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. 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 30-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 Border Protection (DIBP) 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. We at Down Under Visa apply successfully for many hundreds of tourist visas from the Philippines every year. 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.
So please discuss your chances with us, and be assured of an honest appraisal.