’s because the Case Officers who make the decision on the visa won’t like it! We never ask for something because we’re bored!
  • And note that Migration Law and the Department are rarely flexible, and the Law is where the buck stops! If the Regulations (which ARE set in Law!) state “You must marry before applying for an onshore partner visa”, don’t assume this is merely optional. It’s not, and it’s NOT us being stubborn!
  • For existing clients? Always look at the Migration Hub for information on what documents and evidence we need from you. Click the blue links!
  • For existing and prospective clients? Look at the FAQ’s. Look at the HELP AND SUPPORT pages on the Down Under Visa page, and also on the Migration Hub first and foremost, because you’ll find answers to 90%+ of questions.
  • Go to https://youtube.com/downundervisa and subscribe to our YouTube account. Of particular interest to most people is the Podcasts. More information than the BLOG articles, because I tend to ad lib sometimes quite a lot! You can listen in the car…..on the bus or train….or whenever it suits. Knowledge is power!


OK, that should be enough to go on with for now. Hope it helps! Feel free to ask questions below! 


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!


Onshore Partner Visa from Philippines to Australia - What can go wrong?
Registered Relationships and Australian Partner Visas