During my time, I must have processed thousands of visa application and heard just about every story you could imagine. While most applications seemed to be processed without too much hold up, some were delayed unnecessarily. The most common mistakes I saw made were the most simple and could, and should have, been avoided.
Get your story right
Do you intend to visit for only two weeks? Does your letter from your employer or school say that or something different? Does your payslip show one week leave available but you intend to visit for three months?
Any inconsistencies can raise alarm bells and slow down the processing of your application. Get it right the first time and save yourself a lot of hassle.
Fully complete your application form…..and sign it!
You wouldn’t believe the number of people who don’t sign their application form. Think you’ve got it right? Get someone to have a look through your application form before you apply. This simple process will save you unnecessary delays at the processing end.
If you have convictions or health issues provide information
Don’t just declare it, provide information about it. Police certificates or letters from your doctor can all aid in the processing of your application. I know convictions and health issues can be a pain to deal with but with a little planning and research you may be able to answer your case officer’s questions before they have to ask them.
Be proactive. Get the information sorted now before your case officer requests for it. You know they will.
Tell the truth
After processing a few hundred applications a case officer gets a good feel for what is truthful and what might be misleading. My advice – always be truthful. You might think that you’ll get away with it now, but in years to come, you might find that your previous misleading answers may come up to bite you. Plus, you do not want to deal with immigration once they find out you have lied. They will provide you with little mercy.
Apply for the right visa
Applying for the right type of visa is essential. Get it wrong and the application would most likely be refused without a refund.
Australia has a lot of visa subclasses and, more recently, streams attached to those subclasses. Take an Australian visitor visa for example. Subclass 600 has separate application forms for the different streams – tourism, business and sponsored. Then there’s e600 which is the online application and on top of that there are other types of visitor visas like ETA and eVisitor.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has a special tool to find the right visa for you on their website. However, it is not an easy to use tool. Also, the Australian Visa Application Centres (AVAC) are not able to advice you on which visa you should apply for. So, this leaves you with trying to get a hold of the DIBP for advice which is next to impossible (given that enquiries should be directed to the AVAC) or talking to friends or family which is great but their advice is not always that accurate.
Here’s the punch line. There is a better way….call us. We’ll get you on the right track.
The content and views in this blog are solely that of the author who acknowledges that he is a little bit obsessed about Australian immigration. In saying that, please ensure that you consult with DIBP prior to lodging any application or better still call a professional immigration adviser. That’s me ; )
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