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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

My girlfriend (Thai citizenship) has applied for her masters degree in Melbourne and one of the questions on the application was whether she had ever been refused a visa to Aus before. In 2014 and again in 2017 she was refused a tourist visa due to supposed weak ties to her country.

In 2018 I helped her with a tourist visa application, and after asking for just a month long visa she was given a 1 year multi entry visa. In this application we were asked for details about the refusals and we were unable to find any details about the 2014 one but we did find the VFS application number for the 2017 one and included that. She didn't remember much herself and didn't keep the refusal letters due to the annoyance of getting denied a travel permit. (She has traveled to 32 countries without ever overstaying a visa)

So we wrote on the uni application that yes there were two refusals before the current successful visa, and we included the exact same info we included on the visa application (date of refusals and application number). They then asked us to clarify why the refusals occurred and we told them. Afterwards they told us they cannot process her uni application until they receive copies of the refusal letters.

Is this normal? We have called and emailed VFS and they have stated that we must contact the immigration department using immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/form-listing/Pages/australian-immigration-enquiry-form.aspx. However nothing on that page seems to indicate that a form exists to query past refusals submitted through VFS.

I will ring the department tomorrow but I'm just wondering about your thoughts on this.
 

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The refusals would no doubt have been due to Immigration concerns that your gf would not return to Thailand at the end of her stay in Australia - very common reason for refusal here in Thailand.

Follow Paul Hand's advice and you won't go wrong. Try getting your gf to go through past emails / Facebook / old passports etc to narrow down the time frame of the 2014 refusal so DHA have a search reference point.

Best of luck - I am sure she will be fine and the end result will be positive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You could make an FoI request for the letters - but you will need enough information about the previous refusals to allow the Department to identify the files. You can start here:
Oh man .... to make matters worse she has no idea where her passport from 2014 is, nor any idea of where to find a copy of the number.

Thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay turns out she wasn't looking hard enough, and we found a scan of it in a 2013 email.

So now to submit the FOI request. I am having trouble interpreting the online form. Does it allow me to request documents related to both refusals or must 1 submit a request for each document?

Also is it better to go the route of getting her to fill in the info for the request or should I, being an aus citizen, fill it out and attach the consent form from her?
 
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