Tag Archives: Philippines

Setting precedents in an Australian/Filipina relationship

This is not meant as “dating advice”. This is advice for those Australian men who are engaged or married to a lady from the Philippines, and are probably still in that floating-on-air stage where everything is new, exciting and apparently could be no better.

It’s about setting precedents for the future about things that could cause you relationship problems in the future.

What are the main things that Aussie/Filipina couples fight about?

Money and family!





Money is an issue you want to clear up first and foremost, because there is an illusion that all Aussies are rich! And if a man isn’t clear about setting limits right from the start, he can set a dangerous precedent which he may well later regret.

A man comes to visit his lady. Mentally he’s in holiday-mode. He’s also trying to impress his lady and her family, and he’s generally in a great mood. That’s very different to the everyday situation of life back in Australia for most people. And the cost of living in Australia is considerably higher. Have a look HERE for a comparison.

You MUST make the true situation clear to her and to her family, so that they are under no illusions! Tossing money around freely can give the impression that this is how it will be from now on!





There is also a different attitude toward duty to family members in the Philippines as there is in Australia. Australia was founded by ruggedly independent pioneering types, and in our culture we respect (and expect!) self-reliance. Not so in the Philippines. There is a particular duty toward older relatives, particularly parents, and there is an obligation to help with education costs of younger siblings.

And you need to be reasonable and realistic. There is no automatic pension for oldies or “dole” for unemployed people. If your inlaws live in a leaky shack, and if they can’t afford medicine when they get sick, you can’t expect your wife to simply do nothing. However, the less-palatable aspect of the supporting-families tradition is when you get the family lazy-lump! Every Filipino family seems to have at least one, eg. a 31 year old son who doesn’t work, but needs feeding and needs money for alcohol and cigarettes! Are you happy to keep doing this, even when it shouldn’t be necessary?

And there’s also a tradition known as “balato”, where the family feel entitled to share in the good fortune of one of them. Family members may consider your wife/fiancée to have “struck it rich” when they met you, and they may sit back and wait for their share. I’ve known numerous Aussies and other westerners who have wondered why nieces/nephews/siblings have shown no interest in their offer to put them through college. It’s because they’ve thought “Why should I study and work when we’re now all rich?” They’ve made the assumption you’ll be carrying them through life from now on! Again, are you happy to keep doing this??



  • Set a good precedent right from the start.
  • Don’t expect elderly parents to wallow in dire poverty, and realise that lack of money can equal hunger, lack of the basics, and even death! Realise that kids need educating. Realise that people get sick and that typhoons damage houses.
  • But make the true situation clear, especially if you are on a low income and/or are facing imminent retirement.
  • And DON’T wave money around like there’s no tomorrow. Show fiscal restraint from your first meeting.
  • And make it clear what you feel about who should be supported and who shouldn’t.
  • Be prepared for her not liking what she hears! But honestly? If her family living in luxury matters more to her than you and your future family with her? And if she breaks up with you over this? What have you actually lost? A major headache and years of misery! That’s what! Let her go and move on!
  • And if you’ve left it a bit long and are now regretting it? You can only do your best to try to repair the damage already done and to make the reality of the situation clear to all concerned.



Filed under Philippines, Relationship Issues

Advantages of a Partner Visa to Australia

At Down Under Visa we have no problem with whether you wish to marry in Australia or in Philippines. No problems whatsoever. It’s not about us. It’s all about you, as it always is.

I just did a BLOG post about the advantages of a prospective marriage visa. And whilst yes, we do more prospective marriage visa applications than partner visa applications, we still do plenty of partner visa applications.




The Subclass 309 Partner Visa is for those who wish to marry (normally in the Philippines) at the beginning of the process. They either come to us when they are already married, or when they intend to marrying during the normal time that a partner visa application is processed. At the moment they are taking an average of 9 months. Which means if you intend marrying in about then next 6 months or so, yes this is ideal. Just understand that they won’t grant the visa until the marriage takes place.

Major issue in OUR view is the issue of free time! How much do you have? How much time off work can you take? Why do I ask? Because to marry in the Philippines without giving yourself some sort of stress-disorder will take you 3 – 4 weeks! Can you spare that much time? If not, then don’t do it!


Why 3 – 4 weeks?

You need to do umpteen different things to get a wedding done.

  • A certificate of No Impediment to Marriage from the Australian Embassy first.
  • 10 days to organise a marriage license at the local City Hall.
  • A seminar on birth control (in Tagalog) to attend. Yes, I’m serious!


Then the marriage itself, which means:

  • Organising the celebrant, which is either a judge or a priest at the Church. “Marriage Celebrants” like they have in Australia don’t exist.
  • If it’s a Church wedding, you have at least one pre cana seminar to attend. Sometimes several.
  • And you need outfits, ie. wedding dresses, barong tagalog (funny-looking shirt), outfits for the wedding party (which may be huge)
  • Rings
  • Reception


The wedding

If this is in the province somewhere, this might mean a few pigs get knocked on the head and mountains of rice is cooked. If in the city, it probably means a reception place and caterers. If in the city, it means a fairly set number of guests. If in the province, it means half the town will just turn up. And in most cases it means that various aunties, cousins, etc will pretty much take over organising everything. You probably won’t have much of an idea what is actually happening, and just need to do as you’re told.

It will be chaotic by western standards. It will be noisy and crowded, and you will be swept along in it all. The ceremony will have strange things like coins, chords, doves being released maybe. You may well arrive in a jeepney or even a tricycle.

Of course this will suit your bride-to-be, and it will make her family very happy. This is one of the huge plusses. It means a great deal to all of them. But you need to ask yourself whether it will suit you or not! Some people absolutely love it! Others? Even with enough time, they still find it less than desirable. It really depends on your personality.

So, consider TIME and your OWN PERSONALITY (patience, sense of humour, need to be in control), and make a decision and let us know. Happy to help you no matter what you decide.


Filed under Australian Visa Applications, Partner Visas - Offshore

Health Clearances – medicals and xrays for Australian Visas

All Australian visas require that the applications pass what are known as Public Interest Criteria, which are written into Australian Migration Law.



Each visa has different criteria, but all are there to protect the Australian Public from two major issues: Continue reading


Filed under Australian Visa Applications, Health Requirements

Citizenship By Descent applications


There is a problem in living in a society with a free flow of information. The answer is that some of that information is not true, or doesn’t apply to Australian situations.

I was a school kid in the early 70’s. No internet, obviously. Yet what did most kids grow up watching? Sesame Street! Entertaining, yes. Loved the Martians! But how did kids learn to say the last letter of the alphabet? Zeeeeeeee! I can remember arguing with my fellow 8 year olds that it was pronounced ZED! Yes, I was even bossy back then! Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship

Where’s my visa sticker? About Australian visa grants.

Up until a few years ago, an Australian visa meant getting a sticker in the passport. The passport was sent into the Australian Embassy in Manila, and back it came with “the visa” as people thought.

What is a visa?

A sticker? Stamp? Letter? No. None of these.





Is this something new? No, not at all. The demise of stickers s only a few years old, however those weren’t actually visas either. Continue reading

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Filed under Administration of visa applications, Australian Visa Applications