Simple mistakes that can lead to visa refusal

Applying for Australian visas may seem easy as information on the criteria and application process are publicly available. However, it is important to understand that sometimes visa applicants may unknowingly commit errors which may compromise their getting a favourable decision on their application.

This article intends to discuss common mistakes that visa applicants make that can jeopardise their chance of getting a visa grant.

  1. Applying for a visa you are not eligible for

It is not difficult to misinterpret the visa requirements which are available from the Department of Home Affairs’ website, especially, if you have not sought advice from a Registered Migration Agent or an Immigration Lawyer. Some have confidently lodged a visa application which they thought they were eligible for but were surprised to know that they weren’t when they got their visa refused.

One example of this is an applicant who applied for a Partner Visa (subclass 820) with a sponsor who is a New Zealand citizen. This visa is for applicants whose sponsor is an Australian citizen or an Australian Permanent Residency visa holder or an eligible New Zealand citizen. This applicant should have applied for a New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa (subclass 461) instead.

Note that in this scenario, some Case Officers may first ask for evidence of the sponsor’s citizenship or visa status in Australia and the visa applicant may still have a chance to withdraw his application if
he has realised that he could not satisfy the criteria for the visa he applied for. However, some Case Officers are not as generous and they can decide to refuse an application right away based on the information and evidence they have on hand.

  1. Not providing the required evidence at a specific time frame

When applying for a visa application, there are two sets of criteria. There’s the time of application criteria and the time of decision criteria. The required evidence to satisfy the time of application criteria should be provided during the application lodgement and the required evidence for the time of decision criteria should be provided any time before the decision is made on the application.

For example, for the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485), AFP police check and evidence of language capability are a time of decision criteria and should then be uploaded at the time of visa lodgement. There are many cases of Graduate visa refusals where the visa applicants thought they could apply for their AFP police check or they could take the English test exam any time after they lodged their application.

  1. Overclaiming of points

This is a common mistake for those who are applying for Expression of Interest (EOI) for Permanent Residency (PR) visas under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) stream. When applying for EOI, it is easy to claim points on age, education, work experience, and more as the applicants are not required to provide supporting evidence.

Some have said “yes” to questions pertaining to Australian Study Requirement and Professional Year without a proper understanding of what these terms mean. Ticking “yes” to these questions add five (5) points for each criteria to the applicant’s overall migration points. When they get invited and eventually apply for their PR visa, they will be asked to provide evidence of their claims. If they can’t, then their visa application will be refused.

These minor mistakes may have a huge effect on your ability to pursue your visa objectives in Australia. Aside from this, there are so many changes happening with the Australian migration legislation, therefore, it is suggested that you seek advice or assistance from an Immigration Lawyer or a Registered Migration Agent when applying for an Australian visa application.

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