The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Control (DIBC) is a huge government department. It processes hundreds of thousands of visa applications every year. Because of its sheer size and immense workload, the DIBC doesn’t have the time to take a personal approach to your visa application.
Don’t expect a friendly phone call telling you that you’ve made a mistake on your visa application. Don’t bank on a helpful hand pointing you in the right direction.
It’s as simple as this: If you’ve made a mistake on your visa application, it will be refused. End of story. So, here are our 10 top tips on avoiding the most common visa application mistakes.
If you’re in a hurry and just need it done for you, get in contact with us and use our Free, No Obligation Visa Assessment Form” to get started and to increase your chances of success.
1. Not applying for the correct visa
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Australian visas. There’s a daunting array of visas to choose from. Knowing which visa to apply for can be incredibly difficult.
It all depends on your circumstances and your dreams. Do you want to achieve permanent residency or are you just planning to come to Australia for a limited period of time? Do you want to study or work in Australia? Are you hoping to sponsor relatives to come to Australia in the future? What part of Australia do you want to live in? Depending on your answers, you’re probably only eligible to apply for a handful of visas. Applying for the wrong visa could cost you dearly. You must get it right from the very start. Apply for the correct visa for your circumstances.
2. Not disclosing your criminal record in your visa application
So, you’ve been to court before and have an old criminal record. Maybe that was decades ago? Perhaps your family, friends or even your partner don’t know about it? Surely that’s water under the bridge? Not at all. The DIBC mightn’t share your view. It takes criminal records very seriously. Lying about, or even just forgetting to disclose your criminal record is one of the most common, and most fatal visa application errors you can make.
The DIBC don’t just accept what you’ve said about your criminal record on your visa application either. They conduct their own inquiries and will confront you with what they find…and refuse you entry to Australia. Disclosing a criminal record is always in your best interests.
3. Thinking that the nitty gritty bits of your visa application don’t matter
When it comes to your visa application, the tiny details are important. Filling out the paperwork correctly is crucial to the success of your visa application. Even the smallest mistakes can cost you dearly. The DIBC has a great eye for detail and a talent for cross-checking information. Missing a question, getting dates wrong or making small spelling mistakes can result in delays in your visa being processed or, worse still, refusal of your visa application altogether.
4. Not understanding that the clock is ticking in relation to your visa application
Time is of the essence when it comes to your visa application. Depending on which visa you’re applying for, there’s a strict timeline to be followed in the application process. You need to stay on top of the dates and make sure you always lodge your paperwork on time. Missing a key date in the process is a recipe for disaster. You need to read correspondence from the DIBC and make a note of all relevant dates so you don’t miss a deadline.
5. Not telling the truth, and the whole truth in your visa application
You’d think that the DIBC would differentiate between a visa applicant who’s told a lie and one who has merely forgotten or withheld bits of the whole story. The reality is that it makes no difference. Australian visa applications are subjected to intense scrutiny. Terrorist incidents and organised crime overseas has only served to heighten security concerns in Australia. The visa application process is now even more difficult to navigate than ever before.
Missing information in your application is a like a red flag to a bull when it comes to the DIBC. Even if you successfully get past the application process, chances are you’ll end up in immigration detention and ultimately be deported. Then you’ll have to wait out an exclusion period before you can apply again. The DIBC have seen it all before. They know all the tricks. You need to tell the whole story.
6. Not providing the documents you need to support your visa application
It’s all very well to say something on paper in your Australian visa application. The claims you make must be backed up by documents: Letters from former employers, qualifications, documents relating to the legal status of a marriage. Every claim you make must have corresponding documentation so that the DIBC can verify it.
Even more importantly, that documentation must be in an approved form and either in English or a translation into English prepared by an approved translation service. The DIBC won’t accept supporting documentation if it doesn’t meet these prerequisites. Don’t make this common mistake.
7. Not getting it right the first time
If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Surely that applies to visa applications where the DIBC is concerned? Unfortunately, you’d be sadly mistaken if you believe that repeated visa applications will eventually wear down the DIBC and convince them to approve your visa application.
Having a track record that includes a failed visa application in the past can count against you when it comes to applying for an Australian visa again. The DIBC keeps detailed records of visa applications and their outcomes. A further visa application hot on the heels of a failed attempt starts alarm bells ringing at the Department. Your visa application will be subjected to even more scrutiny than before. You have to get it right from the very start.
8. Not meeting all of the prerequisites for your visa of choice
Each visa carries with it a strict set of prerequisites that must be met in order for your visa application to be a successful one. Meeting only a few of those prerequisites means that you’re setting yourself up for a refusal. You need to meet each and every criterion under that visa subclass. The DIBC looks at the whole picture, not just what you think are your best selling points.
9. Not knowing or using your appeal rights when your visa application is refused
It’s a mistake to think that a visa refusal is the end of the road for your dreams of coming to Australia. Getting a visa refusal letter from the DIBC and simply giving up is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
You need to read correspondence from the Department thoroughly. In most cases, the DIBC’s letter will set out what, if any, steps you can take to appeal the decision refusing your visa application. You need to make sure you understand what your appeal options are. It doesn’t stop there. You then need to take advantage of them.
If you do have a right of appeal or an opportunity to have your visa application reconsidered, you need to also understand that there are strict and fairly inflexible time limits that apply. Sometimes there will be more than one choice open to you when your visa application is refused, so you need to choose carefully.
10. Not getting qualified and expert advice when you should
The visa application process is complex, confusing and often a drawn-out one. It’s easy to slip up and make a mistake. With each mistake you make, you’re diminishing your chances of a visa approval. Getting expert advice from the outset is the best way to maximise your prospects of a successful visa application.
A quick internet search will turn up dozens of options for getting visa advice. They all claim to have your best interests at heart. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? How do you choose the right person to advise you and guide you through the process?
Your safest bet is to choose an agent who is properly registered with the Australian Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority. They need to have a good reputation with the DIBC and a great track record of success for their clients. You should look for a one-stop shop when it comes to getting migration and Australian migration law advice. Accreditation from the relevant professional bodies and adherence to a strict code of conduct will also give you greater peace of mind when it comes to your Australian visa application.
At Results Migration, we’re lawyers and registered migration agents. We tick all of these boxes. Call us today on 1800 808 717 or click here to see how we can enhance your chances of a successful visa application without the costly mistakes along the way.
Need assistance with your Australian visa application? Contact Results Migration today.