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August 2021 Down Under Visa News Online Weddings and Offshore Partner Visas


August 2021 News


Online Weddings, Offshore Partner Visas, Travel Ban Exemptions for Prospective Marriage Visa holders, and the HOT TOPIC of Registering online weddings! Please read, please enjoy, and please share with anyone whom you think will be interested.


How are things in the Philippines?


How are things with Down Under Visa in the Philippines? We’re fine. Down some of our staff due to lockdown, but we’re keeping up. We’re a resourceful lot, and we will never shut down regardless of what happens.

I don’t watch COVID figures. Why? I don’t believe them. Hospitals here are fond of calling any older person’s death from pneumonia or influenza a COVID death, because they get Government money. We’ve seen it first hand! 

But vaccination numbers are impressive. Last I saw about a week ago it was over 13 million. This is a country of generally compliant people. Someone with a hat and whistle walks into the traffic, and everyone stops. Try that one in Australia! KABOOM! So yes, it’s happening and happening fast. I have a good feeling.

And kids are starting back at school. So I’m starting to hear sing-song teacher voices on several laptops all at once, which is jarring on the nerves. And we have two x 2 1/2 year old kids running around all day, so it’s lively. Everyone healthy and happy, and that’s what matters.


Travel Ban Exemptions available for Subclass 300 holders


I think most of you saw the news earlier this week. I’m sure many a relieved visa-holder and sponsor out there! Was one of the most horrible visa-periods I had ever seen. Really glad it’s over.

BLOG post:

YouTube video:

Please let us know if you want us to manage the Travel Ban Exemption application for you. EMAIL US! We’re doing them at a moderate cost.


Partner Visa Options during COVID days


If you haven’t seen the video (click HERE) and are wondering what the best options are for bringing your Filipino sweetheart from Philippines to Australia in these tough and confusing times? Please watch the video, where I sum it all up clearly for you. 

NOTE: The bit in the video about Prospective Marriage Visas being unable to get travel ban exemptions is obviously now out of date, but everything else is current.

NOTE: If you haven’t met in person yet are committed and ready to move forward, please look at the options!


Offshore Partner Visas – Processing time


This is Subclass 309 Offshore Partner Visas. The ones that are processed inside Philippines.

  • Need to be married (which CAN be online)
  • We may apply BEFORE you marry, as long as you marry before the visa is granted
  • There is NOTHING in the Regulations that require you to have met in person


  • No tourist visa application required

And know what else? They are processing Offshore Partner Visas fairly quickly this year! Consider this as a viable option in these turbulent times if you:

  • Haven’t started any partner visa application yet
  • Have started preparing an onshore partner visa application, but are open to considering what is a simpler and less-stressful option
  • Have lodged a Subclass 300 application, and wish to marry EARLIER! Yes, we can change a Subclass 300 PMV to a Subclass 309 Offshore Partner Visa easily. Not a problem!


Two points to remember if you do lodge applications for Subclass 309 Offshore Partner Visas.

  1. You may also apply for a tourist visa application. Yes, that means a travel ban exemption application too, as it’s only when the 309 is granted that no exemption is required. But it means if successful you can spend some time together in Australia.
  2. Old days? They would not grant a 309 if the applicant was inside Australia. The applicant had to LEAVE AUSTRALIA before they granted it. Now? They will grant whilst inside Australia. So that means you really do get a head start on being together.


Registering Online Weddings with NSO/PSA


This has been the case for as long as I’ve known. Marry a Philippines national outside of the Philippines, and you register the marriage with the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippines) via the Embassy or Consulate in the country where the wedding takes place.

  • That means if you marry your Filipina fiancee in Australia, you register through Canberra.
  • And if you marry ONLINE in UTAH, you register through San Francisco!


Because the CFO ( requires this, and if you want your wife to exit the Philippines (and not get refused at the airport, which WILL happen!!) then she needs to attend a pre-departure counselling seminar at the CFO beforehand. And THEY insist on an NSO/PSA marriage certificate, OR the Report Of Marriage certificate from the DFA.

So yes, it’s necessary.


Is it simple? 


Is it just a matter of saying “Hey, here’s my marriage certificate!”? Of course not! This is Philippines! And paperwork is more fun in the Philippines!! So it involves umpteen documents and umpteen steps. And like all bureaucracy in the Philippines, get a small thing wrong and you start all over again. 

We’ve had clients lately looking into it, and I can sense panic over an email! Been at this long enough. It’s necessary, and it’s daunting.

So please watch this space! 

We (Down Under Visa) are in discussions and working out the logistics of doing this as a service for our clients. Optional, obviously. If you want to do it yourselves you’re most welcome, but we are good at applications of all sorts. You wouldn’t have signed up with us if this were not the case.

Hope to have some details next week! Thanks for your patience!


Permanent Partner Visas


This is the last thing that any partner visa applicant/holder needs to do. The last step. The light at the end of the tunnel. 

Get a Subclass 820 or a Subclass 309 Partner Visa, and you get to live and work and do almost everything an Australian Citizen can do. They believed in the genuineness of your relationship, and granted you that visa. This was based on you showing them that you had at least commenced a committed spousal or de facto spousal relationship.

But two years after lodging the partner visa application, they want to see that you have continued to do all the things you said you would do. This step is by no means a formality. And yes, people DO fail at this point! Worldwide the refusal rate at the Permanent Partner Visa (Subclass 801 or Subclass 100) stage is about 15%. One in every 6.66 couples!

Suggest you get us to help with this stage when it comes up for you. No additional Government fee at this stage, and our fees are reasonable.


Take care, everyone. Ingat, as we say here. Let us know if we can help with anything!


Free online visa assessment form from Down Under Visa


COVID CONCERNS? From 21 Feb 2022 the Australian border will be open. You just need a visa and to be double-vaxed! Click above and get a free assessment!


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


Travel Ban Exemptions for Prospective Marriage Visa holders
Finally GOOD NEWS for Prospective Marriage Visa Holders


  1. Michael

    Hi Jeff, we lodged our Report of Marriage (ROM) to the San Fransisco Philippine Consulate for our Utah online wedding 309 abt 5 weeks ago. The consulate said it will take abt 4 weeks to process after I emailed then 2 weeks ago. I have not herd anything back since. On some of the Philippine consulate web sites, it states anywhere between 3,4 months up to 8 months or even longer for the PSA marriage certificate to appear in their system (go to to order a certificate). As you know, the PSA marriage certificate is needed by the CFO for the outbound travel stamp. So, if it takes this long for a PSA marriage certificate to get processed, it puts a bit of pressure on the 309 visa holder as they only got 1 yr to get into Australia. Would this be a fair statement? Thanks

    • Jeff Harvie

      I only know feedback from clients, of which honestly there has been very little. We’re looking at organising it, but we have not done so at this stage. Some websites are saying up to 8 months, but that doesn’t seem correct. Note you need a REPORT OF MARRIAGE for the CFO. Not necessarily the marriage certificate. Most authoritative thing I heard (today, actually) was to expect it to take 3 – 4 months. So no, I don’t think it’s a big issue. Ideally it should be started ASAP after the wedding itself, so its well and truly done before the visa itself is granted.

  2. Mae

    It is good online at Utah at this time? is not hard to get CM

    • Jeff Harvie

      Sorry, is what good online at Utah? And what is a CM?


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