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The dreaded visa application refusal!


Typical tourist visa refusal letter

Typical tourist visa refusal letter (click to read)


You want to bring your special girl (or boy) from the Philippines to Australia. You think it’s “JUST a tourist visa (visitor visa, holiday visa)”. How hard can this possibly be?

Australians are used to going just about anywhere with ease. Hop on a plane and go to Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan etc? Wave the Aussie passport and you walk straight in. Somewhere like Vietnam? You apply online. Pay about $35.00 or so and you get in back in a few days. 

So we assume the same for your Filipina sweetheart. She’s your babe anyway, and YOU’RE an Aussie. You can invite anyone you want, right?


Between 1:4 and 1:5 tourist visa applications to Australia……especially from third-world countries like the Philippines…..end in refusal!

Many of our clients or potential clients find this out the hard way. And guess what? It gets worse! Read on!


Can you complain to the Embassy or the Department?



Once refused, it’s case-closed! Once a decision has been made, it can’t be re-opened. You cannot call the Department or the Embassy and give then a “piece of your mind”. You cannot expect your Local Member to go into battle for you. And unless the applicant is your wife, you can’t even lodge an appeal. Refused means refused!


Why do they refuse tourist visas from the Philippines to Australia?


Australia is a desirable country! 

One of the more desired destinations the world over, not just to visit but especially to live. 

Salaries are high. Cost of living is high too, however most people have money left over after paying expenses. Medical care and education is Government-assisted. You don’t deny your kids an education because you can’t pay the fees, nor do you avoid the hospital because you don’t have money. Life is much easier, therefore many people especially from third-world nations would love to live there.


Why do they refuse visas in the first place?


Primarily because of a Regulation (Migration Regulations 1994)! Regulation 600.211 in particular. It’s also called the Genuine Temporary Entrant condition. And it’s all there to keep out anyone whom they think may overstay.

And let’s put it this way! If they removed all visa requirements to Australia from the Philippines? The country would be empty by about this time next week! “Would the last one to leave the Philippines please turn out the lights??”

And we all know that Australia is not one of those over-regulated countries. No one has to bring their passport with them everywhere in case someone in uniform demands “Papers please!” People can and do disappear and hide in Australia for years on end! And this is what they want to avoid.


The real ugly side of refused visa applications


Please have a read of this:

In short?

In the old days? We used to “rescue” refused-visa situations all the time. 

“We’ve had three refusals in a row!”

“Don’t worry. We’ll prepare and lodge a more detailed application, and it should be granted!”

And most of the time they were! Since start of 2023? Everything changed!


Tourist visa refusals since 2023


Again, please read the article above. 

In short?

Once your application is refused, unless your situation changes drastically you have almost no chance of getting a tourist visa granted from the Philippines to Australia!

We tried a large number of times to repair refused-visa situations as we always did for many years. We tried and saw nothing but further refusals. A sea of disappointed clients! Precisely what we hate to see most of all. Worse thing in the world for a Registered Migration Agent is those times when you simply cannot help. No solutions. No satisfying answers. Failure and despair!

In fact since we realized what was happening, when someone sends us an assessment and tells us they’ve had a refusal of a tourist visa application to Australia from the Philippines (or anywhere really), we:

  1. Warn them of the risks of refusal, and
  2. Soundly discourage them from wasting their time and money!

So that is how it is! Clearly? Your only hope is to avoid visa refusals like the plague, because in reality you only get one chance!


So how do you avoid Tourist Visa refusals?


If this matters to you…..which for all the clients I’ve ever known it matters!…….then don’t take risks! Treat it like an operation on your heart (which in some ways it is!) or being on trial for murder! Use a professional! Don’t mess about trying to do it yourself! Or be prepared to face the consequences. 



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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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