Common errors to avoid when lodging an Australian visa application

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With over 10 years experience in the Australian migration industry, I have been approached by many people who have initially tried, without success, to lodge a visa application without using a Registered Migration Agent.

In this article, I will address some of the most common errors people make when applying for a visa and highlight the advantages of using a Registered Migration Agent to ensure you lodge a quality application at the first attempt.

Issue 1 – applying for the wrong visa

Believe it or not, many people do not apply for the best visa for their situation, usually because they are unaware of what the best visa for them actually is. There are close to 100 different visas for Australia. A Registered Migration Agent will ensure that the most appropriate visa is sought when reviewing your situation in detail. The National Visas Online Assessment is a good first step to determine what visa options you may have.

Issue 2 – incorrect completion of forms

A form not being completed accurately is another common issue; near enough is not good enough. If you are required to answer a question on a form, it must be answered. Unanswered questions can cause delays in the processing of a visa application or it may result in an application being refused. The answers must also be accurate at the time of completing the form. Inaccurate and inconsistent answers can also lead to delays in the processing of a visa application, refusals, and in some cases 3-year bans from Australia.

Issue 3 – poor documents

Not providing all the correct documentation when the visa application is lodged is the most common error made by applicants. This generally leads to protracted processing times as a case office will request extra documents from you and you then have to provide them. It is sometimes very hard to determine exactly what documents will be appropriate for your application. Registered migration agents are experienced with lodging applications to the Department of Immigration and have an expert understanding of what is acceptable documentation for a given situation.

The issues with documents sometimes cannot be “cured” post lodgement. Some documents MUST be provided at the time you lodge your application or the visa must be refused. Additionally, sometimes people provide documents which actually harm their case because they do not understand exactly what the requirements are, and how to appropriately evidence. You can avoid these issues by using a professional.

Issue 4 – more complex than you think

I also find many people initially believe their situation to be straightforward and simple after spending a few minutes researching on the internet. However, the truth is, migration rules and regulations are very strict and specific, so an applicant who is unaware of all of the conditions can easily lodge an invalid application, or worse, an application that is valid but is subsequently refused. Australian immigration law is also continually changing, making it difficult for applicants to prepare an informed application if they are unaware of a regulation change from the time they do their research to lodging an application.

I have pointed out just a few of the most common pitfalls in lodging an application. Applying for a visa is not a formality. It is a costly, time-consuming and precise process. In many cases, it is the first step in one of the most important decisions you will ever make—starting a new life in another country.

National Visas Registered Migration Agents give visa applicants the best chance to fulfil such life plans successfully, with the least stress or hindrance from Government authorities.

John Bell
Senior Migration Advisor
MARN 0321386

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John Bell

Migration Advisor at National Visas
John Bell has been involved in the immigration industry since 2000 and has practiced in Australia as an Australian Registered Migration Agent since 2003. John also worked in the UK as a UK immigration adviser between 2000 and 2002.

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