SBS Filipino

What are the common reasons for Australian visa refusal?

SBS Filipino

Visa Refusal

Visa Refusal Source: Getty Images/maybefalse

Published 16 June 2022 at 12:57pm
By TJ Correa
Source: SBS

In this episode of 'Trabaho, Visa, atbp.', migration lawyer Mark Jeffrey Abalos outlines the different grounds for visa refusal and explains the next steps on what you can do if your visa application has been denied.

Published 16 June 2022 at 12:57pm
By TJ Correa
Source: SBS

  • Documents are important on visa applications so make sure that it's complete and supported with proper evidence and documentation.
  • Ensure you can satisfy the legal criteria for Character, Health and Financial requirements.
  • If the visa is refused, the applicant will be notified via a letter with an explanation.
'Trabaho, Visa, atbp.' is a podcast series that features issues and information about migration to Australia every Thursday on SBS Filipino.

Listen to the audio:

What are the common reasons for Australian visa refusal?  image

Sa episode na ito ng Trabaho, Visa atbp., inisa-isa ng abogado na si Mark Jeffrey Abalos ang mga rason ng Visa refusal at ano ang mga dapat gawin.

SBS Filipino


Getting an Australian visa could be a tedious and time-consuming process. According to Principal Lawyer of No Borders Law Group Mark Jeffrey Abalos, there are many factors that may be overlooked by visa applicants, which can result in visa refusals. 

Incomplete Visa Application Form

This is very common in paper applications where the applicant fails to sign the values statement.

For online applications, the visa applicant must select the Australian values statement button.

The Australian values statements summarise the key values that underpin the Australian society. By signing or accepting the Australian Values Statement, you are undertaking to conduct yourself in accordance with Australian values and to obey Australian laws during your stay in Australia.

If the visa applicant does not sign the values statement, Department may refuse the visa application for failing to meet Public Interest Criteria (PIC) 4019.

In most visa applications, it is a requirement that an applicant who has turned 18 at the time of application signs the values statement as per PIC 4019.

Invalid passport

As a visa applicant, Public Interest Criteria 4021 or the so-called “the passport requirement” requires you to hold a valid passport that was issued to you by an official source and is in the form issued by the official source. 

If an applicant cannot satisfy PIC 4021, they cannot be granted the visa.

The only time this requirement can be waived is if a new passport cannot be issued by a foreign authority due to a natural disaster, war or similar events where it would be unreasonable to require the applicant to be the holder of a passport.

Incomplete Documents

A visa application can be refused for lack of supporting documentation to satisfy legal criteria.

For example, for Partner Visas, you have to provide a number of photographs of the applicant and her sponsoring partner together with their family, friends or the wider community to prove the legal criteria that the couple is a genuine married couple. 

Also, the timing as to when a visa application should be accompanied by a particular document is essential.

Providing False documents

A visa application can be refused not only by providing false documents but also by providing false information in the application form.

Public Interest Criteria 4020 states that there must be no evidence before the Department that the applicant has given a bogus document or information that is false or misleading in relation to an application for a visa.

Visa Character requirements

This refers to the character requirement or Public Interest Criteria 4001 which applies in most, if not all visa applications.

A visa application can be refused if the applicant is found to have a substantial criminal record – section 501 of the Migration Act defines a substantial criminal record if a person has been sentenced to death, imprisonment for life, imprisonment of 12 months or more or acquitted of an offence because of unsoundness of mind or insanity and as a result, has been ordered to be detained in a facility or institution.

A visa application can also be refused if the applicant has been convicted of escaping from immigration detention, is a member of a criminal organisation, has been involved in people smuggling or trafficking, genocide, war crimes, torture, slavery, or has been convicted or even just charged of sexually-based offences involving a child, have been convicted of domestic violence or have been subject of a domestic violence order.

Health requirements

Australia enjoys some of the best health standards in the world. To maintain these standards, visa applicants must meet the minimum health standards before they are granted a visa. This is called the health requirement or Public Interest Criteria 4005 or 4007.

The purpose of the health requirement is to protect the Australian community from public health and safety risks like active tuberculosis. Secondly, to control how much Australia spends on social security benefits, allowances and pensions. And lastly, to ensure Australian citizens and permanent residents can access health and community services that are in short supply.  

Essentially, a visa applicant must undertake a medical assessment and be found by the Medical Officer of the Commonwealth to be free from a) tuberculosis; b) a disease or condition that may be considered a threat to public health for example applicants who intend to work in Australia as health workers but are suffering from HIV and Hepatitis may be refused a visa if they will be involved in procedures where the worker's gloved hands may be in contact with sharp instruments resulting in exposure of the patient's open tissues to the blood of the worker. Lastly, if the applicant is suffering from a disease or condition that would be likely to result in significant cost to the Australian community like AIDS, autism, cancer or diabetes.

Financial Requirements

Some visa types like Visitor or Student would have a general or specific financial capacity requirement.

For example, a Student visa applicant from the Philippines will generally need to show deposits of money or loans from a financial institution or government loans that is equivalent to about AUD 21,041 plus travel cost of AUD2,000. Alternatively, the parents of the applicant may provide evidence of their personal annual income of at least AUD62,222 in the last 12 months.

If the financial capacity requirement is not met, the visa application may be refused.

If the Department refuses your visa application, you will be notified of the decision in writing with an explanation as to why it was refused.

Disclaimer: This article is for general information only. For specific visa advice, people are urged to check with the or contact a trustworthy solicitor or registered migration agent in Australia.