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The following is self explanatory and for information only.
It is possible to apply for more than one visa at a time though only one can be held and outcome of tweaking the system will like visa grants always be unknown until something happens, perhaps some luck involved as to who is looking at what.

Onshore/Offshore Partner visas and Visiting visas.
Aside from the issue of eligibility,many people are posting re wanting to travel to Australia whilst a partner visa is being processed or to alternately travel to Australia and apply onshore.

I've prepared this simple outline of the facts to save repetitive responses time, there being some key issues of risk involved.

1. Using a Visa for correct Intent
There is a general policy that people should use a visa for its intended purpose and though the following release was for 457 visas, there is a general reference and I think there is another more pertinent release about somewhere in the Immi system.
http://www.immi.gov.au/gateways/agents/pdf/subclass-457-visitors.pdf

So the risk that people take in attempting to bend the system towards their own situation is always that they may run into an Immi officer at point of entry who is doing things by the book.
Anyone who has ever worked in a larger organisation with rules and regulations will know that it only takes one person to say these are the rules and you'll not likely get another wanting to buck the system in favour of compassion or practicality.

Another factor that can determine outcome is the circumstances of travel and any documentation being carried, like who takes things like birth certificates and certified copies etc. when supposedly going on a visit!

The result can be that you are catching the next plane out again.

2. Being in the right place for a visa grantThe onus has always been on an applicant to be in the right place for a visa to be granted, offshore for an offshore visa or onshore for an onshore visa, an exception now being with onshore partner applicants who can now be offshore when the PR is granted.

If people are successful with entering Australia whilst awaiting another visa processing, it does seem that there are embassy/consulate/high commission based Immi people who will let applicants know that their granting is imminent and if they are in Australia, arrangements should be made to leave.
It is something that is also done for skilled visa applicants where someone may be on an employer sponsorship in Australia whilst awaiting an independent skilled visa decision, that type of visa being processed by Immi in Australia.

It, along with any embassy/consulate/HC action is outside of Immi regulations and something I could understand some bureaucrats being loathe to endorse, let alone the lesser echelons, the reasons being I'd suggest:
. Immi have a firm policy of a decision on visas not being projected and so it really means a visa has to be ready for granting before a person in theory can be notified.
If a slip up occurs, change of staff, Form 1022 misplaced, whatever and the visa goes up for entering into the system and a rejection occurs because a person is in Oz when they need to be abroad or vice versa, the system is not going to cope so well, and nor will the applicant with a visa rejected.
Immi like all government departments of most governments cop more flack than they want so why make a rod for their own back.
One poster from the USA was recently told that she may put her visa grant in jeopardy if having travelled to Oz.
. So basically, though people in many levels may want to be friendly and helpful and are, there is such a thing as putting yourself out on a limb and wanting to cover your backside from a good kick for not following the regulations.
. It also introduces another not regular step into a process designed for the masses and not with the flexibility to handle individual wants, thus more work and more reliance on the human fallibility factor.

And I am not saying that all Immi people are Ogres either, just waiting to turn people away on arrival but there are regulations and people who do like to see them adhered to as well as those who may adopt a more lenient approach when they can.

3. Bridging Visa on Expiry of an Existing VisaThe ability to come onshore and apply for a visa and then get a bridging visa is reliant on entering Australia on a visa that not have a No Further Stay condition.
For people from countries eligible to get an ETA, that is easy fixed and even for some who apply for the eVisa, it seems that visas are being issued with ETA like conditions.
That raises the case of an ETA not having an expiry date in theory until the end of 12 months and several trips out and back in is reached.
I am not aware if Immi have introduced an approach of saying OK, we can issue a bridging visa at the end of your first three months stint.

I'll update the situation if anything becomes apparent, a recent poster having applied for a partner visa, been on a bridging visa and also got the work restriction removed though I'm not aware of what visa she entered on - I'll check.
So being informed, you can make your choice.
 

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I think this needs to be added here to highlight the risks of getting a tourist visa to travel to Australia while an offshore partner visa is being processed.

Today, 01:27 PM
czerney
Junior Member Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3


My Fiance and I have just spent the better of 3 months and MANY hours going through process of preparing our PMV application. I'm an Australian citizen and she is from Japan. I really understand what you're going through as a long distance relationship is hard. (We use video skype everyday and very thankfull for it)

Regarding having your fiance or partner come live hear on a tourist visa while you are waiting... I would suggest, based on advise from our migration agent, that you be very careful here that if you're in the country and you get granted the PMV, that you don't depart on the tourist visa as this will blank out your PMV. Something about the way visa's are applied to the passport.

Exactly how it works I'm not sure, but the implications are pretty dire including invalidating the visa and if you're anything like us you are looking at around a year from the time we met to being able to be together. You don't want to risk delays or possible cancellation!!! If you're going to do this I'd HIGHLY recommend advise from a migration agent. The one we used just submitted our application yesterday and was EXTREMELY thorough and picked up on so many technicalities I didn't consider.
 

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I have reopened this thread as I feel it deserves more discussion.

I am in Australia on an ETA myself. I am hoping that my case officer, who is yet to contact me even once will in fact inform me when I have to leave so that my 309 can be granted.

Reading this thread, would as it did I at first, scare most people off travelling to Australia without their final visa decision and I am not suggesting it is without risk. I for one would be interested to hear from others that have indeed chosen the risky path I have of being with their partners despite the risks and been successful, or god forbid run into trouble doing so. I was going to stay in the USA originally and wait for a decision but I wanted to be in Australia with my husband and I had cats that couldn't wait for a decision to travel so I just up and went on an ETA. I have my fingers crossed it will work out. It seems unfair that there is no kind of bridging visa for offshore applicants to me, at least after medicals and police checks have been done. If somebody applies onshore they could be the worst of the worst but they can get a bridging visa and work etc. If you apply offshore you could be an angel but are not really welcome in the country for months to years and if you do come early then you can't work etc. Immigration expects couples to be together to prove they want to stay together and then make rules that keep them apart unless they find a way around them. That just doesn't make sense to me. If and when they decide I can stay I will have to leave so that I can stay.... does that make sense hmmm I don't see how but I will do it because I do love my husband and I will do what ever it takes to be with him...

Kttykat
 

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ACS has this to say on the matter

"In response to your email, if you decide to submit a Partner Migration visa application and want to visit Australia for a short trip while your application is being processed, you will need to advise us of the travel dates so your application can be updated.

It is not intended that a Partner Visa applicant waits out the processing of the Partner Migration Visa in Australia on a Tourist Visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). If you enter Australia on a one way ticket you may be asked by Australian immigration authorities, on arrival at the airport, as to what your plans for departing Australia are. If entering Australia on an ETA or Tourist visa the immigration officer will need to be satisfied that you are a genuine visitor."

So Seems to be a double edge sword, and you take all the risk apon arriving in AUS--Bradster
 

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ACS has this to say on the matter

"In response to your email, if you decide to submit a Partner Migration visa application and want to visit Australia for a short trip while your application is being processed, you will need to advise us of the travel dates so your application can be updated.

It is not intended that a Partner Visa applicant waits out the processing of the Partner Migration Visa in Australia on a Tourist Visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). If you enter Australia on a one way ticket you may be asked by Australian immigration authorities, on arrival at the airport, as to what your plans for departing Australia are. If entering Australia on an ETA or Tourist visa the immigration officer will need to be satisfied that you are a genuine visitor."

So Seems to be a double edge sword, and you take all the risk apon arriving in AUS--Bradster
Yeah, they didn't even raise an eyebrow when I arrived on an ETA with a 90 day stay on the entry card on a one way ticket. I was ready to give the border guy hell in the American style, I am an a American married to an Australian etc etc etc but he waived me through :) I don't know how well I will go if I pop to NZ and back again for another three months and I am hoping that they will grant the 309 before then.

Kttykat
 

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And here is DIAC's official and public response to this question:

I lodged my family stream visa application outside Australia. Can I have a visitor visa while I am waiting for my permanent visa so that I can be with my family in Australia during the processing?

Visitor visas should not be used for long-term stays, for residence in Australia or for the purpose of remaining in Australia for extended periods to await a migration outcome.

When applying for a visitor visa you must meet all requirements, including the genuine visitor criterion, for that visa to be granted. The periods of time an applicant has spent in and out of Australia are taken into account in deciding a visitor visa application.
See:
Fact Sheet 54 - Sponsored Family Visitor Visas
Fact Sheet 53 - Australia's Entry System for Visitors

Applicants who travel to Australia on a temporary visa while waiting for their family stream visa application to be processed by an immigration office outside Australia should inform the processing office about their planned visit to Australia.

If an application for a family stream visa was made outside Australia the visa generally cannot be granted while the applicant is in Australia. The exception is where a combined application was made for a subclass 309 (provisional) partner visa and a subclass 100 (migrant) partner visa. In such cases the permanent partner visa may be granted in Australia provided the applicant holds the subclass 309 visa.
 

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I am also in complete agreement with you, Kttykat, regarding the lack of any kind of bridging visa and also the ridiculous bureacratic requirement to leave the country to be allowed back into the country.

Yes, I think it's a bit of a paradox that they require couples to be together and not apart in order to be eligible, and then put in place so many rules that make compliance so very difficult.
 

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And here is DIAC's official and public response to this question:
Yes, I have read that too. I wasn't going to go to Australia on an ETA in the original plan. When I explained to the Americas help line about the situation with my cats, that if I waited too long that their vaccinations would run out, they were the ones who suggested that I travel to Australia on an ETA and advise my CO that, that was what I was going to do. I took their advice and did just that.

Kttykat
 

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Yes, but a good idea to post it for everyone else who hasn't come across it before :)

The most enraging thing is how inconsistently the rules are applied from post to post - some, like you are given a green light to do this while others have their application refused outright because "a tourist visa is not to be used to wait out the processing of a partner visa". However, the PAM3 regulations do indicate to the processing officers that this in not out of the question ipso facto - in fact, they do encourage them to take a fair approach to couples in this situation.
 

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Yes, but a good idea to post it for everyone else who hasn't come across it before :)

The most enraging thing is how inconsistently the rules are applied from post to post - some, like you are given a green light to do this while others have their application refused outright because "a tourist visa is not to be used to wait out the processing of a partner visa". However, the PAM3 regulations do indicate to the processing officers that this in not out of the question ipso facto - in fact, they do encourage them to take a fair approach to couples in this situation.
I think this is one of the aspects that makes us all wonder. The process is far from a standard procedure, it leaves us all in the dark as to just how they will apply the law in our particular case, it is so much a guessing game.

Kttykat
 

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Definitely, and as we've all agreed before, there is a need for more transparency, consistency, and accountability from this department.
 

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Adventuress said:
Definitely, and as we've all agreed before, there is a need for more transparency, consistency, and accountability from this department.
Interestingly I rang immi yesterday they told me that they expect that partners would want to travel too each others country for a visit as immi knows that processing an application can take along time. Immi indicated to me that a tourist visa application while waiting approval for a partner visa was expected.

Immi also advised that the applicate who has history of abiding by previous visa conditions would get a favorable look.

In my discussions I indicated that we were about to apply for PMV, however after some discussion about the extent of our relationship it was suggested strongly that I review our decision and consider a straight partner Vidal application due to length of time we have been together.

This suggestion came about when I mentioned 98 pages of phone bills we would lodge with the PMV application as part of our proof of contact while living apart

I do hope the advice I was given proves correct as we changed the application to partner visa and will lodge it next week.

We will then lodge a TV app a week or so later, we have not seen each other since mid November 2012
Good luck to all
Cheers
 

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Onshore application

So, what if we apply onshore after doing some travelling first? By that I mean NOT having any offshore 309 in the pipework, instead my partner comes on an ETA, we travel for a bit and then lodge an 820 (onshore partner visa application)? Comments, advice, anyone who's done it this way?

Cheers!
 

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I am confused about all this :-/ I am an Aussie, my partner English. We are applying for an offshore defacto visa (309). My youth mobility visa runs out at the end of August, I am planning on returning to Oz in September (need to research into leaving England for a week and then possibly coming back for 2 weeks before heading home... but I am not worrying about that right now). By returning home in Sept, we should(?) only be apart for 2 months instead of 3 if I was to go home in August and of course if the visa only takes 6 months to be approved.

Should we apply for a tourist visa for Neil to come visit sometime in those 2 months we are waiting for the visa to come through? He has never been to Australia before and we havent had the money for us to fly home for him to meet the my family as we have been travelling instead (Europe and America). And then what happens if his visa is approved while he is visiting in Australia???

So confused!
 

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I am confused about all this :-/ I am an Aussie, my partner English. We are applying for an offshore defacto visa (309). My youth mobility visa runs out at the end of August, I am planning on returning to Oz in September (need to research into leaving England for a week and then possibly coming back for 2 weeks before heading home... but I am not worrying about that right now). By returning home in Sept, we should(?) only be apart for 2 months instead of 3 if I was to go home in August and of course if the visa only takes 6 months to be approved.

Should we apply for a tourist visa for Neil to come visit sometime in those 2 months we are waiting for the visa to come through? He has never been to Australia before and we havent had the money for us to fly home for him to meet the my family as we have been travelling instead (Europe and America). And then what happens if his visa is approved while he is visiting in Australia???

So confused!
It used to take 5-6 months to be approved. With offshore defacto visas, last I checked, the actual wait time from what I've been seeing on the forums here is 8-9 months or more for low-risk countries like your fiance's. That's for the lucky folks, though. They can take longer for a variety of reasons.

You CAN apply for a tourist visa while you're waiting for his offshore defacto to be approved. As someone from a low-risk country, your shot at getting one is better, but you still will have to carefully demonstrate that he has an incentive to return to England (a job, etc. to go back to). But before you apply for it, it's important you let your case officer know your plans - that you'll be applying for a tourist visa for him to visit you, and you need to ask if they can notify you before they approve his defacto visa so he can be offshore again. This part is REALLY important, because if they approve it while he's onshore it voids the visa.

When you're applying for the tourist visa, some people say that can actually help bolster your case -- saying "My partner HAS to go offshore again so his offshore partner visa can be approved." That has worked for some people, but not all, of course.

Edited to add: Though he has to go offshore, it doesn't HAVE to be to England. He can make a quick trip to Bali or to New Zealand, both of which are close and have relatively inexpensive airfare depending on where you are in Oz.
 

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And here is DIAC's official and public response to this question:
I have just been researching this - have you looked at the finer points? It can't apply to most cases.

For example, I'm Australian - the husband is British. We have been living in London together (where we met) for the past 3.5 years. The conditions of the Family Sponsor Visa state that the Sponsor must be a relative of the applicant with no provisions for in-laws making me and my family ineligible to sponsor my husband.

If he had some family in Aus it would be different, but he does not.

Not to mention the probability of being asked to put up a large security bond ($5000 - $15000). I have a feeling this visa is not aimed at couples who are in this situation sadly.
 

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So my husband and I - after months of painful planning (am I right guys?) and 2 years of researching and preparing for the "right time to apply" - are finally submitting our application on Tuesday. I am leaving to go back to Australia ahead of my visa expiring in the UK on the 17th April - plus we have a baby on the way due in July.

We have an agent who I am currently working with to see what we can do in the interim. He seems very hesitant to advise me to get my husband over on a tourist visa while we await the outcome - mainly due to the fact that my husband has some criminal convictions which will inevitably invite an intention of refusal notice.

Anybody had success in getting over on a tourist visa after applying for the partner visa offshore - with a substantial criminal record?
 

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Yes, but you're looking at the Sponsored Family Visitor visa, which isn't the same as a general Tourist Visa. These classes of visas have actually all just changed, and are streamlined under one code (600).

One option your husband has with his UK passport is the E-visitor visa, which I understand can be approved mere minutes after application online. There are other members who have taken this route and are currently in Australia.

However, considering your complicated circumstances which we looked at in a previous thread, he may not be eligible for the E-visitor, but it seems he may still be able to apply for a regular tourist stream visa. And for sponsored visas the security bond is discretionary, and being from the UK it may not necessarily apply to your husband. The sponsorship thing is a bit tricky, but it may be an idea to try anyway with you as his sponsor, giving an indication that you will have other support such as accommodation from your family there, etc. etc. So there are a couple of options to pursue.

In the end, you can only try. They may process you favourably in the end.
 

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I do understand the difference between the two - I am awaiting advice from my migation agent but its looking like I can't be a sponser becuase I haven't been in Australia for the past 2 years - unless I am interpreting that incorrectly? So therefore indeed a tourist visa may be the only option.

I'm looking at all and any temporary options for us. This thread is giving me invaluable information and some things my agent insn;t suggesting - possibly due to the associated risks.

I guess the point is that my husband may be refused a tourist visa based on the convictions having a negative impact on his partner visa - on the flip side, I would like to think than nobody in their right mind would decline him the right to be at his daughters birth. It could go either way really.

Am I right in saying if wer can get the tourist visa and get him into Australia on the basis that he is not intending to work (and they have no reason to believe he is) that he can stay for 3 months - then potentially leave nad get another 3 months?
 
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