Australia's visa system is divided between onshore and offshore applications, depending on where the application is filed. If you are outside of Australia, "lodging" implies sending the completed application to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) or the Australian Embassy or Consulate. But where must you be at the time of visa application?
It matters because an onshore visa application comes with certain rights, and an onshore application requires you to be in Australia, to begin with. In some circumstances, the visas are vastly different, while the variations are minor but crucial in others.
You can, for example, apply for a Subclass 309 partner visa even if you haven't married yet, as long as you plan to marry within the time it takes to complete the visa application. You must be married before submitting an onshore visa application, or the application will be rejected.
In a nutshell, what do you mean? In most cases, you must be present where the visa application is filed. That's how it works with all of the visa kinds that Down Under Visa handles. Therefore for the sake of our clients, we can say that you must be present when the visa is lodged. Other visas have rules, but this is unmistakably true for spouse and tourist visas. Examples?
The good ol' fiancée visa allows you to enter Australia and be married for nine months. People enjoy having a lot of planning time. Despite this, many pending applicants claim they intend to apply while in Australia. It's not going to happen! It's an extraterritorial visa!
You can't lodge it if you're in Australia. You must stay abroad at an Australian diplomatic mission, such as the Australian Embassy in your respective country. It is not possible to stay in Australia.
The usual tourist-stream Subclass 600, all we ever achieve, is filed in the applicant's home country. If the applicant is already in Australia and wishes to extend their stay? We submit our application from within Australia.
No, we don't apply for "an extension" or "extend" the current visa. It's a new application, an onshore application with the applicant present at the time of submission.
It all boils down to where the applicant is at the time of filing. We apply for a Subclass 309 outside of Australia. We use Subclass 820 within Australia. And as we previously stated, a few things are different, particularly in terms of whether or not the marriage has occurred.
It's a big deal, and it's often misunderstood. If you want your children to be included in a visa application alongside their mother, they must be present at the time of application. If the mom is in one country, the kids must also be in that country.
If the mother visa applicant is in Australia at the time of the partner visa application, the children must also be in Australia at the time of the application; otherwise, they will not be considered! It's as simple as that.
This appears to be a common source of misunderstanding. Bridging visas are sought for offshore visa applications; some believe they can apply for one while determining which visa to obtain or giving themselves more time while saving money. Here are the fundamentals:
Only ONSHORE visas are eligible for bridging visas. An offshore bridging visa does not exist!
Bridging visas are automatically granted:
When you submit an ONSHORE visa application, your current visa expires before the onshore visa application is processed.
A bridging visa isn't something you apply for on its own. There is no such thing as a one-time bridging visa.
When you don't have another visa, bridging visas allow you to stay in Australia lawfully (legally). They don't do anything else.
Moreover, one of the benefits of an onshore application is obtaining a bridging visa, especially when processing durations are lengthy.
However, offshore partner visas are much faster these days, and you won't have to worry about countdowns to expired visas. We can put up a great application without the stress of a deadline, and we won't have to bother you as much.