10 TIPS FOR A POSITIVE VISA
10 Powerful tips for a successful visa outcome
The department of Immigration and border protection receives thousands of visa applications. The most popular ones being Work, Family and Student Visas. While many applications are accepted, a very large number of applications are rejected.
While few of these are refused due to fraud or ineligibility, many are rejected due to silly mistakes, inconsistencies and avoidable errors in the application. With the plathora of information available online, the application process may seem easy but sometimes can be complicated given the nitty-gritty involved.
Lodging a visa application requires time, money and effort, often in huge amounts. Hence making it critical to submit EXACTLY what the department is looking for. If the application is spot-on, it results in faster processing and a higher chance of getting a positive outcome.
Following are the 10 WAYS to hit it with your best shot:
1) PROVE EVERYTHING:
Particular visas such as Business investor, Work (Skilled/Sponsored), Student and Family require a high number of substantiating evidence than others. In other words, everything you claim has to be backed up with proof for verification purposes.
Education: Certificates/ transcripts/ mark sheets/ Accreditation from Australian bodies like CPA, ACS etc.
Work: Payslips/ Bank Statement/ Employment Letter/ Promotion letter (in any)
Relationship: (Spouse) marriage certificate/ (Parent or sibling) Birth certificate and passport/ (De facto) Joint house bills, pictures, joint accounts etc.
Other documents often required as proof:
Tax returns/ bank statements/ third-party documents like affidavits, sponsorship letter etc./ police clearance certificate/ medical certificate/ medical test reports/ health insurance/ English test result etc.
For example: if you claim to be an Engineering graduate working at X company for the last 2 years, provide them with:
1) High School Certificate
2) Bachelor’s Certificate
3) Skills assessment by Engineers Australia
4) X company’s Employment Letter
5) Pay slips of the last 2 years
6) Bank statement of the last 2 years
Notice how the above example has 3 claims: “Engineering Graduate”, “Working at company X” and “been working for 2 years”. It’s not just your word, every single claim is verifiable through the 6 documents mentioned above.
EXPERT TIP: Always get your documents certified or notarized to demonstrate authenticity.
Disclosing information can often work in your favor, but if you get caught hiding something, chances are the government issues a ban on you for lodging any further visa applications.
Remember! Every single claim should be backed up with evidence.
For example change of residential address- you may think that you changed houses a long time ago and details of the old house are not necessary, BUT THEY ARE.
Sometimes we have a tendency of taking things for granted, especially if they happened a long time ago. Say a drink driving charge when you were 18 or anything even remotely close to your character requirement needs to be disclosed in the application.
Visa rejections and bans can be re-appealed in the tribunal but it’s not always easy to change such decisions around, moreover you don’t want an unnecessary stain on your records.
Same goes for fraudulent documents: JUST DON’T DO IT.
There are always other options to balance the application but providing false or misleading information is not one of them. There is a whole team (Australian immigration department) dedicated just to find out such abnormalities, hence getting picked out is not a rare event.
Accuracy of details mentioned in the application are important because it fastens the visa process. It’s a no brainer- easier it is for the case officer to verify details, faster your application processed.
Inaccuracy may not always result in visa rejection, but there’s a fair chance that the application will be called out for rectifying the errors.
Not only does this prolong the application, but also harms your credibility with the case officer.
It may also lead in the officer asking for further evidence to prove (other related) claims, making the process lengthy and tedious.
As the migration laws get stricter, the immigration department not only verifies claims but also cross checks information provided in previous applications to ensure consistency.
Some migration pathways involve multiple visa applications, for instance Student Visa (subclass 500) to Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) to Permanent Resident visa(GSM subclass 189/190). In these cases the immigration department will bring up all the information provided in past applications and verify it against the newest one.
Sometimes an inconsistency may not be due to dishonesty, but simply because of innocent mistakes, forgetfulness etc. However the department will
Hence it’s crucial to always keep a record of the applications you’ve previously submitted to ensure all details match/flow.
Presenting your documents coherently can make a significant impact on your visa application. For example making sure the documents are translated, certified and chronologically presented making the assessor’s life easier.
Also ensure all your attachments are in readable format (file type) and also name your files for what they are, for example the scanned copy of your passport should be named “Passport” not “kjsdsklfja”.
EXPERT TIP: Make a separate folder for the final documents you are going to submit. Number them and cross check at the time of submission.
One of the most important thing to ensure when lodging an application is “deadlines”. Missing the due date even by 1 day can jeopardize or nullify the entire application. Same goes out for expiration dates.
Some applications like a partner visa take over a year to process, in this case if you did a medical test at the start of the application, chances are it might expire by the time the application starts getting processed.
On the contrary, a skilled visa requires the medical test during the first half of the application. So getting the test fairly sooner is advisable.
Such details can act as a make or break your application.
7) Checklist of Documents:
Aside from accuracy, organisation etc. it is very important to provide ALL the necessary documents for seamless processing of the visa. If you are going through an agent/lawyer, ask your agent/lawyer for this checklist. If you are applying yourself, make sure to check the immigration website, it has detailed document checklists for every visa category.
Although it can be a little confusing as every situation is different and sometimes you might have to provide extra or less documents, the checklist gives a good idea of the type of documents required. Here’s an example of the document checklist for a 485 Post Study- Work Visa application: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/...
EXPERT TIP: Always check the expiry date of all your documents before submission. As a general rule of thumb they should be valid for at least the next 6-12 months.
8) Choosing the Right Visa Type
This may seem too obvious but every year there are 100s of applicants who chose a different stream of the same visa and end up losing time and ALL of their application fees (and precious time).
Some visa categories like 485 have more than 1 stream. The cause of confusion is that both the streams are come under the same subclass:
1) 485 Post study work stream
2) 485 Graduate work stream
Both visas are called 485 and are similar in nature but completely different in terms of outcome as one (graduate work stream) requires nomination of an occupation and the other (post study work stream) doesn’t.
Similarly some visas allow you to be onshore (in Australia) while they’re being processed and others have specific conditions where applicant needs to be offshore at the time of lodgement or till the visa gets approved.
In such cases if the applicant is “mistakenly” onshore (when they’re required to be offshore), the status of the applicant will be UNLAWFUL and this will stay ON RECORD. Such negative immigration history can (and most probably will) work against you while your application is being assessed.
9) Using a MARA Registered Migration Agent
Migration lawyers/agents in Australia are required to be registered under the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA).Under the Australian law “ONLY MARA registered lawyers/agents are legally allowed to advice on migration related matters”
Although not a requirement, even the department of immigration suggests that using a MARA registered agent can make the whole process a lot simpler and faster.
By law they are required to follow a code of conduct, provide the most up-to-date information and assist you in every stage of your application. They will also be acting as your legal representative, which means all the accountability (well most of it) lies on their shoulders.
It’s reassuring as the department of immigration also allows you to lodge formal complaints against the agent/lawyer should they fail to perform their duties. Hence it’s always worth while to check your MARA agent’s name on google to see if any complaints have been made against them.
EXPERT TIP: Check if your agent/lawyer is registered with MARA here: https://www.mara.gov.au/search...
Also, always check of “Reviews” on google to confirm no previous fraud has been committed by your chosen lawyer/agent.
Be sure to declare anything out of the ordinary such as change of name, citizenship of another country, old passport and especially in your medical or character requirement.
Such things might surface later and make it look like you hid it on purpose. Even if this is not the case, the department reserves the right to assume so.
Permanent residency in Australia does not get revoked, but the only 2 exceptions are if you provided fraudulent documents/ Lied at the time of application (this includes unintentional wrong provision of information as well) or if you are involved in a terrorist activity.
Hence it's essential to be 100% honest, accurate and transparent.
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