Five attributes of successful visa applications

When applying for a visa, one may ask, what should I do to increase my chance of getting my application granted? Based on my years of experience as a Registered Migration Agent, I recommend the following key attributes that can help in placing your application in the best light.

1. Purpose

At the planning stage of your visa application, it should be very clear what your objectives are in applying for an Australian visa. Different objectives match specific visa subclasses. If you want to study in Australia, then you should apply for a student visa; or if you want to work and live in Australia permanently, then you should check your eligibility for Permanent Residency Visas under the General Skilled Migration stream or under the Employer Sponsored stream.

Do not go for a visa that will not deliver your objectives or are not meant for you. Some applicants believe or were made to believe that applying for a visitor visa can help them find work in Australia even though visitor visa holders do not have work rights. Some applicants are lured to apply for a Protection visa (for asylum seekers) as they are promised that they can permanently live in Australia on this visa. 

2. Accuracy

Make sure that the information you provide is true and correct. This goes for the information you provide on your application form and the documents you put forward.  

Do not provide wrong information even if you are advised to do so. Remember that any information you provide to the Department of Home Affairs will form part of your record and it can be accessed again when you apply for your future visas.  

I have come across student visa holders who were advised not to declare their spouse or partner on their visa application because they were made to believe that they had a better chance of getting their visas approved if they were single. When these visa holders decided to take their spouse or partners to Australia on a subsequent entrant visa, the application was refused because their relationship was not declared by the primary student visa holder. 

3. Consistency

All the information provided should be consistent with the documents submitted in the application.  Inconsistency of information can lead to doubts and your Case Officer might request for more information to find clarity in the matter that is in question. Getting a request for more information lengthens your visa application processing time.

For example, your work experience dates are different from what is shown in your CV and from your employment statement. This can affect your eligibility if minimum work experience duration is one of the visa criteria that you should satisfy. 

4. Claims are substantiated

Information provided should be supported by evidence. If you are applying for points tested visas, documents that demonstrate how you satisfy the points that you are claiming for should be part of your application (such as English test result, paid work experience documents, etc.). If you are applying for a Partner visa, then all your relationship evidence that supports your answers in your application form should be provided. 

5. Focus on your own application 

This is a common cause for applicants to be in panic mode, that is, when their friends or someone from their community gets their visa granted or refused. Approvals or refusals can sometimes be enough reason for some visa applicants to make changes in their application (if they still can) because someone they knew was successful or unsuccessful in their application.  

Each application has its unique merits, and the timing of application lodgement can mean that different sets of legislation may apply due to the continuous updates in the migration legislation.  Comparing your case with your friends, family, or neighbours usually brings heartaches and it is best to focus on your own application.

Applying for a visa and waiting for its outcome can be overwhelming.  If you are unsure about any aspect of your application, it is best that you seek advice or assistance from a Registered Migration Agent or an Immigration Lawyer.