Every year thousands of people apply to visit, live and work in Australia. Many succeed in their applications, but a large number are also refused for innocent mistakes and a basic misunderstanding of migration requirements.
The application process can be a very complex and technical. Having a visa refused can result in the loss of thousands of dollars, and even more crucially, the loss of precious time to make an application within strict age limitations.
Over time, the Department of Home Affairs has become stricter about complying with its criteria. As the department’s budgets have been reduced so has its level of staffing making staff even less available to assist applicants over the phone.
Making an application to the department is much more than just filling in a form. It’s important to understand what the department is looking for in an application, if you want to improve your chances of success.
Every time you make a statement it is very important to substantiate that with evidence. If you’re giving the department your work history, have proof such as salary slips or letters of reference. Always give copies of all of your of qualifications. If you’re in a relationship, supply proof that your relationship is genuine. For example, copies of joint lease agreements, joint bank accounts, photographs together and copies of your social media accounts will all go to proving the statement that your relationship is genuine and ongoing.
It’s also important to get as much information as possible from government sources (such as income tax returns), pay slips from an employer as well as any other third-party sources. These will carry much more weight than just a blanket statement that, for example, you are employed.
2. Be consistent and accurate
The department keeps a record of every single entry and exit to Australia, from the time of handwritten records. The department will check to make sure that your information is consistent and accurate.
There is no harm in forgetting when you last entered Australia and letting the department know that you can’t recall the date. Making evidence up or casually filling in a date to fill in a blank space on a form can result in costly delays and possible refusal.
Keep copies of all of visa applications you have made over time to make sure that you are consistent and accurate with the information you supply.
The department will have access to all public social media records, and they have been known to check these for accuracies. Friends, relatives and colleagues may receive a call to confirm information you have given.
Consistency and accuracy are crucial.
3. Be honest
It’s surprising how often applicants feel that they can lie or mislead the department and get away with it. The consequences of getting caught lying can be catastrophic to your application.
In this day and age, with so much data available online it is so much easier for facts to be checked. Drink driving charges and unpaid fines can easily be located and previous addresses can also be available online.
Creating fake documents is a clear pathway to refusal. If you are granted a visa and it turns out that it was based on fraudulent documents, your visa can be cancelled.
Applicants should be honest at all times when dealing with the department.
4. Be organised
If you organise your application in a clear and coherent way, the department will be able to understand exactly what your circumstances are, making it easier for them to make a decision on your application. Labelling documents correctly, ensuring that both the original and translation are uploaded and keeping a record of everything you have submitted goes a long way to making the process more streamlined.
The clearer and more organised your application, the easier it is for the department to read and understand.
5. Stick to deadlines
If the department has given you a specific number of days to give further information, or if there are strict time limits make sure you stick to them. It is often very difficult to get around a missed deadline resulting in the refusal of your application based on a technicality.
Keep an eye on deadlines and keep a record to make sure you don’t forget crucial dates.