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Australian Tourist Visa application Refusals


Australian tourist visa refusal from Philippines to Australia


Did you apply for a tourist visa from the Philippines to Australia and did you have the visa application refused?


Upsetting, right? You no doubt assumed that the visa application was a bit of a rubber stamp! Like an Aussie applying for a visa to Vietnam or Cambodia. Fill in the form. Copy of passport. Write a nice letter saying that you will take care of her needs and make sure she gets back on that plane in time, and down comes the rubber stamp saying “VISA APPROVED”!

Instead? You get several pages talking about not meeting Regulation 600.211 and how whilst they acknowledge your support offer they see no evidence that she has more reason to remain unlawfully (ie illegally) in Australia than she has to return! Look familiar??

Again, horribly upsetting for both the Australian sponsor and the Filipina visa applicant (or Filipino visa applicant)! Lots of tears. Utter confusion and disbelief that such a thing would ever happen! 


Why was my visa application refused?


It may be refused for a whole lot of reasons. But let’s stick to the most common reason. One which we see clients coming to us with, because people naturally come to us when they tried to do it themselves and it failed. Can’t blame them! I did a tourist visa application for a previous Filipina girlfriend (back in the 1990’s when I wasn’t a Registered Migration Agent and Down Under Visa didn’t exist.) I thought it was a mere formality. I knew I was fairly smart and capable of most things. Did my own divorce application! How hard could this possibly be?

So yes, I found out like so many others that this was a mighty can of worms that chewed up new players and spat them out! 

So what was the reason MY historical application was refused? Same reason so many others were refused, and keep getting refused every day!


Regulation 600.211

The applicant genuinely intends to stay temporarily in Australia for the purpose for which the visa is granted, having regard to:

                     (a)  whether the applicant has complied substantially with the conditions to which the last substantive visa, or any subsequent bridging visa, held by the applicant was subject; and

                     (b)  whether the applicant intends to comply with the conditions to which the Subclass 600 visa would be subject; and

                     (c)  any other relevant matter.


It’s also called the Genuine Temporary Entrant criteria!

In simple terms? It means they need to be convinced that the applicant intends to be a genuine visitor (ie visit family/friends and/or to do tourist things and then return), and not using the visa for another purpose, ie:

  • To stay longer than a “genuine” visitor does
  • Maybe to work
  • Maybe to move in with boyfriend and live as a couple for years
  • And definitely NOT to get on the plane and leave before the visa expires!

“Nonsense”, I hear you say! Or maybe it was a harsher thing you said? Maybe a series of angry words? Pretty sure I came out with some expletives when I had my historical tourist visa refusal. 

You’re thinking “No we won’t!” No intention to overstay! How can they say this? Well, they can and they do when they are not convinced! Thousands of people overstay in Australia every year, and the authorities don’t like this obviously! They are underneath the radar. They work illegally. Sometimes they get involved in illegal activity. So yes, you can understand their concern.

Why you? In short? You didn’t manage to convince them that the visa applicant “had more reason to return at the end of the visit than she/he had to overstay in Australia”!

It’s not personal! They don’t know you or your lady from a bar of soap! They were waiting for your tourist visa application to convince them, and it did not!


Your tourist visa application was refused! Now what?


What can you do?


I’ll tell you what you can’t do! You can’t call them up and give them a piece of your mind! Even if they were conducive to your moral outrage, by law they can’t do anything anyway! Once a visa application is refused? It’s dead in the water! Case closed! Even if you did manage to call them up and make them see that they made a huge mistake, they can’t do anything anyway!

Again, what can you do?

In some cases you can lodge an appeal (aka Merits Review) at the Administrative Affairs Tribunal (AAT), but not in girlfriend cases. And hey, it will cost you a fortune and have you waiting for a very long time anyway. I’ve yet to see a situation where someone would want to do this. Would be very hard to mount a convincing case anyway.

How about applying again? A new tourist visa application?

OK……here’s the point as to why I wrote this article in the first place!

It is very difficult to get a tourist visa grant after a refusal!

There! I said it!


It is VERY difficult to get a tourist visa grant after a refusal!

In years-gone-by? I wrote many a BLOG article telling people with refusals of tourist visa applications to let us have a go, and in most of those cases we got them the result they were looking for.


I don’t know why, but for maybe the last 6 months or more we have found that now they very rarely grant a tourist visa after a refusal. Maybe if the visa application before was really really full of holes and we followed that up with our usual highly-professional standard of applications? Yes! But rarely!

Very sorry to say but for most of you that means you get one shot at this, and if you blow that chance it stays that way! They need to be really really convinced that the same person who was refused as a non-genuine applicant is now genuine and a safe risk of granting a tourist visa to.

And we can’t promise to do that! Sorry, but we won’t lie to you. It’s a very substantial risk!


How can I get my Filipina lady (or Filipino gent) to Australia after a tourist visa refusal?


Option One! Use a professional (like Down Under Visa) in the first place!


Not much help when you’ve had a refusal, I know. But if I can catch a few more potential tourist visa applicants in Australian Filipina relationships to NOT take this risk, then that would be a very good thing! 

Please don’t take the risk! WE know what we’re doing! Down Under Visa lodges hundreds of these applications every year, and (for first time applicants) we can normally help you! For second time (after a refusal)? Not so much! Not anymore!

Go to and select “Tourist Visa for applicants with Australian partners”! Let us have a look at your case and we can tell you if we can help you.

Had a refusal? Click the same link. You WILL get a truthful response from Down Under Visa!


Option Two? If you are ready to make a commitment, talk to us about an offshore partner visa.


No, we would never push anyone into getting a partner visa before they were ready! Not sure I could push someone in that direction if they weren’t ready anyway, but no I wouldn’t try. But if you are in fact ready and at that stage? One thing I can tell you is that as long as you did NOT lie or lodge false information or documents with the tourist visa application, the refusal will have NO EFFECT on the outcome of a partner visa application. Absolutely none!

If this is you? Go to and select “Partner Visa!”

Again, do NOT take the risk and try to save a bit of money by doing an application for a tourist visa yourselves, unless you have lots of solid experience and are OK to take that risk! Click the link and get a FREE VISA ASSESSMENT!


Want to bring your sweetheart from Philippines to Australia?


Please get a free assessment today. We help with Australian Partner Visas from the Philippines to Australia, as well as Tourist Visas, Child Visas, Parent Visas and Citizenship By Descent applications. Click the link below.    


Get A Free Online Visa Assessment - Take Our 5 Minute AssessmentGet A Free Online Visa Assessment - Take Our 5 Minute 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!
Offshore Partner Visas and Prospective Marriage Visas in 2023
Nathan and Arnie – Happy Down Under Visa Clients give a testimonial


  1. Zeny Selfa

    Good day ,Ive been refused for my visa application last year too ,my partner and I applied directly but not sadly approved.Hopefully this 2nd time around by this agency will help us and guide us to the very end Thank you so much .Godbless!!!???

    • Jeff Harvie

      No promises, sorry. Can try our best though.

  2. Zeny Selfa

    Good day ,Ive been refused for my visa application last year too ,my partner and I applied directly but not sadly approved.Hopefully this 2nd time around by this agency will help us and guide us to the very end Thank you so much .Godbless!!!???


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