Five steps to get an Australian Marriage Visa for your Filipino wife:
- Ensure you meet the minimum requirements;
- Gather the required documents and relationship evidence;
- Lodge the application and pay the fee;
- Provide health checks and police certificates; and
- Reply quickly to requests from your Case Officer.
What is a Marriage Visa?
To stay in Australia, your Filipino wife will need a visa. There are a few different visas depending on your circumstances. A Marriage visa allows your wife to come to Australia to live with you. If she is already in Australia, applying for a Marriage visa means she can stay.
A Marriage visa is for married couples. Marriage overseas is okay, as long as its legal. This means that there is a registered marriage certificate.
If you are not yet married, then look to other options like a fiancé visa or a de facto visa.
Australian Marriage Visa for Filipino Wife?
Many Australian men marry Filipino ladies. This means that they will need to apply for a Marriage visa. Your wife can stay with you in Australia for a short period on a Visitor visa.
After a short time though, Immigration will expect you to apply for a permanent visa. For married couples, the correct visa is an Australian Marriage Visa.
Marrying your Filipino Girlfriend
Many people ask if they can marry while she is on a Tourist Visa. Yes, you can marry provided you are eligible to marry.
If you have married before then you need to get a divorce. Normally you will be over 18 years old. And you understand the commitment you are entering into.
Then it is just a matter of approaching a celebrant or a Church Minister. They will guide you through the marriage process.
Visa Options for your Filipino Wife
Once you marry. you can still apply for a tourist visa for your wife. However, normally it will be time to consider a more permanent visa. So, you will need to lodge a Marriage visa soon.
The reason Immigration will not let her live in Australia with you on a tourist visa is this. The law provides for a tourist visa provided the applicant can show they will leave Australia.
Once you marry, then its unlikely she will want to leave Australia. Making it really hard to get a new tourist visa for her. Its too hard to convince Immigration that she will leave.
Applying for a Marriage Visa
Married couples can apply for their Australian Partner visa online. Processing occurs in the applicant’s home country. So, if your wife is from the Philippines, for example, then the application is sent to the Australian Embassy in manila for processing.
Add Children to your Wife’s Marriage Visa
Dependent children can be added to the visa application. Children under 18 are automatically dependent. Over 18 can be more tricky – contact your Agent or lawyer.
When to add the Children
Add children at Time of Application
Add the Children after Application
Add Children after the Marriage Visa is Granted
Add Children after your Wife gets Permanent Residence
Australian Marriage Visa: Key Considerations
Here two key considerations that most people do not think about when applying for their Australian Marriage Visa. If they apply to you then you should contact us for more information.
For families with children under 18 years old, education can be the deciding factor in when to add the children to the Marriage visa application.
Even if the child gets a bridging visa to stay in Australia, there is no free school for about 3 years! Until mum has her Permanent Residence.
Many families chose to avoid bringing their children to Australia where schooling is expensive, preferring to leave them in the Philippines or and stay at school for free – then come to Australia when mum gets her PR then school in Australia is free.
If One Fails – All Fail
When you add children to an application – if one is refused then all applications will be refused their visa.
For example, if one child fails the health check and is determined to be a health risk (say for tuberculosis) then not only will the child be refused but mum will also be refused her visa!
Using an Agent to get an Australian Visa for your Filipino Wife
It is not mandatory to use an Agent or lawyer. You can apply for a Marriage visa yourself. Many people do use an Agent though. The reasons are:
- Self-prepared applications are more than ten times more likely to be refused!
- its much less stressful to use an Agent
- the application will be sure to meet the requirements
- the Agent can answer any questions from Immigration during processing
- The Partner visa application fee is high and using an Agent acts as insurance against losing your money
Starting the Visa Process your Filipino Wife
Even if you are married you still need to prove your relationship. This means you need to show that your relationship is genuine. You should ensure you have a good period of living together prior to applying. We recommend at least six months, however, less is possible.
You can get started simply by contacting us. We will assess you – make sure you qualify.
Required Documents for Australian Marriage Visa
The documents you need to provide for the Marriage visa application are extensive. You must prove your relationship is genuine in four key areas: financial, social, the nature of your household and the nature of your relationship overall.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the relationship is financial. You need to show immigration that you have combined your finances.
Social aspects of your Australian Marriage Visa for Filipino Wife
You need to show that others view your relationship to be genuine. That you operate in society as a couple.
You need to live together or if you do not live together – this must not be a permanent separation.
Nature of your Relationship
Have you combined your affairs? Are you making plans for, and beginning, a life together?
Waiting for your Marriage Visa
Everyone wants to know how long it will take for their Australian Marriage visa to be processed. Normal waiting time can be anywhere from 6 months to two years. So, how long will yours take? There are many factors that go into the decision-making process, so it is almost impossible to say.
There are some things you can do to make the process faster:
- Ensure you use a Registered Migration Agent or Australian Lawyer to avoid refusals and delays in processing
- Find out your criminal history before applying
- Consider whether applying onshore or offshore is best
- Consider education needs for children – there is no free school in Australia while you wait.
Updating the Application
Documents and evidence can be added to the visa application at any time prior to the decision. So, you should continue to provide evidence of your relationship. Your Agent or lawyer will also request further information from you – if Immigration have asked for it.
You should also tell immigration is your circumstances change. So if you name, marital status or address change. Also, if you have children you should inform Immigration.
Travel while waiting for your Australian Marriage Visa
If you applied in Australia
For those who apply while their Filipino wife is in Australia. A bridging visa is granted allowing your wife to stay in Australia. However, there is a no travel condition put on the Bridging visa. This can be easily removed. You can let your Agent or Lawyer know and they can apply for travel permission so that you can go overseas – and come back again.
Having travel permission added to your Bridging visa is simple. It takes around 3 days and the fee is around $150.
If you applied overseas
When you apply for a Marriage visa outside Australia there is no bridging visa. However, you can still travel to Australia while you wait for the Marriage visa grant. So, you can apply for a Visitor visa, for example, so that your Wife can stay with you in Australia while you wait for the Marriage visa decision.
Problems with your Australian Marriage Visa Application
If Immigration have concerns, they must notify you. Then you have the chance to respond. To provide more evidence and satisfy them about any particular concern they have.
Sometimes the concern can be about the sponsor, for example if the sponsor has a criminal record then you will be required to tell this to your wife, and you might be asked to explain why you should be granted the visa. This is definitely a situation where you would be better off having the assistance of an Agent or a Lawyer.
What if they Refuse my Marriage Visa?
If you use an Agent or lawyer to help you then its unlikely your visa will be refused. But in the unlikely event that it is – it is not the end of the road – its just an extra hurdle to overcome. If your relationship is genuine then you should be able to prove that at a review.
The Administrative Review Tribunal handles reviews of Marriage Visa decisions. The AAT overturns over 65% of Marriage Visa refusals. So, there is every chance that you can get back on track.
Getting the Visa
When Immigration have done all their checks, and they are satisfied with your application – they will grant your Marriage visa. Australian Law requires that if you Applied outside Australia you must also be outside Australia at time of grant. This means if you apply for an Australian Marriage Visa from the Philippines, then you need to be in the Philippines when the visa is granted.
If your Filipino wife is in Australia when Immigration want to approve her visa, they will notify her Agent or Lawyer. You can then make plans for your Filipino wife to leave Australia so that she can receive her Australian Marriage Visa.
For those who apply in Australia, the visa can be granted no matter where your Filipino wife is.
Conditions of an Australian Marriage Visa for Filipino Wife
It is very important to read and understand the condition on the visa. It would be a shame to have the visa you have waited so long for, cancelled because you are not aware of the conditions that can be imposed by Immigration.
The ‘Decision Notice’ will have a clear explanation of the visa conditions. You can also speak to your Agent or lawyer about how these conditions affect you. A Registered Migration Agent or Australian Lawyer might even be able to have conditions altered or completely removed from your visa – ask us how.
Permanent Residence Visa for your Filipino Wife
Two years after applying for the Marriage visa, you can update to the Permanent Residence Visa. This visa allows your Filipino wife to remain in Australia forever – with a five-year travel facility. It also marks the time when she will be able to access Government support through Centrelink.
The update process is like the initial application however there is less to show. You need to show new – up to date – police certificates and health checks. Then normal waiting time is around 12 months.
Resident Return Visa for your Filipino Wife
Permanent residence allows your Filipino wife to stay in Australia. However, there is only a five-year travel facility. So, if she wants to travel overseas after five-years, she will need to apply for a Resident Return Visa – before she leaves!