Getting a tourist visa, then a partner visa in Australia?

Getting a tourist visa, followed by an application for a partner visa in Australia?

Is this a good idea?


You may have heard advice from some of the online advice pages, and even from some migration agents, that this is the best way to apply for a partner visa. Apply for a tourist visa to Australia, then get married then apply for a partner visa and the applicant gets to stay in Australia.

Getting advice from amateur forums is not good idea. No care and no responsibility from supposed experts with lots of self-confidence and very little knowledge. The confidence comes from lodging their own application once, compared to a REGISTERED Migration Agent with proper qualifications lodging hundreds of successful applications every year.

And whilst Registered Migration Agents are qualified to give migration advice, agents generally specialise in their own areas of expertise. I don’t give advice on student visas from India and I don’t give advice on Special Investor Visas from China, as I lack the experience. We are the experts in partner visas from Philippines.


  • When you apply for a valid onshore partner visa application (Subclass 820), the applicant gets to stay in Australia on a Bridging Visa during the processing and doesn’t have to return.
  • Applicants can apply for Medicare cards straight away
  • Applicants usually get work rights on the bridging visa


  • The Government charge is approx $1,500.00 more than for an offshore application
  • The tourist visa application might be refused
  • Tourist visas are for visiting friends and family or doing general tourism things (patting kangaroos and admiring Ayres Rock, etc). If you apply for a tourist visa in order to get married and bypass the system, this is NOT a genuine reason to apply, and by law they will refuse the application if it’s for another purpose, ie
    • You MAY marry in Australia on a tourist visa, however you may NOT apply for a tourist visa with the purpose of marrying in Australia.
  • The tourist visa grant may well have a Condition 8503 imposed on it. This means NO FURTHER STAY, and means that she cannot apply for another visa whilst she is inside Australia. She will have to leave at the end of a three month stay. With a Condition 8503 it is not possible to apply for a partner visa inside Australia. She will end up back on the plane.
  • Marrying in Australia means meeting with a marriage celebrant, arranging a wedding date (they are often booked months ahead), lodging a Notice of Intent to Marry form, and waiting 30 days for a marriage license. Trying to organise a wedding AND a complex visa application within a 3 month stay is going to be stressful and very challenging.
    • She will be dealing with culture shock
    • You are probably still going to work every day
    • She will require documents from Philippines, which will be hard for her to organise while she’s in Australia.
  • The looming deadline will be sitting on your heads while you are trying to prepare everything and to have it all lodged before her tourist visa runs out!

What can Down Under Visa do?

Our job is to help you, and we will do so to the best of our abilities and always within the law! But realise we are not “Yes-men” and will always tell you the truth especially about practical matters. But if you do wish to marry whilst in Australia on a tourist visa, and if you are able to apply for a partner visa in Australia, yes we can manage your application for you in the same way we manage applications here in Manila.

However we would prefer to see you lodge here offshore.

And yes, we know you will miss each other.

This is why we will also advise you to get us to apply for a multiple-entry tourist visa for her at the same time as the partner visa is lodged here in Manila. You will be able to spend most of your waiting time there together while the application is being processed. And you will be able to enjoy your time together without being a candidate for a nervous breakdown!

Please go to our website at and complete an assessment form, and we can discuss your options.



Filed under Australian Visa Applications, Partner Visas - Offshore, Partner Visas - Onshore, Tourist Visas

3 responses to “Getting a tourist visa, then a partner visa in Australia?

  1. Michael English

    You are almost certain to get a 8503 condition which means leave the country when the visa is up. And the tourist visa will almost be certainly refused if there is no compelling reason to return. Like work, business, property.

    As to trying to obtain documents from the Philippines while in Australia. No chance. Better to obtain an intention to marry visa or simply marry in the Philippines like I did. But that is nothing like getting married in Australia. Cenomar, marriage “counselling”, reproductive health seminar (what a laugh that one!!). Marriage licence, marriage contract. plus other quaint customs like godparents (usually someone with “connections”) just in case the rellies need to get out of something which is often. sigh.!!

    My wife tried to obtain a tourist visa to come to Australia to marry me. That was refused. That visa application was of course suggested by un-named rellies using the favorite Manila travel agent aka “migration agent” (which means not registered). I went there myself at my wifes suggestion and he just about had a heart attack on the spot.

  2. Hi Jeff, The post we read… Said about a bridging visa while we process our partner visa….is this available for Arianne to come to Australia while we process partner visa???? Regards Paul and Arianne

    Sent from my iPhone


    • If you changed to an onshore visa, Paul? Yes. That would mean:

      (a) Arianne was in Australia with no Condition 8503 on her tourist visa grant

      (b) If you married in Australia

      (c) You had everything organised. What we really don’t want to see is anybody trying to get everything organised in a limited time, then ending up in Australia unlawfully…..or lodging a poor application.

      Please send me an email if you want to do this?

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