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Tourist Visas to Australia

Tourist Visas to Australia

About Australian Tourist Visas / Visitor Visas

Everyone who is not already an Australian Citizen and wants to enter Australia MUST have a visa. If you do not have a visa, they will not let you in. It’s as simple as that. This even applies to tourists.

And they will not grant a visa unless they are convinced you are a genuine applicant. That means they need to know you wish to enter Australia to:

  • Visit family and friends
  • Do “tourist things”, like sightseeing and holidaying.

Tourist visas are NOT for:

  • Working or looking for work
  • Applying for other visas, like work visas or partner visas
  • Staying permanently

At the end of the visa period you must go back. Tourist visa grants to Australia from Philippines almost always have a Condition 8503 applied to them, which means NO FURTHER STAY. Australian tourist visas are definitely not a short-cut or a queue-jump to permanent resident (PR) status. If this is your intention, then please think again. And please discuss with us the other options available to you by going through the right channels.

If you are a genuine visitor, especially if you wish to spend time with family members or someone special in your life, then we can help you by preparing an application that is complete and honest and which meets the stringent Regulations. We can give you proper visa requirements that match your situation, and we can check that you have provided us with the correct visa requirements. We are thorough and we are absolutely honest. No lies or bending the truth. No clever schemes. This will only come back to bite you, and will stay on your permanent record. Our success rate in 2012 was 95.55% visa grants, and we did this without ever telling lies.

  • Tourist visa or fiance visa? Read HERE
  • Are tourist visa applications a waste of time? Read HERE
  • Shortcomings of tourist visas? Read HERE
  • The Condition 8503 (No Further Stay). Please read HERE
  • Is it there a standard list of visa requirements? Think again! Read HERE


Why a Tourist Visa to Australia in the First Place?

Tourist Visa to Australia

If you haven’t been to the Philippines yet, perhaps you don’t realize how hard life is there for the average person. We live in the Philippines, but we do not live like your average Filipino.

If you’ve already been here, please stop and think about what you’ve seen. Life is very hard sometimes. Life in Australia is a really easy!

And you probably will have noticed the resilience in the nature of Filipinos. Real character. Those who have so little, they can manage a generosity of spirit that is not so common in wealthier nations. They are generally very happy and grateful for whatever they have. The smiles are always there, and the hearts are always open. This character makes them some of the most adaptable people in the world, and they manage to make new homes for themselves in so many nations. There is a sizable Filipino population in Australia.

And when a Filipina gives her heart to a man, she gives it for life, for better for worse. If she truly loves you, she will want to be with you. She would live anywhere with you. You honestly don’t need to find out if she will be happy in your home in the suburbs. If she’s the right lady for you, you won’t have a problem!

In short? Getting her to check out Australia to see if your home is to her liking, it’s not necessary. I’ve never seen a case of a Filipina who loved the man, yet didn’t like the place!

What is our suggestion if you want to marry her?

If you intend bringing her to Australia as your fiancée, then by Law you must meet her in person first. The mail-order-bride myth is not only very insulting, it’s also in contrary to Australian Migration Law. You must have personally met.

So given that it’s (a) no guarantee that you will get a tourist visa to Australia, and (b) fairly unnecessary for your prospective bride to come to Australia first, we suggest that you fly to the Philippines as soon as you can. See how she lives and meet her family. If you get to know her family and her culture, and if her family get to know you, then your relationship will be better in the long term.

And keep lots of records of your trip. Photos, receipts, boarding passes, etc. And keep records of your communication history. Don’t delete or throw away anything!

Condition 8503 – NO FURTHER STAY

If you get a visitor visa from Philippines granted, in 99.9% of cases they have a Condition 8503 attached to it. It means she cannot apply for “extensions” to her visa in Australia, and she may apply for NO further visa applications whilst she’s still in Australia! So if you were planning on “getting her over on a simple tourist visa, marrying her, and then she can stay”, think again! She will just have to go back, and you will have just wasted your time and money. You could have applied for a fiancée visa and at least you would have made some progress toward being together permanently.

But if you’re not completely ready to commit, or if you’re waiting on a divorce or something like that and you still think a tourist visa suits your situation, then please contact us and more than likely we can help you.

But if you both decide you are in fact ready and you want to make the big commitment, then also please contact us and we’ll go over all your options with you.


Should I Get a Tourist Visa if I’m Engaged or Married?

I get emails weekly which start like this:

1. I was wanting to apply for a tourist visa for my Filipina girlfriend so she can come to Australia to see me and my family. I want to know if she likes it in Australia, or;

2. My girlfriend applied for a tourist visa to come to Australia, and it was refused, or;

3. She applied for two or three tourist visas, and they were all refused…….

This is not uncommon. Tourist or Visitor visas are for tourism, or visiting family members or friend, and that’s all. They should not be there for other purposes. But so many think of them as the simple-and-cheap visa to apply for, therefore an easier option.

This is not an unreasonable or foolish idea! Most countries have easy visa options available. For many countries you don’t need a visa at all. If you visit the Philippines, they automatically grant you 21-day visa on arrival. If you want a longer stay, you simply apply for it. However Australia does not work like that!

And for those prospective visitors from the wealthier nations it’s almost a formality. If you come from Japan or UK for example, you can apply online and you’ll probably get it.

However, the Philippines (like many other poor countries) has a reputation for non-genuine applicants who wish to overstay and/or work illegally. If you earned a typical Filipino salary, then you would find Australia is an appealing option. Somebody could easily earn 8 – 10 times what they are currently earning! Poverty and hunger are strong motivators!

So with all this in mind your girlfriend’s visa application is lodged in Manila, and the Case Officers have to work out if she intends just taking a holiday, or if she intends overstaying and working illegally! They need to decide if she has strong and believable reasons to return to the Philippines after enjoying the good life in Australia.

If your Filipina girlfriend has a well-paying job, owns property, or a proper and stable business, or if she can establish that she is in a serious relationship with you, then it can be done. If this is not established clearly, then there’s a good chance they’ll refuse the application.

Please don’t get offended at us telling it like it is! The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) have a job to do, and if they are not convinced then they must refuse. It’s their job to protect Australia’s borders and to maintain the integrity of the labour market. They don’t know you and they don’t know her. They know that if she wanted to run away and disappear, a letter from you saying it won’t happen means nothing.

So is it impossible to get a tourist visa for your Filipina fiancée or girlfriend? No, of course not. I am merely generalizing and explaining how it works. We have a very good track record with tourist visa applications, particularly when we can show some good and sound evidence of stability in the applicant, and a stable relationship with an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident. When the application is genuine, it’s our job to show them that the risk of overstaying is low.

And the other important issue is we don’t want to see you wasting your time going down a temporary pathway, when it appears you really should be looking at a permanent visa pathway!

So please discuss your chances with us, and be assured of an honest appraisal.


About Down Under Visa

Jeff Harvie of Down Under Visa

Jeff Harvie is a professional Migration Agent, registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority, a statutory body set up by the Australian Government to regulate the standards of the profession, and to give protection to visa applicant clients.

Jeff understands the fears, stresses, problems and pitfalls that the migration process has for those who have not been through it before. His wife Mila, originally from the Philippines, was working in Hong Kong when they met years ago. What this means is that Jeff and Mila have been through what you're probably going through now, and they have the experience and first-hand knowledge to understand and manage your case for you in a professional and caring way.

Before venturing into migration law, Jeff had a background in business management consultancy, and in rural land development. He has unique skills in problem-solving and in structuring effective applications to Government departments. He finds migration law consultancy far more personally fulfilling that anything else he's ever done in his career.

They have offices both in Manila (Philippines) and in Australia, although they are practically always in Manila these days. They have a house full of kids, and Jeff's son Jeremy now works in the business as the office superviser. They know that success depends not only on filling out forms properly, but also depends on knowledge of the red-tape processes and complex cross-cultural differences.

Their service not only includes making sure all the legislative and Departmental requirements are met, but also to make sure that overseas forms and checks are carried out properly. Down Under Vis make sure that your application is as close to perfect as an application can be. They're with you every step of the way, from your first enquiry all the way through to getting that visa and starting your new life!

Read more about Down Under Visa