How common are problems with NSO documents in Australian visa applications for Filipinas migrating to Australia from Philippines on Partner Visas? Very! I would say about 1:10 have problems. At Down Under Visa we would receive maybe 50 or more NSO documents to check every month, and 5 or 6 of them have problems! Errors in NSO documents, even unintentional, can equate to bogus documents and lead to visa refusals and three year bans.
I’ve explained about what a “bogus document” is recently, and you can read again HERE if you haven’t read it or need a reminder.
Note again the definition from Section 5 of the Migration Act contains this:
……was obtained because of a false or misleading statement, whether or not made knowingly.
That means it contains incorrect information, and whether it was done intentionally or not doesn’t matter. It’s wrong, that means it’s a bogus document. That’s how the law views it!
So when we point it out to you, we are not accusing you of falsifying documents or of intentional wrong-doing! We are merely stating the facts as they are.
Bogus documents. What must you do?
Fix it! Fix it, or face a visa refusal and a three-year ban under Reg 4020 of the Migration Regulations, aka Public Interest Criteria 4020 or PIC 4020.
And by “fix it”, we mean get it corrected legally. The local colloquial in the Philippines for “fix” is “Get some dodgy person to get you falsified documents to cover it up”, even if that person is in a Government office. This is most definitely not what I mean here. Don’t do it, and don’t let friends or relatives talk the applicant into the quick-fix. Stay the course, or it will come back and bite you. 3 year bans hurt!
Go to the Local Civil Registrar office at City Hall and ask about getting it corrected. These days, most errors can be fixed this way. No courts. A few months delay and that’s all. More serious matters can take many months, and need to go through the court. More serious matters are the ones that may have been caused by intentionally deceptive statements, such as claiming to be married when not married, but may also be just caused by major carelessness of someone along the line, possibly in the Government office.
Do you need an attorney?
If you’re not confident, yes always get an attorney. And get one that understands that this is AUSTRALIAN law we’re working with here, and won’t suggest a quick-fix. Affidavits will not not not fix a bogus document! Please read THIS. And please don’t come back to us and say “….but the attorney said….!”
And please don’t expect us to map out exactly how to fix the matter either. We know where you should go and what standards you should expect, but we are not Philippines attorneys. We can’t give you detailed solutions nor can we give you time estimates.
Should you lash out at Down Under Visa?
We have a fantastic job! Most of the time we have nothing but good news for clients, especially when we get to say “Congratulations! Your visa has been granted!” I think we got to say that 27 times last week. (Yes, I know! I just checked. Didn’t realise it was so many!!)
However sometimes we have to tell someone something they weren’t expecting about problems with documents. Some take it well, but others? Not so well!
We are in a position like the doctor who has to tell you something unpleasant from some test results, or the policeman who needs to tell you some similarly bad news. This is our job. We know when the news is bad, and it’s our job to tell you. Fortunately the result for most is just a bit of a delay. Awful when you’re missing each other, but in the long term just a speed bump on the path you need to take. You will get over it! And just like if the doctor didn’t tell you the test results, it would be far more tragic if we didn’t tell you and let you just go ahead and let the Embassy catch you out and deal with you!
And note that we didn’t write the laws. Whether we agree with the laws or not, or whether you agree with the laws or not doesn’t come into it. Lashing out at us is not only not very fair, it’s also fairly pointless. The law is the law and it is how it is. As the expression goes, don’t shoot the messenger. We are also humans with feelings, and sometimes we cop a lashing from 3 or 4 disappointed clients in a day over problems that we never caused and are merely trying to help you with! And when you have problems, we are the best friends you have because we are prepared to tell you the truth in the first place, and in many occasions it’s our fastidious office procedures that were able to locate the problem.
And just look at those visa grant numbers above! It’s fairly clear that we do a fantastic job, and will do the same for you if you work with us. That means taking the bad news when you get it and dealing with it properly. I guarantee you that some of those grants were from clients who once lashed out at us when we had bad news to tell them. They got over it, and so will you!
NB. This is an updated reposting of an older article from 2016