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Onshore Partner Visa on Tourist Visa

Onshore Partner Visa on a Tourist Visa form Philippines to Australia

Onshore Partner Visa on a Tourist Visa

Is the Onshore Partner Visa on a Tourist Visa a good idea or a bad idea?

This has become an increasingly popular option for Australian Filipina couples in recent years, since the Condition 8503 (No Further Stay) on tourist visa grants from Manila became a rarity and since they evened up the cost of onshore and offshore partner visas. In years gone by it was virtually impossible for an Australian Filipina couple to make an onshore partner visa application, but times change. This method is popular and has become the main choice for for Australian Filipina couples to migrate to Australia.

What we’re talking about is lodging an onshore partner visa application whilst the visa applicant from Philippines is inside Australia normally on a tourist visa, where the Filipina visa applicant is granted a Bridging Visa which is valid during the processing time of the partner visa application. Effectively, the Filipina lady doesn’t need to return to the Philippines and may remain in Australia with her Australian husband. Being together in Australia during the processing instead of the Filipina applicant remaining in Philippines for sometimes a long time, and this has a very obvious appeal.

We are happy processing applications either way. Believe me we really don’t mind, nor do we have opinions on what is “better” or worse. All we insist on is that the application be prepared and managed within the rules of Migration Law and within the realms of practicality. Trying to do a rush-job partner visa application during a three month tourist visa stay is rarely practical, and this becomes more so when you plan to marry your Filipina lady during the same time period. The end result is usually running out of time, and maybe lodging a poor-quality partner visa application which is a very bad idea.

Onshore Partner Visa on a Tourist Visa Filipina

If you do wish to do this, we need you to contact us early, ie. long before the visa applicant has left for Australia from Philippines.

Be aware too that yes you may legally marry inside Australia whilst on a tourist visa. This is perfectly within the Immigration rules, as long as the primary reason you went to Australia in the first place was to spend time together as a couple and to enhance your relationship. And this is another sound reason to get professional help with your visa application.

The following is some discussion on the pros and cons of onshore partner visa applications on a tourist visa versus offshore partner visa applications from Philippines to Australia.



Back in the good ol’ days we had very little difficulty in dealing with visa refusals. Clients would come to us after having a try-and-fail tourist visa refusal from an application they did by themselves. We would use our expertise and re-apply for them and usually get a tourist visa grant for them!

Well…..things have changed over the last year or so. Nowadays it’s extremely difficult and sometimes apparently impossible to get a tourist visa grant after a visa application is refused! If you put together a moderately detailed application and it was refused? Very unlikely that even experienced professionals like us to make them change their minds about you!

It’s now very hard to get a tourist visa grant after a tourist visa refusal. Please read CLICK HERE.

Strongest suggestion? If the outcome of this application matters, and you don’t want to be stuck apart for the near and the distant future? Use the experts to manage your tourist visa application professionally, as we do hundreds of times every year.



Information contained in this page is of a general nature. Informative, yes, but not a formula for preparing visa applications and should not be relied on as such. The devil is in the detail, rest assured. Australian migration law is complicated and Departmental decisions are inflexible and often final. Readers and future visa applicants and sponsors are advised to rely on professionals to ensure a happy outcome.

Onshore Partner Visa or Offshore Partner Visa?

A Comparison


  • When you lodge a successful onshore application, the applicant gets to stay in Australia on a Bridging Visa and doesn’t need to return.
  • Applicant can apply for Medicare
  • Applicant will usually get work rights 
  • You MAY marry in Australia on a tourist visa, and you may even apply for a tourist visa with a secondary intention of marrying in Australia. But it can’t be your primary reason to visit Australia. Visiting Australia to spend time with your fiancée and to enhance your relationship is acceptable.


  • The tourist visa application may not be successful. Highly unusual for us, but you need to know it’s still a possibility.
  • Marrying in Australia means meeting with a priest or marriage celebrant, arranging a wedding date (they are often booked months ahead), lodging a Notice of Intent to Marry form, and waiting 30 days for a marriage license. Trying to organise a wedding AND a complex visa application within a 3 month stay can be stressful and very challenging.
  • She may be dealing with culture shock
  • You are most likely still going to work every day
  • She will require documents from Philippines, which will be harder for her to organise while she’s in Australia.
  • The looming deadline will be sitting on your heads while you are trying to prepare everything and to have it all lodged before her tourist visa runs out! We have strategies to deal with this, so please feel free to discuss.
  • And apart from anything else, you still have jobs to go to, shopping to do, lawns to mow, etc. You will be very busy!

Australian Onshore Partner Visas Pros and Cons

Australian Partner Visa pros and cons

  • May apply as a de facto couple
  • May apply as a same-sex couple
  • May include dependent children if inside Australia
  • Eligible for bridging visa
  • May remain in Australia during processing on bridging visa
  • Bridging visas usually come with work rights
  • Partner visa itself comes with work rights
  • Partner visa is multiple entry
  • May apply for Medicare after visa application is lodged
  • Initial stay is on a tourist visa, ie. no work rights, overseas travel, Medicare
  • High-pressure application, as must be lodged in a decision-ready state before tourist visa expires
  • Must be married or in a genuine and provable de facto relationship before applying
  • High cost
  • Requires a lot of evidence of relationship and other documentation
  • Requires a higher level of relation evidence compared to an offshore partner visa
  • Will lead to a five year ban from re-applying if visa is granted and relationship ends
  • Of no value to uncommitted couples

Australian Partner Visa from Philippines (Onshore) FAQ

Do we need to be married first before applying for an onshore Partner Visa?
Yes you do. If you are not married before lodging the application, the visa will be refused. No exceptions, unless in an established de facto relationship.
Do we need to live together for 12 months first?
If you intend applying for an onshore Partner Visa based on marriage, no you do not. If you are applying based on an established de facto relationship, yes.
What happens when the tourist visa runs out?
If you have already lodged a valid onshore Partner Visa application, the Department will automatically grant a Bridging Visa A when the tourist visa runs out. This allows the applicant to remain lawfully inside Australia. If you have not lodged the application, the applicant will be unlawfully inside Australia (which is a bad thing!)
Can we decide to submit an offshore partner visa at the end of a tourist visa stay?
You can if you like living dangerously, or if you enjoy miserable failure. A quality and complete onshore Partner Visa application takes considerable time to prepare. Rush-jobs lead to refusals, as the Department insist on “decision-ready” applications.
Can we get a bridging visa with an onshore partner visa application?
Yes you can. A Bridging Visa A will be issued automatically when a valid onshore Partner Visa application is lodged, and when the tourist visa runs out.
Can we apply for the bridging visa first and the partner visa later?
There is no such thing as a stand-alone Bridging Visa A that you can apply for because you ran out of time or because you weren’t ready to apply for a partner visa.
Can we apply for an onshore Partner Visa with a de facto relationship?
Yes, you can. But it must be an established and genuine de facto relationship.
What if we married in the Philippines instead of Australia?
No problems. Marriages in the Philippines are considered legal in Australia.
Can I include kids in an onshore Partner Visa?
Yes, you may include kids as secondary applicants on an onshore Partner Visa application. Note that this depends on you having a legal right to remove them from the country, ie. if another parent still has joint custody then you will need their permission for this to happen. It also means the kids need to be in Australia at the time of application. They cannot still be in the Philippines.
What if the kids are still in the Philippines?
They cannot be included unless they are in Australia at the time of application of the partner visa.

Have An Onshore Partner Visa Question Not Answered Above?

Australian Partner Visa ask a question

Now, over to you the client (or potential client)! We value our clients opinions, and we believe in keeping all well-informed. What would YOU like to ask about onshore partner visas? What do YOU think needs a bit more explanation? Ask below, and Jeff Harvie RMA will answer your question for you and for others wondering the same thing.


  1. Mina

    Hi I will be here in Aus from May 28, 2018 up to November 25, 2018(6mos stay-on a tourist visa). Me and my parthner decided to be togther be marry and apply for a partners visa so that I can stay here and no longer suffer for a Long distance relationship, we were just wondering if that span of time is ok to process everything.. (4mos from today Aug1. ).

    • Jeff Harvie

      It depends on how efficient you are, Mina. And it will also depend on whether you know what you’re doing. The Department are very unforgiving with applications that are missing sufficient relationship evidence and other essential documents. I would suggest you get professional help.

  2. SN

    Hi will the BVC automatically granted once onshore partner visa lodged( unlawful spouse applicant)? Or do we need to submit compelling reasons?

    Do I need to apply for a bridge visa E while applying onshore partner visa while unlawful to avoid deportation?

    Any advice? Thanks!

    • Jeff Harvie

      Not giving advice on a BLOG post on a matter like this, sorry. It would be pretty irresponsible of me if I did. Get some professional advice.

  3. Mathy

    Do i still need to prove our relationship even if we are legally married in australia? Is the marriage license enough? I will be applying for Partner Visa 820.

    • Jeff Harvie

      Yes, you most certainly do need to prove the existence of a genuine relationship. A marriage certificate alone is most definitely not enough. You will have a lot of work to do if you wish to have a successful partner visa application.

  4. Mel

    Good Day,

    I just wanna ask if I can tell to Australian immigration if ever they question my intention of visiting Australia that I am going to apply partner visa onshore? Thanks in advance.

    • Leila

      Good day!

      I am a permanent resident of Australia and divorced with a filipino husband. (We got married in the philippines)

      I have a new partner in Philippines and we both planning to get married here in Australia. He will apply for a tourist visa.

      Question is, if we lodge an onshore partner visa here, do we automatically receive his bridging visa? Can he stay here for as long as he want? And is he not allowed to go back to the Philippines while having a bridging visa?

      Thanks so much!

  5. Chelsea

    Good morning,my dad who is Australian citizen is married to a Filipino lady with a an 8 year old son,they have been in qld since March and they have an onshore bridging visa a that took effect on the 23 June, 8 year old jace has waiting patiently to start school as he wants to make friends and learn, they have been to the local school and he is ready to start,but now they have been given a invoice for$2943.00 that is for 1 term and it has to be paid before he starts,my father is retired and on a pension, it’s a great state school who are eager to have him start but the education department of international says this is the cost even though the they have unlimited study entitlement and unlimited work entitlement,they have been issued Medicare card etc. Why can they not pay normal school fees ?

    • Jeff Harvie

      I can’t tell you why, Chelsea. It’s just the way it works. And that will remain until the visa is granted.

      I see “Capricorn” there. Is that Rockhampton? Some of the Christian schools can be a little kinder about matters like that. The state schools have no choice, but they do. Try someone like “Lighthouse” in Nth Rocky (again assuming you’re in Rockhampton) and see if they can be flexible?

  6. Ramy

    What are the chances of visitor visa refusal or if granted, have “no further stay” condition on the visa ?

    • Jeff Harvie

      If you’re saying for our clients and from the Philippines, it’s very unlikely. However if you mean from other countries and with different circumstances? I couldn’t tell you sorry.

  7. Fabrice

    Hey Jeff,
    We’re going for the Onshore Partner visa and I guess, when the time comes, my new wife will be required to pass a medical examination.
    Can she do that in Australia? At our local doctor’s? Or will it have to be done at an Home Affairs’ approved facility (that will probably be 500km away from where we live)?
    Thanks for the reply

    • Jeff Harvie

      In Australia there are usually authorised local doctors in most major towns, Fabrice. We can sort that when we get closer to the time. But definitely not just any doctor.

  8. amf

    Can I marry on a ‘Tourist Stream Visa’ and remain in Australia with my husband who is an Australian Resident while applying for a permanent Visa??

    • Jeff Harvie

      You can if you have enough time to apply. Be aware that there is a lot of work that needs to be done, and rush-jobs are rarely successful.

  9. Genevieve

    Hi… Jeff how much is the payment for partner visa onshore …? How can i contact u if we want your help? We want agent for this application..thanks

  10. Francisco

    Hi Jeff,
    I´m an Australian citizen and just married my partner from Colombia. We have already organised a lot of evidence of our relationship and are ready to apply for the 820 before her Tourist visa expires. My concern is whether or not she will be allowed to work on her Bridging visa, do you know?

    • Jeff Harvie

      Normally yes, Francisco. But I have no experience with visas from Colombia, plus I don’t know anything about your case.

  11. Richie

    Hi Jeff, we are applying for an Onshore Partner Visa and we kind of stuck in these 2 sections.

    In Country Resided for over 12 months, do we need to include my partner’s home country where she lives all her life? what would be the date inclusions?

    In Country Visited in less than 12 months, we believe we need to include Australia but what about the “date to”? because technically she is still in Australia.

    any idea? thanks

    • Jeff Harvie

      Of course I have lots of ideas, Richie. But I also earn a living as a Registered Migration Agent. Please don’t ask me to tell you how to complete your application.

  12. Steve Gilbert

    Hi Jeff need advise … have been in a “Skype” relationship with my future wife Cyndy for over 12 months now (thank you covid 19) … so we have never met face to face as required for a partner visa … so my question … to meet that face to face criteria … can i bring her out on a tourist visa for 3months … she would then return to Philippines … then look at a partner visa to bring her to Australia at a later date? my situation currently doesnt allow me to travel there due to caring for my mother … any advice would be greatly appreciated thank you Jeff.

    • Jeff Harvie

      Steve, firstly it’s a very rare set of circumstances that leads to them granting a tourist visa to someone you’ve never met. And right now there is a travel ban, which means even if you had met they would not grant a visa. You will have to wait for borders to open and organise to visit her in Philippines.

  13. Al

    Hi Jeff, I got a lady in Philippines who got a 4 year old daugther. I am waiting for PH to open and go to her, then contact you as soon as I am there to start our Partner visa process, so I can bring her back with me to Australia . I believe you based somewhere around Manila?
    Just wonder what do you think about situation if she will not include her daughter in the application and want to leave her in the Philippines to her family . That worries me a bit of what Department might think about her intentions. Thanks Jeff.

    • Jeff Harvie

      The Department would be fine if you did that, Al. However normally kids are left off applications because the Australian sponsor is not willing. Unusual for mum not to want to bring the child. From the child’s perspective, a new home in Australia with her mum and her new dad is ALWAYS preferable to being left with relatives. They never take care of them like two parents do. I would discuss this with her.

      And please do a free assessment as soon as you can.

  14. Pat

    Hello Jeff! I hope you are doing well.

    I am in a relationship over 2 years with an Australian but we have never lived together. We have been to each other’s country multiple times and my last visit in Aus was 9 months long due to the pandemic.

    Is this enough to be considered de facto? Does registering our relationship with the Victorian government help towards proving our de facto relationship?


    • Jeff Harvie

      Hello Pat

      Being in a de facto relationship means leading a shared-life. You can be apart during this time when you have no choice (such as now), but you need to have commenced leading a shared-life. That means living like a married couple, basically. A registered relationship helps, but on its own with no evidence it’s completely worthless from a visa point of view.

      Suggest you get an assessment done and we can see if we can help you. Takes you five minutes.

  15. Katrina Florentino

    Hi! My husband is currently in the Philippines and we are planning to apply a tourist visa for him to travel to Australia. And then once he is here we will lodge the onshore partner visa. My question is, when we apply for tourist visa, can we tell the immigration that his purpose of travel is to be with his wife and planning to apply for an onshore partner visa? Thank you in advance for your reply. Good day!

    • Jeff Harvie

      I can’t advise you on applications you plan to do yourselves, sorry.

  16. rob regan

    My partner and I are trying to get a partner visa by applying for a visitor visa. would she get a bridging visa after the 3 months or does she need to wait 12 months? Is there an alternative for getting my partner a visa with work rights?

    • Jeff Harvie

      Definitely NOT doing it that way. She doesn’t get a bridging visa because you apply for it. You would need to apply for an onshore partner visa first. She would then get a bridging visa while the partner visa application was being processed. Strongly suggest you get an assessment of your case at

  17. Sarah pulvera

    good day jeff
    i want to apply for an onshore partner visa on a tourist visa
    what we need to do
    can you help me?



  18. Mohammad

    I have a query regarding withdrawal of Visitors Visa.

    Currently, my wife and daughter is on visitors visa (1 year with 3 months stay) no conditions, and I am going to apply for spouse visa. Is there any way I can withdraw visitors visa and they can be on bridging visa and they don’t have to exit Australia?

    • Jeff Harvie

      Not something I’m prepared to discuss on a comments section page.


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Visa Comparisons

Confused with all the different Visa Options?Partner Visa Onshore? Or Partner Visa Offshore? Or Prospective Marriage Visa?

Get the pros and cons of each visa type so you can COMPARE, and make an informed decision based on expert advice!

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What Can Down Under Visa do?

Down Under Visa Happy Couple From Tourist to Partner VisaOur job is to help you, and we will do so to the best of our abilities and always within the law! But realise we are not “Yes-men” and will always tell you the truth especially about practical matters. But if you do wish to marry whilst in Australia on a tourist visa, and if you are able to apply for a partner visa in Australia, yes we can manage your application for you in the same way we manage applications here in Manila. But be aware that we cannot ethically handle visa applications that are poorly prepared and not planned properly which will result in a visa refusal.


So yes, we can help you with applications lodged in AUSTRALIA or in MANILA, PHILIPPINES.

So if you definitely want to marry and apply in Australia, let us know now! And if you start the process with us now rather than later, you will be organised and ready for us to lodge the application once you’ve married.



Further Reading

Want to read more about Australian Onshore Partner Visas from the Philippines? Check out some of our partner visa BLOG posts below.

No More Bare-Bones Partner Visa Applications

Australian Onshore Partner Visas and Overstaying

More Downsides of Onshore Partner Visa Applications

Can We lodge a Partner Visa Inside Australia?

Read what some of our happy couples have had to say

“I highly recommend Jeff and Mila Harvie of DownUnderVisas. It was so great to have an Aussie agent who is married to a Filipina and lives in Manila. He understands both Aussie ang Pinoy cultures and is very professional and ethical visa agent. It was also good for Virgie to speak to Mila in Tagalog whenever she needed clarification or information.

Jeff was very helpful throughout the whole visa application process. He always told me the truth in a concise manner, but without being abrupt. He advise always made sense and he would help me to understand things whenever I got confused or impatient.

Jeff was always so prompt in replying to my email enquiries and I that really impressed me. Jeff’s experience, knowledge and service shows that he is a true professional and is truly believe that you can not do any better than Down Under Visa.

My wife is now here and we are so happy Well done Jeff and Mila (And we wrote this after getting the visa!).”

Regards from,

Richard and Virgie


Thank you very much.I appreciate your effort and I must say you’ve done me a favor.You’ve all been very nice and accomodating to me since day 1. And I commend you all for that.I’m really glad it didnt took long ‘coz I though it would be long process and might take you nine months or more just like what I’ve heard of others applying for Australian Visa. Its a good decision on my part that I choose your agency. Finally me and Rod could spend to the rest of our lives together, and its all because of you guys.

To Mila and Jeff Harvie and the company,please accept my heartful thank to all of you. God bless!!!!”

Respectfully yours,


Onshore Partner Visa on a Tourist Visa Articles From our BLOG page…

Bottom line. Which partner visa option?

What I’m saying here is that an onshore application is the more stressful option. Of course it can be done, and we are delighted to help. But you need to understand you will be under pressure, and can’t leave it all to the last minute. And this is especially the case if you have a wedding to organize, as well as a job to go to, shopping to do and lawns to mow. If you are prepared for this and are a fairly well-organised person? No problems. Talk to us about it.

But if you are not especially a fan of stress and pressure and would rather take your time, and especially if you want to have a well-organised wedding rather than a speedy one at the Registry Office, then the offshore visa options could well be your best choice. They are being processed faster these days anyway, so unlikely you will have too long to wait.

Bottom line for us? We like our clients to be well-informed and to make informed choices, and we are happy to help you to do what will make you happy. Hope to hear from you soon.

Full article

What can you do to get a partner visa?

If you’re really not in a hurry (and some couples are fairly patient), and wish to get a tourist visa for now? We’re happy to help you. But if you’re hoping she can simply stay on a tourist visa, then sorry but you’re heading for disappointment and an emotional rollercoaster.

We’ve discussed the mistake in thinking you can put a partner visa together late in the tourist visa stay in Australia in a few of our BLOG articles. Partner visas take months of work, and the Department are very unforgiving about poorly prepared applications which result from last-minute rush jobs. Yes, we can help with onshore partner visa applications, but you need the time to do them properly.

But spending all your savings and earnings on airline tickets instead of on saving for a partner visa application, this will just make it harder on you. You would be better off just biting the bullet and saving your money. Work overtime. Get some part-time work. Live a lean existence. Do that until you have a downpayment on a partner visa, which is probably less than the costs of a 3 month visit anyway. Then continue to live frugally over the following few months whilst preparing the partner visa application. They do normally take that length of time.

Full article

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