What can you do if your Thai girlfriend has applied for an Australian Tourist visa and been refused? I am often contacted by Australian men whose Thai girlfriends are in this situation. They have usually tried to have a go at obtaining a Tourist visa either by themselves, with the help or a “friend” or a “friend of a friend” or some disreputable migration agent. It is not surprising that so many Australian Tourist visa applications are refused. Contrary to popular opinion, Tourist visas are not easy to obtain. The Australian Government is very strict about who they allow to enter Australia for any reason. In the past many foreign nationals have entered Australia on a Tourist visa and have either worked illegally or overstayed their visa. It is easy to understand – Australia has a very strong economy at the moment and there are many jobs available. As a result, however, Australia classifies many countries as high risk. Thailand is simply one of many countries in the same position. Applicants are required to submit a paper application and supporting documentation. The Australian Embassy looks closely at every application and if all of their concerns are not satisfied they will often refuse the application. No appeal of the decision is allowed.
If your Thai girlfriend’s Australian Tourist visa was refused the first thing you can do is to look at the reasons for refusal. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is required by law to provide reasons. Sometimes it is clear why an application has been refused and this is clearly stated. However, more often than not there is more than one reason and DIAC does not necessarily go into much detail. They use broad encompassing terms like “I (the decision maker) am not satisfied that the Applicant’s expressed intention to only visit Australia is genuine”. It often requires a skilled and experienced Migration Agent to look closely at the reasons for refusal as well as the refused application itself to determine what was missing or what particular criterion/criteria was/were not satisfied.
If the reason or reasons for the refusal can be addressed then you can put in another application. Of course, even if you are not entirely clear as to why your Thai girlfriend’s application was refused there is nothing stopping her from putting in another application. Theoretically, one can put in as many applications as one wants to and each application will be assessed on its own merits. However DIAC (and I) would strongly advise that unless you can address the reasons for the last refusal there is not much point submitting a fresh Tourist visa application. At Australian Visa Advice, we always offer a free consultation so you can make an informed decision on your girlfriend’s behalf as to whether you want to proceed with a new Tourist visa application or not. Even after that assessment, whether or not you choose to use our services will still be up to you.