We at Down Under Visa see a wide range of problems come up along the way with Australian visa applications. Very little what we would call deliberate attempts at fraud, and sometimes it’s really painful to see the problems that visa applicants and Australian sponsors have made for themselves. Most of the problems are caused by carelessness and by not paying enough attention to being accurate in answering questions and supplying us with information for visa applications.
Why so common? I don’t know why. Some cultures are extremely precise and are sticklers to detail and to accuracy. German sponsors are detailed and precise to the minutest detail, however Filipinos can tend to just leave things out if they don’t think it’s that important. Not a criticism. Just part of the general approach to life that exists in the Philippines.
The problem is that there are Regulations in Migration Law to prevent fraud, by way of false information and bogus documents. The laws are there to prevent people breaking the rules and sneaking in basically. They are there to prevent kids being kidnapped across international borders, and to prevent people with criminal records getting in, and to prevent already-married people from marrying again. And they want to avoid people putting in details, or leaving out details, if they think they will influence the decision and to get a visa grant if they do so. That means they might add a job that they don’t have….or leave out kids……or invent kids. Most of the time these bursts of creativity are not necessary or helpful to the visa application at all, and may be the result of the local helpful auntie who knows everything.
But whilst we do see this happening, most of the time it’s just plain carelessness. But as far as the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is concerned, a false statement is a false statement. They don’t need to be convinced of an evil intent. If you put something false in an application and then SIGN that application, you have made a false statement.
And how did you most likely make this false statement in the first place? Generally when you completed our Questionnaire. Yes, that same questionnaire that’s covered in warnings about the dire consequences of making mistakes and leaving out important facts!
And the other place? When you signed the application form that was accompanied by instructions to check it all thoroughly for accuracy and to let us know if anything was wrong.
Why this post?
The reason for this BLOG post is that we’ve had I think three occasions this week where we have been about to prepare and lodge partner visa applications, only to realise that the applicants had made false statements in previous tourist visa applications. In two occasions they had left out the existence of their children.
Reg 4020 (aka PIC 4020, or Public Interest Criteria 4020) applies to CURRENT applications and to visas which the applicant held in the previous 12 months. So if the applicant came back in August from a tourist visa where the application had a false statement, then they need to wait until August 2016 before we can lodge another application!
If our clients could see how MUCH we sympathise with our clients when this sort of thing happens! We have less sympathy when we know someone was deliberately fraudulent, and enormous sympathy when we know this was really just a mistake.
So please please please be careful! Be accurate. Double-check! TELL us if you’re not sure! But never ever make false statements, or you could end up with a very long wait ahead. And remember if they actually catch you on a false statement, then you face refusal and a three year ban.