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  Down Under Visa Visas from Philippines to Australia 2024


Finally time to catch my breath! January is always a busy month for us. December NORMALLY quiet, followed by a busy January. This time? Busy both! 

But as always, Down Under Visa are here and always willing and able to help our clients to achieve their dreams!

2023 was a good year! The Labor Government did what they said they would do. The days of 2 year waits for partner visas is well and truly over. It means we get a whole lot of happy clients a whole lot faster.


Changes in Partner Visa from Philippines to Australia


Processing times faster


I suppose the biggest change (for those who haven’t lodged an Australian Partner Visa in the last year) has been how fast these are now being processed! I look back at the horrors of previous years under the previous Government, where partner visas frequently dragged out to two years. Had one long-suffering couple wait three years for an offshore partner visa! 

When Labor was voted in, they said they would fix things. And to their credit they did. Offshore Partner Visas, Prospective Marriage Visas as well as Onshore Partner Visas are taking …. in our experience …. 2 – 4 months to be processed. Most are taking closer to 2 months. 

I never take much notice of what the Immigration website says about processing times. Never have! We lodge hundreds of these every year. Lodged 5 yesterday! And they’re consistently being processed quickly. I’m sure you’ll all agree that this is great news! No one should have to wait two years to be together, for goodness sakes! 



Tourist Visa Refused! Can I apply for a Partner Visa?


The question of “Tourist Visa or Partner Visa?” Is a common one for clients to wrestle with. Most of the time it’s a matter of whether you’re ready to “take the plunge” and make things permanent! And a refused visa can cause couples to reflect.

What I ask many a couple is this! If she (or he) visits you on a three month tourist visa, are you REALLY going to be OK at the end of that stay to bid farewell and the airport with no solid idea of when you will see each other again? 

Or is that thought too terrible to contemplate? I’ve been married to my wife Mila for 20 years next month, and I don’t even like it when she goes to SM without me! And one night alone is excruciating! I can cope when I know she will be back the next day, but having that open-ended? Ouch!

And what happens to many a couple when a tourist visa application is refused, they go into a flap and panic! They were OK thinking “this will be granted next week or so”, but faced with emptiness? They are forced to face how much that lady (or gentlemen) means to them! 

If that’s you, and you are legally free to marry? Then talk to us about a partner visa. Whole lot faster process these days, as I just explained above!



Offshore Partner Visas and Prospective Marriage Visas. Must be OFFSHORE at grant time!


Subclass 309 Offshore Partner Visas and Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage Visas have ALWAYS been “offshore”, ie outside Australia. 

That means:

  • Must be OUTSIDE Australia at the time of lodgment of the application
  • Must be OUTSIDE Australia at the time of decision (ie when they grant or refuse the visa)
  • During COVID they changed the rules about being offshore (outside Australia) at the time of decision. They would grant or refuse the visa if they applicant was inside Australia (usually on a tourist visa). 

Well, that’s all over now. It had a good run, but things are back to normal again now.


What does this mean to you?


It means that yes, we CAN still apply for tourist visas for you if you wish. But be prepared to return QUICKLY if you get an email from us saying they are ready to make a decision.

STRONG HINT! If they say “We’re ready to make a decision” and you decide you’re having too much fun and want to put it off? Expect when you DO return, they might not be in a hurry to finalize the application! You may be sitting around for a while. We used to see no such issues with clients who returned respectfully and speedily!



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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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