It is a common belief that applications for “visitor visas” to Australia (Subclass 600) should be simple and straightforward. However, according to the number of reviews related to the Department’s decided to grant a Subclass 600 visa published by the MRT it is far from the case that visitor visa applications are “routine”.
The majority of these applications are refused because the Department and sometimes MRT as well are not satisfied that the visa applicant meets the requirement, specified in clause 600.211 or Schedule 2 of the Migration Regulations, of demonstrating that she or he “genuinely intends to stay in Australia (only) temporarily”.
The main difficulty with visitor visas is that, in most circumstances, the Department’s decisions to refuse an application cannot be challenged. The right to seek review of the refusal of a visitor visa application is limited to primary cases where the applicant is seeking a visa under the Sponsored Family Stream.
Thus, in circumstances where no review rights are available, the Department can, and does stress test evidence that would establish that the visa applicant is indeed a “genuine temporary entrant” (for example, evidence that the applicant has strong family, economic and social ties to their home country which would provide a strong incentive for them to return at the conclusion of their planned visit).
In light of this, it seems prudent not to challenge one’s future immigration history with a DIY approach and obtain some professional guidance concerning the kinds of evidence that can be relied upon to satisfy the “genuine temporary” entrant criterion for visitor visas.