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Facebook Visa Stories and Australian Visa Applications


I’ve long cursed the online giving of Australian visa advice by amateurs. It’s actually illegal, but no one is bothering to police it. The internet has some wonderful advantages, but the lack of accountability makes advisors bolder and the advice more risky. The worst examples of this are the Facebook visa stories and the various amateur advice groups.  


facebook visa stories by facebook experts


Facebook groups and various “advice forums” have always been a pain in the proverbial to us. WE are qualified, registered by MARA, and therefore legally allowed to give advice on Australian Migration Law. Facebook groups and advice forums are run primarily by amateurs, and are generally contributed-to by self-appointed experts. They apply for one visa for themselves, and therefore feel qualified to give advice! 

Millennial Rules! Anyone who feels like expressing their opinion loudly and confidently should do so. Qualifications, broad experience and facts don’t necessarily matter. And maybe you’ll get a “participation certificate”, or that delightful Facebook feel-good equivalent…..the “LIKE”.  The problem is that other visa applicants will follow such advice because it sometimes sounds better than the harsh facts that the Migration Agent told them.   


Latest Facebook Visa Story


You can be in Australia on a tourist visa after you apply for a Subclass 309 Offshore Partner Visa, and you may apply for a Bridging Visa A and remain in Australia!  




This is from the Migration Regulations (Cth) 1994, which are the laws that clarify when a visa may be granted. Meet the Regs, you get a visa. Don’t meet them, and you don’t.

This is for a Bridging Visa A


An applicant meets the requirements of this subclause if:

(a)  the applicant has made, in Australia, a valid application for a substantive visa of a kind that can be granted if the applicant is in Australia; and
(b)  that application has not been finally determined; and
(c)  he or she held a substantive visa at the time that application was made

So a BVA can be granted when:

•An application was made in Australia

•This is a visa which may be granted in Australia

•The applicant needs to have held a visa at the time the application was made

So what it means is an 820 ONSHORE partner visa applicant:

• Was in Australia when the application was made

•The visa (the 820) can be granted while they applicant is inside Australia

•They held probably a tourist visa when the application was made

For a 309 offshore partner visa?

•Application made outside Australia

•Visa applicant must be outside Australia when visa is granted

•Visa applicant held no visa when the application was lodged


Sorry, but whilst I absolutely sympathise with those caught in the Department’s current processing slowness, rules are rules and the Law is the Law. CANNOT get a bridging visa for an offshore-lodged visa. That includes partner visas.

Do I think this is unfair? Yes! But there is nothing I can do about it other than to tell you the truth.

I hope this can save a few others from making seriously bad mistakes    


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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! Down Under Visa specialises in visas for Australians in relationships with ladies and gents from Philippines, Thailand, China and Vietnam. Read MORE


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  1. Mansel

    Hi Jeff I am not a client of yours, but I do have a Filipino partner and child , and I subscribe to your newsletters, as you and your crew are well informed and up to date with what is happing with all visas issues, so people should only take advice from experts such as yourself and not listen to keyboard worries. I mean if you had to go to a doctor for a medical procedure you wouldn’t do it yourself at home after searching it on the internet. So people if I can give you one word of advice leave these issues up to the people who do this every day they are worth their weight in gold. Keep up the good work Jeff


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