Partner Visa Application Refused- Why?

Jennifer Khan Partenr Visa application refused


A couple lodged a partner visa application, prepared by themselves on 12th December 2013.  Fortunately they were both in Australia at the time. If Mr X had been outside Australia at the time then he would most likely need to stay outside Australia throughout the processing of the visa.  Almost one year of waiting later, on 17th November 2014 the couple had their outcome: refused.   Today this means the $6865 application fee is lost for this fee is not refundable in the event of refusal.  The application fee to appeal the refusal decision is currently $1,673 in addition to likely migration assistance fees and further processing times.  Mr and Mrs X waited until 25 February, 2016 before their case was heard before Tribunal totalling more than two years of living in uncertainty, their life together on hold not knowing whether or not Mr X would receive a visa to stay in Australia.  This is one of the most turbulent and stress-creating times a person can go through.    Why did this happen?

I will run through the case and what the Administrative Appeals Tribunal reasoned at the hearing last February in the hope it will prevent mistakes being repeated by someone else going through the process.   If people ever traipse through the minefield of Australian immigration law  they are often only going to need to do it one time.  As a result of the newness of it all, understandably  mistakes are probably going to happen. Unfortunately some mistakes can mean the difference between a visa grant or refusal. Here are the mistakes.


Mr and Mrs X had separate addresses at the time they applied.  This does not in and of itself mean a visa will be refused but weighs in favour of refusal. During the hearing they were found to have good reasons for having separate addresses at the time they applied.  These reasons should have been written, evidence given and included with the visa aScreen Shot 2016-05-31 at 3.02.53 PMpplication.  This is probably not a thing most people would know to include.   During the processing of a visa application a case officer will expertly look for weaknesses in any claims made so we always need to give reasons convincingly.

The couple did not provide with their partner visa application sufficient evidence of ‘pooling of financial resources or sharing of day-to-day household expenses’.  In my opinion this would be the main reason for visa refusal which is why it is the area I focus on the most when preparing a partner visa application.  The less evidence, the more I work on this aspect.   While Mr and Mrs X waited for their case to be heard at Tribunal they would have been provided opportunity to provide evidence of ‘financial pooling’.   By February, 2016 they were able to show the Tribunal enough evidence to show that “they have in the past integrated their finances and currently share ongoing financial responsibilities”.   But had they been guided enough at the time they applied in December, 2013 they would have unlikely needed to go through the excruciatingly worrisome refusal and appeals process.

The  Tribunal went through all the factors related to partner visa application assessment but the only factor explicitly stated that the case officer was not satisfied with was the ‘pooling of financial resources’.  The good news is Mr X ended up with a partner visa after the required processes were fulfilled.  For further information about relationship ‘factors’ that are assessed after you lodge
a partner visa application click on the image below: JENNIFER KHAN how to blog image

3 reasons

Think you can’t migrate because you are banned? Well, perhaps you can…

Jennifer khan banned or excluded


Have you been told this applies to you? Then either you overstayed a visa or had a visa cancelled.  Maybe this happened as a result of your overlooking a visa condition, or leaving the responsibility of your visa in the hands of an employer who didn’t understand the immigration process themselves.  In regards to the last reason I have spoken with quite a few visa holders who have relied on their employers to arrange their visa applications and the employer got it wrong.  The sad story here is that the adverse consequences fall harshly on the visa holders more so than on the employers.  Now and then it is my job to move forward with this person and find the correct immigration pathway.  The situations needs to be carefully discussed with DIBP and where possible a new visa applied for.  Sometimes it is not immediately possible, sometimes never possible, sometimes because of the re-entry bans and exclusion periods.
I will list the types of bans and exclusion periods here:

Ban period = FOREVER*

This applies if visas  are  cancelled in relation to substantial criminal records or if you were deported due to criminal or security reasons.  However if you are subject to this ban for one of the above reasons and are in Australia you can still apply for a Protection Visa if eligible.

Ban period =   ONE YEAR* 

This applies if you were ‘removed’ or deported from Australia or are a dependant of a ‘removed’ or deported person.  Refugee and Humanitarian visas are your only option within the 1 year ban.

Ban period = THREE  YEARS*

If you have a three year ban period then you may have 1) had your visa cancelled or you 2) departed Australia when you held a Bridging Visa C, D or E and it was more than 28 days since you held a substantive visa.   You still have a chance of applying for many types of visas which is the good news, the bad news being they can only be permanent visas.


There is such a thing as applying for a waiver of an exclusion period  if you can show compelling circumstances affecting the interests of Australia or compelling and compassionate circumstances affecting an Australian citizen, permanent resident or ENZ citizen.  An example is you are the father of a child with an Australian permanent resident mother.  It is not easy to obtain a waiver however it is a frequently explored option as it enables a person to stay in Australia despite these re-entry bans and exclusion periods.  If you don’t have such circumstances  then you will unfortunately need to fulfil the ban period.

*Disclaimer: you can see the complexity of the rules surrounding the exclusion periods and re-entry bans.  Please do not rely on this information in determining your way forward as the rules can change anytime – please seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent or Lawyer.