Be careful what you say on your Visitor Visa Application!

Did you know the Miranda warning of “Anything you do say can and will be used against you…” applies not only in the movies but to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as well?

Yes, it’s true! Migration Law is constantly evolving and one of the changes we have recently noticed with Partner Visa applications is that Immigration are paying MORE attention to any personal information previously supplied by you or your partner to them. This includes any details or particulars you may have given on previous Visitor or Student Visa applications and extends to what you have written on airport landing cards. Yes, that’s correct, they keep ALL that information for reference.

Will Immigration check my previous application?

It is important to know that when you lodge a Partner Visa application, Immigration will scrutinise and cross reference any and all of your Australian visa history and migration related data. If they find any inconsistencies or a blatant lie in the process, you are going to have a real battle on your hands.

Get a FREE copy of our Partner Visa Roadmap

Download our free Partner Visa Roadmap and use it to do a self assessment of where you are at in the process. Try filling out as much information as you can and see if you have everything that is required.

Consistent disclosure of the same information is important. For example, there is a MYTH out there that if you bring your partner out to visit you in Australia on a Visitor Visa (Subclass 600), it is best for them not to disclose that they are indeed your partner or that you are in a relationship on the application.This is erroneously done in the hopes that this will stop Immigration from putting a ‘no further stay’ (8503 Condition) on the Visitor Visa and allow you to lodge an onshore Partner Visa (subclass 820) to take advantage of the Bridging Visa A. This unfortunately is a TOTAL MYTH and may in fact harm your Partner Visa application at a later date.

What would happen if I lied on a Visitor Visa application?

If you did not disclose your relationship status on the Visitor Visa and then lodge an onshore Partner Visa application, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will check what you wrote on that Visitor Visa application and landing card when you entered Australia. If you originally said  you were just visiting a ‘friend’ and then claim that you have been in a relationship for 12 months, Immigration will come to one of two conclusions;

(1) You are just friends and therefore you don’t meet the requirements for a partner visa, or (2), You lied on your previous visa application.

Either way, it is going to leave you in a difficult position with a lot of explaining to do and could possibly lead to a refusal of the visa application.

How do I know this MYTH exists, you ask? Well, on a recent trip to the Philippines, I overheard two Australian gentlemen talking about this exact subject in a restaurant one evening. One of the gentlemen had obviously been through the partner visa process himself, several years ago, and he was giving this advice along with some other outdated ideas. It took all my inner strength not to run over to this guy to set him straight and let him know he was actually breaking the law by giving advice like this.

Should I take advice from my friends if they have been through the process?

In this case, if a friend or someone you know tells you the best way to have a Visitor Visa granted or avoid an 8503 condition on the Visitor Visa is not to mention your relationship in the first place and you think you can  somehow “trick” Immigration in this way, then please do not listen to any advice they have on anything visa-related. This applies even if they have been through the process themselves, as Migration Law is constantly changing. The information given to someone 6 months ago may be out-of-date by the time they are ready to lodge the application.

As Freedom Migration assists hundreds of couples each year going through the Partner Visa process, we have developed an understanding of how the Department of Immigration and Border Protection makes decisions. Through helping our own clients day in day out with their partner visa applications, we keep abreast of these unpublished trends through our continued daily lodging of applications and constant communications with the Department. We are skilled in reading and understanding the legislation and policies that determine eligibility for a Partner Visa. This way, we are always ‘up-to-date’ on any changes made to Migration Law.

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About the Author Sophia Emberson-Bain

I was born in the Caribbean and schooled in England before moving to Australia. I studied law and now work at the best migration agency...and no I am not a pirate. Arrhhh. I enjoy helping people, which is why I studied law. Unfortunately, all this time studying has meant my hunting skills are not so strong, and so for that reason, I am a vegetarian.