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News for Offshore Partner Visa applicants now inside Australia


This is some news very very specific to those Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage Visa or Subclass 309 Offshore Partner Visa applicants from Philippines (or anywhere!) who are now inside Australia (generally on tourist visas).


temporary changes to offshore partner visas


This also applies to applicants for Child Visas (Subclass 101), Dependent Child Visas (Subclass 445) and Adopted Child Visas (Subclass 102) who are now inside Australia.

This does not apply to anyone who is outside Australia (ie back waiting in Philippines) and wanting to be inside Australia, and it has no effect on the need for anyone offshore without a Permanent Visa to qualify-for and apply-for a travel ban exemption. This step remains, sorry.


What happened in Visa World 27 February 2021?


A fairly significant change for a handful of people. Nothing as great as “no more travel bans”……yet! Looking forward to that announcement, let me tell you! Soon!!!

Anyone who applies for an offshore visa (Partner Visas, Fiancee Visas/Prospective Marriage Visas and the various Child Visas) is aware that the visa cannot be granted whilst the visa applicant is onshore in Australia. 

So if you arrive on a Tourist Visa which you applied-for after you applied for your Partner Visa (or Child Visa), when the Department is ready to finalise that visa they ask you to leave the country before they can do so. This has long been the practice, because this is written into law. The visa cannot be granted unless the visa applicant is offshore! So under normal times, that applicant leaves the country and waits for the visa grant before returning.


Temporary Change to the “Offshore Rule”


Whilst there are travel bans in place, since 27 February 2021, any applicant for one of the offshore visas listed above can have their visa granted without the need to leave Australia.

Huge relief for those of you who’ve been worries about this, right? 

And I do believe this has come about by righteous pressure on the Department by members of the public and of significance the Member for Bruce, Julian Hill. Feel like lobbying your local Member about the effects of bad management of visa applications? Please do!

But be aware that this is temporary! They have not changed the Migration Regulations on this matter, nor I would expect will they. Once the travel bans are lifted, if your sweetheart from Philippines is still inside Australia? It will be back to normal. She will need to get on a flight to Manila and wait for the visa grant as per usual.



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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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