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Australian visa applications in Manila are not easy, and visa refusals are common! They are not MEANT to be easy, because if they were really easy then the Philippines would be empty at about this time next week! Would the last person to leave the Philippines please turn out the lights?

Visa refusals and Australian visa applications in Manila. How to avoid a visa refusal.

The fact is if they made it really easy, there would be a flood of people from the Philippines and other less-affluent countries going to Australia in order to make their fortunes. That’s a fact! Non-genuine applicants try to get tourist visas every single day, and most get stopped because they can’t show that they have a genuine reason to visit and an intention to leave at the end of the visit.

It is our job at Down Under Visa to show that visa applicants have that genuine reason, and this requires information from you to us, as well as extensive documentation. We need to leave them in no doubt about what your situation is, and experience has taught us how to do this.

We hear from disappointed visa applicants all the time, who made their own visa application either online or via a paper application and had the visa refused by the Australian Embassy in Manila. Some are dodgy, yes. We see the on-genuine visa applicants, and we send them packing. However I could say that most visa refusals are simply because the applicants did not state their case clearly enough. The Case Officers were unconvinced, and therefore had no choice but to refuse.


Why do visa refusals happen?

As I stated above, mostly due to a lack of convincing proof of a genuine intention to visit Australia temporarily for a genuine reason that makes sense. Sometimes these visa applications contain wrong information. Sometimes they contain a lack of information. And sometimes they are downright confusing.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection website is not a lot of help. Never has been, and the new site is no better. They give the impression it’s as simple as applying for a dog license. Tick the boxes, pay your money and you get a visa. I thought about this yesterday and realised that if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now, I would probably get the same impression of the process being almost a formality. Well, it’s not simple! Not if the end result matters to you.

And the Australian Visa Application Center (VFS) is not much help either. They are there to take the long queues away from the Australian Embassy. They are go-betweens and nothing more, and not particularly great ones at that. Fortunately they are not allowed to give advice to applicants, because they only receive applications and pass them on.

If the end results matter to you, then please get professional help from a Registered Migration Agent who specialises in visas for Australian Filipina couples lodged in Manila. We know how to prepare and manage successful Australian tourist visa applications.

NOTE: This is an updated re-posting of a BLOG article from 2015

Australian Visas and Pregnancy
Australian Visas from Philippines – Down Under Visa


  1. Elaine Joy Marcelino

    Andrew and I are very thankful that u exist and your office. Helping us organize for me to get a visa is a very very big help. I keep recommending u to my friends who are planning to marry a bloke from australia. We truly appreciate your assistance.

    • Jeff Harvie

      And it’s always a pleasure dealing with you both, Elaine. Thank you!

  2. Ian Sanders

    I believe NOW–, that–, Australia would be the HARDEST and MOST EXPENSIVE country in the world, to obtain a visa for. (Jeff,Please correct me if I’m wrong here). I’m certainly NOT saying this to put anybody off, not at all. I’m merely stating this, because I BELIEVE it is true.
    I have had previous experience, with a Filipino Migration agent, in the past. Sure–, they were great and got the job done. they were reputed to be the best in Mindanao. But one HUGE difference between them and Down Under Visa. They, in Mindanao, processed applications for MANY countries.
    At Down Under, they focus on ONE country and ONE country only. AUSTRALIA, of course.
    To me–, this is what sets Down Under apart from ALL the other migration agents. Down Under focuses on One country, ONE set of migration laws and NO confusion.
    I do not know of any other migration agent in the Philippines that does that.
    I try to promote Jeff and his team, where ever i can, why–? because i believe there is NO BODY better.
    I tell people that now-a-days, you would have to have”ROCKS IN YOUR HEAD”, if you think that you can process and submit a successful Australian visa application on your own, with little , or no experience–,or–, without a university degree of some sort. Once upon a time?–, well yes, maybe, but not now-a-days. the process now is so, so complex.
    So–, “GOOD ON YOU” Down Under–, you guys certainly deserve a medal.
    You have served us fantastically.

    Sincere Thanks Again
    Ian & Cynthia

    • Jeff Harvie

      I believe NOW–, that–, Australia would be the HARDEST and MOST EXPENSIVE country in the world, to obtain a visa for. (Jeff,Please correct me if I’m wrong here).

      I would say that would most likely be correct, Ian. I haven’t checked all countries, but I think the US only charges $200-and-something.

      We also stick to the Philippines/Filipinos and we stick to partner visas, tourist visas and family visas, because we don’t want to water-down our skills.

      Thanks for the nice words, Ian. Cheers.

  3. Daniel Marshall

    Being an educated middle aged male I applied online and answered all the questions and fullfilled all the right criteria to the tee and within three requests for further information from the embassy my wifes visa was granted,

    If you are genuine and love the woman then you have little you cant prove.


    • Jeff Harvie

      Never said it was impossible, Daniel. But I see intelligent and educated middle-aged males getting refusals all the time, because they come to us after their refusals. We’ve even had lawyers as clients, because they know the value of expertise.

    • Steve Summerell

      I applied twice and am well educated. Both were refused, so now I have appointed Downunder who possibly monitor the quota. Love or proof have nothing to do with your application… it is politics and only those in the quota will make it. If too many applications were made weekly, Australia could not cope.

  4. Isabel

    Hello. A pleasant good day Harvey
    My question is how could i apply 1year tourist visa?
    My husband is australian. We married for almost 5years .running 6years this 2018. I came in perth wa. Way back of a tourist visa before my duration is 3mos. After 3mos i back in philippinee again.then he apply me for sub class 309/ 100 of 2013 but sad to say my visa not granted until we reach the mrt. They refuse out application.the reason is we not meet the criteria to convinced them.
    My question is. Do i have a chance to apply even tourist visa again after refusal or ban me 2015 of may?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Jeff Harvie

      If you had a partner visa refused, from experience you will have almost no chance of applying successfully for a tourist visa. You should sort out the issue with a partner visa application.


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