Australian Partner visa (by marriage) for Filipino wife

I recently had an enquiry from an Australian man living in Manila who wanted a Partner visa for his Filipino wife of 5 years. They had been living together in the Philippines for over 3 years but had now decided that is was best for them to move to Australia on a permanent basis. His health was deteriorating and he felt it important to return to Australia and avail himself of his right to use Medicare and so avoid significant medical bills in the Philippines.So he approached me for professional Australian migration advice and visa assistance in order to put this plan into action.

As he is legally married to his Filipino wife, the correct pathway for her to migrate to Australia was a Partner visa. A Partner visa is a pathway for coupes that are either married or in a de facto relationship.

Where can I apply for an Australian Partner visa?

Once we got started, our client wanted to know what the best option was for applying for the Partner visa – could and should they apply in the Philippines, or in Australia? I explained to him that the answer to this question not only depended on their circumstances and what best suited their situation, but also whether they were eligible to apply and meet the criteria. While we had determined that both she and the sponsor met the criteria for the grant of a Partner visa, because she was located in the Philippines she needed to apply for the Partner visa in the Philippines.

Considering the above, and speaking logistically and practically, this meant that the Applicant would need to be outside of Australia, both at the time of submission of the application, and at the time of the decision. Then taking into account the processing time, which can now be up to 2 years, if she wants to spend time with her husband during this period she would need to apply for and be granted an Australian Visitor visa.

As alluded to above, at the present time, when it comes to Partner visa applications, the processing times are very lengthy – whether it be an offshore or onshore application. As our client needed to return to Australia ASAP, this created a real issue about his wife being able to join him in Australia. Neither of them wanted the extra expense of having to apply for Visitor visas and flights to and from the Philippines for what could be up to 2 years.

Was there a solution?

Yes. On our clients behalf we submitted a Visitor visa application for her under the tourist stream. Included in this application were lengthy and detailed legal submissions written by us, which addressed the applicant’s special circumstances with reference to the criteria for the grant of a Visitor visa and the Migration Act and Regulations. Amongst other things, the submissions outlined the applicant’s prior visa compliance (she had travelled to Australia on 2 previous occasions, as well as to other jurisdictions). It was our plan to submit a very thorough and solid application covering all of the criteria in order to allow the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) to make a favourable decision to grant her the Visitor visa.

A decision was made and our client was granted a 12 month multiple entry Visitor visa with stays of up to 3 months at a time permitted. This was a great result for the client. However, furthermore and more significantly, the condition 8503 – ‘no further stay’ was not attached to her visa, as is normally the case. This then allowed us to take the very favourable step of now being able to apply for her Partner visa while she was still in Australia. Now the married couple could remain together in Australia while her Partner visa is processing. This was a massive win for our client.

How can I guarantee that Condition 8503 will not be on my visa?

Unfortunately, you cannot guarantee that Condition 8503 – ‘no further stay’ will not be attached to you visa. Furthermore, you cannot ask for it not to be attached to you visa. So you are completely at the discretion of the Decision Maker as to whether the Condition 8503 will be applied or not. The best way to avoid having the condition being attached to it is to prepare a very strong application so that the Decision Maker has no doubt in their mind that your intention is only to visit Australia temporarily. That does not come by simply saying “I promise that I intend only to visit Australia for a short visit”! It comes from an overall assessment of the whole application. So if you feel that you may need expert help to prepare a visa application,including comingup with a visa strategy to suit both you and your partnersindividual situation and needs, then contact us here at Australian Visa Advice (AVA) for more information: /

Written by Luke Gorham ©2020
Registered Migration Agent
Australian Visa Advice

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