Filipinas and Australian visas – why is the visa process so hard?

Thousands of Filipinas submit visa applications for travel to Australia every year. They submit Tourist visa applications to visit their Australian boyfriends, Fiancé and Marriage visa applications so they can go and live with their Australian fiancés and husbands, and Student visa applications to study at a school, University or private college. Unfortunately however, a very large percentage of these visa applications are refused by the Australian Embassy in Manila. This leaves people frustrated and I am often asked: “why is visa process so hard?” In the following paragraphs I will try to explain why this is the case.

There are a number of reasons why the Australian visa process can seem to be complex and why there is a high rate of refusal. The Philippines is classified as a ‘high risk’ country by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). DIAC is the Australian government department that deals with visas. ‘High risk’ means that DIAC is concerned about the likelihood of some visa holders from the Philippines might overstay their temporary visa or might not abide by all of the conditions. One of the biggest concerns is that people coming over to Australia on Tourist visas will work illegally. Historically a relatively high number of Australian visa holders from the Philippines have breached conditions on their visas. This is relative to people from other countries like Norway, the USA, the UK, and Germany. Furthermore the standard of living and the salaries in Australia are generally higher than in the Philippines and this leads to concerns that the incentive to return home might be outweighed by the opportunities in Australia. These are just some of the reasons why the Philippines is classified as a high risk country by Australia for visas.

The result of the fact that the Philippines is classified as a ‘high risk’ country is that visa applicants from the Philippines have to undergo more checks to test their suitability for a visa and have to provide more supporting documentation to address or answer the checks. To obtain even a Tourist visa for Australia for a short period of time a citizen from the Philippines will have to answer questions about their health, character, employment history, previous visa and travel history as well as questions about their finances. Any failure to satisfy the Australian Embassy’s enquiries will usually result in the application being refused.

Because of the relatively complex nature of even the simplest of Australian visa applications I always recommend that potential applicants speak to a migration agent such as myself so that they can be guided as to whether they might qualify for a Australian visa and if so how to prepare a high quality application with a high chance of success. Unfortunately however, many people try to prepare applications on their own with either little or no knowledge or experience. It is therefore no wonder that so many applications are refused. It is one thing to be refused a Tourist visa but it is another thing entirely to be refused a Fiancé visa, for example, which might deny you and your Australian fiancé the chance to be together on a permanent basis. When it comes down to your future you do not want to throw darts at a board and hope for the best -you want to do things correctly and get it right the first time.

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