I am often contacted by Australian men who have a Philippina girlfriend (a “Filipina”). They tell me that they have attempted to obtain an Australian Tourist visa for their Filipina girlfriend but the application was refused. The Australian man has either attempted to prepare the application himself or paid some dodgy local so called migration agent (but who is often neither an Australian nor qualified in Australian migration law). A very high percentage of Australian Tourist visa applications are refused and it is not surprising because most people think that obtaining a Tourist visa is easy, and yet Australian migration law is amongst the most complicated areas of all Australian law. For most foreign citizens there is a lot involved in the preparation and processing of even a Tourist visa.
The first thing that you should do if your Philippina girlfriend (“Filipina”) is refused a Tourist visa is to look at the Decision Record/Letter of Refusal. The Department of Immigration sends out a letter with every refusal and they are required to provide reasons for the refusal. This might seem like a simple exercise whereby one looks at the reasons and can easily identify something which is lacking and that can be rectified. Unfortunately however, the reasoning is not always very detailed and can sometimes be a little cryptic. It often takes a skilled and experienced migration agent to decipher what the concerns really are. A detailed assessment also usually involves having a talk to the Australian man and his Filipina girlfriend to discuss what they submitted and what they said in the application.
I regularly prepare Tourist visa applications for my Australian clients who have had prior refusals. The preparation requires careful attention to address, not only the normal criteria, but also the reasons for refusal. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) states that, unless your circumstances have changed significantly from the first application, there isn’t really much point in submitting another application. So effectively, a refusal creates an extra hurdle that has to be overcome.
In summary, if your Filipina girlfriend has already had a Tourist visa refused, I would strongly recommend, not only using an experienced migration agent, but also one with a good track record of visa applications of the type that you want to apply for. In this case we are talking about a Tourist visa – and a Tourist visa for a Filipina. Each Australian Embassy overseas has its own peculiarities about the way it does things – its procedure – so it is important to take that into consideration. Try to find someone trained in Australian Migration law. If you do all of these things and follow your migration agents advice your Filipina girlfriend’s chances of obtaining an Australian Tourist visa will be greatly increased.