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Australian Filipina Couple – Settling into Life In Australia



Scott and Genie are an Australian Filipina couple with an onshore Partner Visa. They are also Down Under Visa clients, and a very contented couple! Today they give a Down Under Visa review, and share the story of their journey to Australia from Philippines and their settling into life in Australia.

Genie in particular wanted to share her experiences not only with Down Under Visa but with the whole process of settling into Australia as a couple. And Scott shared his thoughts about what a massive task it is for someone to migration to Australia from Philippines and the importance of being supporting and understanding of this sacrifice they’ve made. Everything they said reminded me of what I’ve always said myself, and that is that couples must talk and must listen and must take a lot of time and effort to understand each other because migrating to a different country is a huge step for anyone. 


Australian Filipina couple Scott and Genie talk about life in Australia with a partner visa and give a Down Under Visa review


Genie’s Extra Thoughts


Genie had a few extra thoughts she wanted to share, which she kindly emailed through to me. I’ll include these below:

1. Don’t leave things behind.  If you decided to come to Australia permanently make sure to not leave things behind that you care about as I made this mistake and it is not nice at all to leave them like documents, cards, letters, report cards, etc.
2. Talk to your family of their expectation of you when you arrive to the country. Talk to all your family, friends, neighbours and acquaintances, give out as many hugs, kisses and good wishes as much as possible as it may be a long time, if ever, you see these people again. Try to have a conversation with your family with their expectation of you when you arrive and things may be different than what they perceived when you get here.
Jeff Harvie just adding something here: Yes, very important point! Expectations! Many relatives see your “good luck” and want to share in it, and will pressure you to “petition” them. You cannot bring your relatives to Australia from Philippines! You can get a long stay visa for parents, yes. Or a permanent stay for some parents at a very high cost. You can’t bring sisters and cousins to Australia on a permanent basis, finding jobs for them is not easy, and even getting tourist visas is a challenge. Don’t let them get their hopes up!
3. When I arrive it look nothing than I imagine. The drive from the City to the airport really amaze me as I have seen stacks of trees in and around the city. The road is so wide and the freeway took us to places really quick, our first stop was on a big shopping centre and as we start walking to the shops I saw a big diversity of people and races like Indians, Chinese, Koreans, Malaysians, Arabs, Africans and so on. The food is the same too, so much variety to choose from.
4. I’ve done heaps of things to occupy my self. We got stacks of pets to play with and to take care of, we got 2 dogs, 10 birds, 1 cat, and 2 aquariums of fish. I enjoy giving the dogs a walk, doing a lot of gardening. I also tried to make our house harsh chemical free so I did some research and made my own laundry powder, fabric softener, dish washing powder, toilet cleaner, window cleaner and all purpose sprays for the house. I got my diary which I use for all appointments we got and I use it as a reminder too. We got menu plans and stock takes and dried our own herbs, we enjoy roadside trading, long drives while chatting, and we enjoy hunting shops where we can get a good bargain. All this things had me occupied and I am proud of myself to be a good contributing member of the family.
5. I am a very quiet person and I am honestly enjoying living here in our spot not having to be in anybody’s pocket or knowing other people’s business. 
6. I found out to myself that I need different ways to communicate to my family and friends because I need to get quality communications than quantity (idle chit chat). When I was in the Philippines family, friends and neighbours are all around me constantly and those who aren’t were talking to me in either apps or GSM all the time, whilst here in Australia my time and thoughts have been occupied because everything is new and nothing seems to be familiar so I haven’t got the same time anymore to dedicate to keeping in touch so i need to make my communication of a higher quality as they are gonna be less often.
I found out that Australia is a very diverse place, so be prepared to explore it with your partner’s help and maybe you find your spot too the way I did.

Thank you

Thanks to both Scott and Genie for their time and their willingness to share their story. Of course a Down Under Visa review is always welcomed by us, but more importantly they gave an insight into their life in Australia as an Australian Filipina couple. I asked them if they would be happy to do this, and the thought of helping other Australian Filipina couples (who didn’t have their partner visas yet) to see that there really was a light at the end of the tunnel was something they welcomed. There’s a big difference between the couples who are still waiting and those who are already settled in Australia with visas granted. The pressure is off and the fear of visa refusal has gone, and they know exactly how lucky they are.
I hope that those who are still waiting get to sense this calm and relief from this video, and will know that this will be them one day soon!


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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!
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