If you’ve tried working out how to lodge a permanent residency visa, you’re probably well aware that it is time consuming and requires a lot of preparation. It can also be incredibly frustrating and stressful if your application is refused after you have waited so long, because you didn’t submit the right paperwork.

That was the case for Sep Buxton and his de-facto partner Bee Chalinun, both in their thirties

“I came to Australia thirteen years ago on a student visa. I could see early on that there were far more career opportunities here than in my native country. The people are very welcoming, and the lifestyle is great,” Bee explains.

Value of permanent residence status

Sep is a New Zealander and came to Australia on a Special Category Visa (subclass 444) many years ago.  This visa meant Sep could live and work in Australia without restrictions and have access to some benefits from the Australian Government.

For his partner Bee, she’s been living in Australia holding a New Zealand family member visa. Unfortunately, although Bee had unrestricted work rights and considers Australia her home for many years, she wasn’t allowed basic Medicare cover, and neither was she able to apply for a home loan with her partner Sep.

Both Bee and Sep realised they were being held back from achieving their long-term goals, as they work on building their lives in Australia. They could see the value of being Permanent Resident visa holders and eventually Australian Citizens.


Lodging an application themselves

Sep who has Thai heritage met his partner Bee, who was also originally from Thailand; when they both worked in the hotel industry.

“I came to Australia thirteen years ago on a student visa. I could see early on that there were far more career opportunities here than in my native country. The people are very welcoming, and the lifestyle is great,” Bee explains.

In their ambition to become Permanent Residents, they started to work on applying for their visa. In October 2017, Sep and Bee lodged a Subclass 189 visa application themselves as they thought it would save them money.

“Of course, it wasn’t as straightforward as we’d thought. There was a lot of paperwork to submit. In February 2018, the Immigration Department started asking for more information.”

The process became very drawn out. Sep and Bee received up to 6 letters from immigration, asking for more information and supporting documents for the application to be finalised.

After more than two years, the application was eventually rejected.

“We were very disheartened. It had gone on for so long and it just created a new wave of uncertainty,” outlines Bee.


Calling in the experts at Home of Visas

On recommendation from a colleague, Sep decided to speak to the team at Home of Visas to see if we could help.

“From the get-go I felt very comfortable with Zahirah and Registered Migration Agent Fizah. We knew they had lots of experience. We did not speak to any other migration agents as it just seemed right to go with them. They filled us with confidence. Plus, we didn’t want to waste any more time.”

“Fizah told us there were two options open to us, to resubmit or appeal our application. When we saw the cost comparison, the timeline and the processes involved we could see why the recommended option was to resubmit our visa application.”

What impressed Bee and Sep most was the easy lines of communication. They could reach Fizah and Zahirah at any time, through easy phone calls, emails and even text messages.


Discovering a basic error

Reviewing the paperwork for their past application, Fizah learnt that one key item was missing. The police clearance certificates which were supplied, were incorrect.

“That was a big blow and quite hard to accept that a misunderstanding over one police document had led to our application being denied.”

We worked with Sep and Bee quickly, as Bee’s visa was running out in a few short weeks. A new PR application was lodged in October 2019 and this was approved in April 2020. Much to the couple’s delight it took just six months compared to the 2 years of their previous application.

“We’ve obviously had COVID-19 happening, but now that everything is getting back to normal, it’s great that we can start planning our future properly and that includes buying a house.”


In hindsight, is there anything they would have done differently?

‘’Yes, we should have sought help from a professional migration agency. When we think of the time wasted and the emotional journey we’ve been through, there’s no doubt it’s best to call in the experts from the very start,’’ explains Bee.

Note from us

When we met Sep and Bee, we could see how their visa refusal was a big stressor in their lives. They are busy working professionals, who had invested so much time and effort into their application. Unfortunately, when they didn’t know the specific requirements set out by Immigration, it didn’t give their application a chance of success.

We are pleased with the outcome of their application. Especially with what it means for this couple. They can now make firm plans with what to do with their lives, as they make a home for themselves in Australia. With being permanent residents, they can look forward without the worry of visa expirations. When they are ready to become Australian Citizens, we will be there for them again.

If you have submitted your own application, and feeling unsure about the quality of the application, or if you have recently had an application refused, we are here to help you make sense of it.


PHONE: +61 (08) 6117 4004

OFFICE: Ventnor Avenue, West Perth, WESTERN AUSTRALIA (by appointment)



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