Be careful what you say on your Visitor Visa Application!

Did you know the Miranda warning of “Anything you do say can and will be used against you…” applies not only in the movies but to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as well?

Yes, it’s true! Migration Law is constantly evolving and one of the changes we have recently noticed with Partner Visa applications is that Immigration are paying MORE attention to any personal information previously supplied by you or your partner to them. This includes any details or particulars you may have given on previous Visitor or Student Visa applications and extends to what you have written on airport landing cards. Yes, that’s correct, they keep ALL that information for reference.

Will Immigration check my previous application?

It is important to know that when you lodge a Partner Visa application, Immigration will scrutinise and cross reference any and all of your Australian visa history and migration related data. If they find any inconsistencies or a blatant lie in the process, you are going to have a real battle on your hands.

Get a FREE copy of our Partner Visa Roadmap

Download our free Partner Visa Roadmap and use it to do a self assessment of where you are at in the process. Try filling out as much information as you can and see if you have everything that is required.

Consistent disclosure of the same information is important. For example, there is a MYTH out there that if you bring your partner out to visit you in Australia on a Visitor Visa (Subclass 600), it is best for them not to disclose that they are indeed your partner or that you are in a relationship on the application.This is erroneously done in the hopes that this will stop Immigration from putting a ‘no further stay’ (8503 Condition) on the Visitor Visa and allow you to lodge an onshore Partner Visa (subclass 820) to take advantage of the Bridging Visa A. This unfortunately is a TOTAL MYTH and may in fact harm your Partner Visa application at a later date.

What would happen if I lied on a Visitor Visa application?

If you did not disclose your relationship status on the Visitor Visa and then lodge an onshore Partner Visa application, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will check what you wrote on that Visitor Visa application and landing card when you entered Australia. If you originally said  you were just visiting a ‘friend’ and then claim that you have been in a relationship for 12 months, Immigration will come to one of two conclusions;

(1) You are just friends and therefore you don’t meet the requirements for a partner visa, or (2), You lied on your previous visa application.

Either way, it is going to leave you in a difficult position with a lot of explaining to do and could possibly lead to a refusal of the visa application.

How do I know this MYTH exists, you ask? Well, on a recent trip to the Philippines, I overheard two Australian gentlemen talking about this exact subject in a restaurant one evening. One of the gentlemen had obviously been through the partner visa process himself, several years ago, and he was giving this advice along with some other outdated ideas. It took all my inner strength not to run over to this guy to set him straight and let him know he was actually breaking the law by giving advice like this.

Should I take advice from my friends if they have been through the process?

In this case, if a friend or someone you know tells you the best way to have a Visitor Visa granted or avoid an 8503 condition on the Visitor Visa is not to mention your relationship in the first place and you think you can  somehow “trick” Immigration in this way, then please do not listen to any advice they have on anything visa-related. This applies even if they have been through the process themselves, as Migration Law is constantly changing. The information given to someone 6 months ago may be out-of-date by the time they are ready to lodge the application.

As Freedom Migration assists hundreds of couples each year going through the Partner Visa process, we have developed an understanding of how the Department of Immigration and Border Protection makes decisions. Through helping our own clients day in day out with their partner visa applications, we keep abreast of these unpublished trends through our continued daily lodging of applications and constant communications with the Department. We are skilled in reading and understanding the legislation and policies that determine eligibility for a Partner Visa. This way, we are always ‘up-to-date’ on any changes made to Migration Law.

Please please please comment below. We read them all and it helps us get better information to you.

  • Michael says:

    Interesting. So what is the solution to obtaining a Partner 820 visa? And what is the point of that specific visa if the necessary circumstances are that you be in Australia, and that you be there on a visa that requires your intentions not be to apply for another visa?

    Would it be more lucrative to get a student visa instead?

    How often do boarder agents apply a ‘No Further Stay 8503’ condition on visas?

    • Avelyn Chen says:

      Hi Michael, you have a few questions there. Firstly are you looking into applying for a Subclass 820? Is the visa for you or your partner? Is the applicant currently overseas? If so, where?

  • JS says:

    Hi! I’m an Australian citizen living in the UK with my British husband. We’d like to move to Australia – and my husband is considering the working holiday visa just because we don’t know if we want it to be a permanent move. Obviously we wouldn’t be buying properly etc, or properly settling as such and he’d abide by the WHV rules. My question is will immigration deny his visa because he’s married to me and suggest he apply for a partner visa instead? We just want to test the waters as such and then we’ll apply for a partner visa if we do decided we want to settle in Aus. Advice?

    • Avelyn Chen says:

      Hi JS, it’s not that straight forward, you are really best to get some advice before proceeding. It doesn’t cost much and you will not make any mistakes that may cause issues in the future.

  • Jessica Frandi says:

    Hi there, I’ve been wondering if this way would work (visa 600 then apply 820 while I’m there). My partner is an Australian and we had lived together for 9 months before I left because my student visa was expired. We are now trying to find out a way to get me into Australia again so we can compile all documents needed to lodge visa 820 so I can be with him while we are waiting for the 820 grant. Is it against the law to do 600 then 820? What should I put in my “relationship status” in the application form? de facto or single? Thank you so much and sorry for the long question.

    • Avelyn Chen says:

      No. 1 rule, always tell the truth in all your applications. Yes, you can lodge on a 600 as long as there is no “8503 no further stay condition” but I really recommend getting some basic adventurous before proceeding, it will save you a lot of stress and money in the long run.

  • Avelyn Chen says:

    This is a really good question Alea, it’s comes down to what is the main purpose of your working holiday visa? This can get very complicated and I think it would be a good idea if you sent us an email with more details. You can reach out to Emma our principle migration agent on we’ll be able to give you a more detailed response.

  • emily says:

    I was in Aussie for 9 months with ETA. since eta was good for 12 months and 3 months for each visit, i thought it was okay to get out OZ every 3 months and re-enter. 3 months gone and i went to thailand, stayed there for a couple days and came back to aussie. didnt have any problem. 6 months came, i went to another country and stayed there for 1 day and got back again. this time i got into trouble as i couldnot go throught eta lane. i went to immi officer and he told me i was not supposed to used eta visa for this. he asked me many questions and i told the thruth that i have a bf and i was there to be with him. he told me not to used eta ever again and if i enter with eta in the future, i will be ban from OZ forever. he said for the benifits of the doubth, i was let go at that time, and he suggested to use any other visas if i want or plan to stay for a while in OZ. he also said i can applyed for partner visa. i stayed a little over two months and returned to the states as we are not ready to commit into marriage. our relationship has been on and off since i got back, but now i would like to go visit OZ. is there any chance to apply visitor visa other than eta? if i do, will 8503 be attached to it?

  • neha says:

    Not only for the visitor visa, you must be careful while filing your any kind of visa to migrate to Australia. i will also say that you must have complete information about Australian immigration process before filing your PR.

    • Avelyn Chen says:

      Hi Neha, absolutely 100% correct… that’s why we always recommend getting some level of advice before the start the process.

  • About the Author Sophia Emberson-Bain

    I was born in the Caribbean and schooled in England before moving to Australia. I studied law and now work at the best migration agency...and no I am not a pirate. Arrhhh. I enjoy helping people, which is why I studied law. Unfortunately, all this time studying has meant my hunting skills are not so strong, and so for that reason, I am a vegetarian.