I think this is what scares Australian visa applicants from Philippines most of all. At Down Under Visa we get quite a few questions and concerns about this, even after the visa grant is received they will email and ask “So, when do I have to go to the Embassy for my visa interview?” The idea of a scared Filipina having to head to the Australian Embassy in Manila to be grilled by a Case Officer causes many a sleepless night. But are visa interviews mandatory? And if so, do you have anything to worry about?
Will the Australian Embassy interview the visa applicant?
The requirement remains as a possibility, but no it doesn’t happen each and every time like it used to. In years gone by when visa applicants meant standing in a long queue (“falling in line”, as the Filipinos call it) with a folder full of papers, and waiting for your interview. Ancient history, fortunately. No more queues stretching around the block. Electronic online lodgements through the IMMI Account these days, and interviews are rare.
Tourist visas: I’ve never once had an applicant for an Australian tourist visa from Philippines have to attend an interview at the Embassy. Yes, on occasions, the Case Officer will call the applicant on the phone to clarify something. Of course it’s possible to have a face-to-face interview at the Embassy, but for us it would the first amongst many thousands.
Partner visas: Again, not mandatory. But yes, they do still happen on occasion. I think our last client interviewed at the Embassy was a few years back now, so maybe 0.2% of applications through Down Under Visa. Occasional questions on the phone, but still less than 1%.
Why are visa applicants interviewed?
The Australian Embassy interview visa applicants if they have unanswered questions. Their job is to ensure that the visa applicant meets the criteria set for that visa subclass in the Migration Regulations. We as your Migration Agents do our very best to show that you do meet those criteria in the clearest way possible. The ideal visa application is where they go through it, tick all the boxes, and have no doubt whatsoever that the applicant deserves a partner visa or prospective marriage visa.
However in some cases we haven’t been able to get all that we want from the client, and sometimes there are just some odd or unusual circumstances surrounding their case. Therefore they will call for an interview. I could list some of those, but we’re obviously not at liberty to discuss details like that.
What’s the lesson in this? If you don’t want to be interviewed, then please follow Down Under Visa’s instructions and don’t hold back with the information and the evidence! Present the strongest and clearest case that you possibly can. Follow our instructions and guidance, and don’t argue when we say we need something more and/or something better from you.
What happens at a visa interview?
That’s the $63,000 question, isn’t it? This is what everyone wants to know!
OK, I made a statement in the last BLOG post about partner visa requirements that those in genuine and committed relationships rarely have a problem in getting relationship evidence. Well, the same issue applies to visa interviews. Those who are truly in love and in genuine relationships where the couple know all about each other and where they truly picture themselves spending a lifetime together, they should romp it in!
What is the case officer looking for? Lies and inconsistencies!
If they find something shaky, strange and doubtful in your case, they will try to get to the truth. That means they will ask the same question in several different ways and see if the story changes. They’re not mean, nor do they wish to give you a hard time. They have a job to do and that is to guard Australia’s borders from people who shouldn’t get in. If the applicant is not in a genuine relationship, then no…..they shouldn’t get in!
Mila and I were interviewed in Hong Kong. This was back in the come-in-with-paperwork days. We had no problem at all. Why? Because we knew each other inside and out, and that made it easy. If this is the case with you and your wife, fiancée or partner? Then you have nothing to worry about. If your love for each other is genuine…..and if you know everything there is to know about each other……and if you have a vision for where you want to be and what you want to do together…..then you too will breeze through.
NOTE: The is a reposting of an earlier post from 2016