I’ve been going through a lot of application reviews lately and the number 1 problem that I’ve noticed in an increasing amount of applications is:
Not presenting the information properly!
This can lead to:
- Invalid visa applications
- Delays in visa processing
- Possible visa refusal
- Requests for further information
- Investigations by the Department
Invalid visa applications
Maybe you’re waiting on a few bits and pieces of information. Maybe there are other reasons to submit an incomplete application. But not having all the information ready with your application may lead to you not lodging a valid visa application.
Without a validly lodged visa application, you won’t get a bridging visa, you won’t get Medicare and you might even risk deportation if your visa expires.
Delays in visa processing
If you don’t present the information properly and in an easy to read and follow manner, you’ll risk making the case officer guess and piece together information. First of all, this will increase processing time because the case officer is trying to piece together the information and second of all, what if they come to the wrong conclusion?
How is the case officer supposed to know that the wedding invitation you submitted as part of your visa application is evidence of your relationship? What is it evidence of?
You really have to spell it out and walk the case officer hand in hand through your relationship and to the final (and only) conclusion that your partner visa application should be approved and partner visa granted.
Possible visa refusal
Similar to the delays, if you don’t present your information properly, you’re risking a visa refusal. This could be because things were not clear, the evidence led the case officer to the wrong conclusion (and hence visa refusal) or simply because you inputted incorrect information on the application forms.
There could also be inconsistent information and evidence included in your application package.
Requests for further information and Investigations by the Department
Improperly presented information can lead to the case officer requesting more information to either clarify something or make up for what is missing in the visa application package.
They can even exercise their right to interview anyone they want about your relationship. They’ll even go to your home town 400km into the middle of nowhere just to ask about you; such are their powers of investigation.
This can cause unnecessary delays. Imagine if you were able to somehow know beforehand what the case officer was looking for and somehow manage to gather all the documents ahead of time to answer every question the case officer has….I wonder if there’s a guide or a book out there that can help you with this…
Examples of not presenting information properly that could lead to processing delays
I get it, the sheer number of documents that you have to provide just to prove your relationship is ridiculous. That and realising that you only have a 60 document file limit in the ImmiAccount system doesn’t make it any better. But what this does mean is that you need to go over your application package with a fine tooth comb and like a forensic detective. You need to get your CSI on!
1001 Facebook photos
Please readers, do not include all the Facebook photos you have ever taken together. You have 60 files you can upload, do not use them all to upload selfies. Be smart about this and select the right ones that demonstrate your relationship. There’s a chapter in the book about how to prepare this and which ones to select for the maximum impact.
4 years worth of chat histories from 3 different messaging programs
Same thing here, do not include every single chat history from every single program that you have. Yes, I know you want to be thorough and yes, I know you are very much in love and committed to each other but please do not include everything. Not including everything isn’t an attempt to hide your relationship, but shows you have considered the weight of each piece of evidence that you’re attaching to your application.
And really, it’s silly (if not annoying) to make the case officer read through 450 pages of email history dating back to when you first met. Be selective and be smart about it.
Extremely brief statutory declarations
Statutory declarations, personal written statements and Form 888s are the basis of your partner visa application. This is your relationship and love story in your own words. Why would you write in such an objective voice and list dates like they didn’t mean anything to anyone?
If your relationship can be summed up in one page then you have to consider whether you satisfy the requirements of this visa.
Extremely factual statutory declarations
This is another one that gets me every time. I know the Australian Government is making you qualify and even quantify your relationship but you don’t have to be a robot about it.
Saying you went here, you did that, you paid that etc, these sound like transactions, not love!
OK this might be a fault in the use of the statutory declarations because as a legal document you want to keep it just to the facts. However, this is about you demonstrating your commitment to each other, your mutual exclusiveness, your future together. Write like you mean it!
Incomplete or lazy filling in of application forms
Being lazy and inaccurate about dates, jobs, education or any other aspect of the application form/package is another one that I’m seeing.
Yes, a lot of stuff will be repeated and yes you’ll have to write about your education and work history 2-3 separate times but you cannot get lazy with this. You cannot just write ‘see other application form’ or something similar.
You’re betting your future in Australia on this so put in the hard yards and fill in the forms, include the documents even at the risk of repeating yourself.
Form 888 filled in by families and friends that don’t add value
I’m sorry but not every written statement or Form 888 from friends and families should be included in your visa application. It’s not just a matter of numbers, they have to be quality statements too that add value to your partner visa application.
Inconsistent dates between statutory declarations, Form 888 and application forms
The biggest killer is inconsistent dates and events across your partner visa application package. You know what I do? Whenever I do an application review and I see a date, I note it down and then I refer to it constantly as I go through the application package. I draw timelines, I mark things in colour and I make sure they all match up.
This is what you need to do as well. I don’t have to tell you how suspicious inconsistent dates are in a visa application. Take your time to get this right.
How to do it properly
Use the FREE worksheets I provide
The cover letter will help you organise your documents in an easy to follow manner. Read here for more info.
Get the book and learn how to write a statutory declaration, personal written statement.
Read good and bad examples of statutory declarations to prepare you to write your own kickass personal statements. This is the bulk of your partner visa application, make it bulletproof. You want to add as much detail as you can and you need to provide context. Don’t be a boring robot.
Get the book, understand what your friends and families have to write in a Form 888.
There are pointers and tips as well as questions that will help your friends and family write better Form 888 statements. Whilst your own personal statutory declarations are the key to the partner visa application, you need other people to corroborate that evidence too. You relationship does not exist in a bubble.
Ask for help when you absolutely are stuck and cannot proceed. Don’t risk the visa fees.
Get some advice from a professional. It doesn’t have to be me; it can be any other migration agent but do read this to see how to choose a good one.
The number 1 reason for partner visa processing delays is not presenting your information properly.
When you submit a partner visa application you have the opportunity to show the case officer your love and your relationship. Do not supply everything and then let the case officer do the guesswork and come to their own conclusions. You want the case officer to come to the only conclusion that you two are in an on-going genuine relationship that is mutually exclusive.
Do not leave it up to chance and do not risk your application with missing information, inconsistent information or just inadequate information.
Get the book, understand everything and do it. For anything else, you can always ask.