Email & Fax Communication & Errors With Credit Cards Emerge As Troubling Issues




Check List Using The Regulations As A Template eg - Spouse Visa

Get Enough Sleep

Visa Application And Associated Costs

Preserving Records

Record Keeping And Management - How Long Do Documents Have To Be Kept?

Initial Requirements Regarding Accepting A Retainer

Failure Of Proper File Management Can Lead To Suspension As A Migration Agent


Confidentiality & Notifying The Client Of Complaint Procedure

Give Your Client A Copy Of Everything

Give Your Client The Bad News Immediately

Take Care While On Holidays

Clients & English

Check Special Requirements For Offshore Visas With The Embassy's Or Consulate's Website

Don't Accept Immigration's Assertion That Decisions Have Been Made Properly

Have No Fear Of Appeals

Never Advise Your Client To Make Life Changing Decisions Prior To The Grant Of A Visa & Trust Your Instincts

Before You Set The Fee With Your Client And Before You File A Visa Application

Oral Instructions

What Can Go Wrong If You Don't Record Your Mail Properly

Application Fee For A Visa



Prepare Your Client For The Oath

Client Dress

Policy VS Law

Ideas For Chronologies For Client Files

Immigration Goes Into Hibernation On 30 June Each Year

Australia Closes Down Between Christmas & New Year

Have An Industrial Strength Office Set Up At The Office And At Home

What Is A Permanent Residence Visa?

Note Taking

Translating Documents

General Issues

Practice Together Or Practice In Groups

Time Limits

A Proper Email Account And Email Management

Undercharging And Undercutting On Fees

Tourist Visas

Positioning And Pathways And Fees (Putting All One's Eggs In One Basket)

Email & Fax Communication & Errors With Credit Cards Emerge As Troubling Issues

Preparing A Client For Merit Review Hearings Or Interviews With DIBP

Accountants And Migration Law


Berenguel - Sometimes Time Of Application Criteria Can Be Met At Time Of Decision

Bare Faced Liars & The Fraudsters

Everyone's Doing It

Bridging Visas

Visas Remain Current Until Midnight

Immigration Closes At 4pm

Looking After Secondary Visa Holders In A Visa Cancellation Process

Applying As A Secondary Visa Applicant Onshore When The Primary Visa Applicant Is Offshore

Being Illegal

Essential Prerequisites For A Ministerial Discretion Application

Last Lunge Applications

State And Territory Sponsorship


Believing The Client

Follow Up

Make Peace With The Tax Office

No Obligation On Immigration To Chase Up Information Or Documents From Migration Agents Or Lawyers Representing A Client

Errors In Visa Applications

Spouse Visas - Unexplained Large Deposits of Money

Managing No. 8503 On Tourist Visas

Medical Consent

Statutory Declarations

Merit Review

Tax Deductibility of Migration Advice


Dates On Documents And Names On Documents

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Take A Statement

Case Management Software

Work Rights


Check All Past Visa Applications

Revealing Convictions

Visa Holders Being On Their Best Behaviour

Email Communication With Immigration - Delete All Strings

No Without Prejudice Conversations With Immigration

Accounts Managements

What Is A Secondary Visa?

Identify Australian Citizens Who Support An Applicant


Schedule 1 Criteria

Second Thing To Do On Starting A File - Download The Relevant Part Of The Law

First Thing To Do When Starting Any File - Identify Any 'Rights Destroying' Deadlines

Lodging Paper Applications

Social Media & Smart Phones


Disputes About Parentage And Children

Helping People Pass The English Tests

Managing Emails

What Is The Pomodoro Technique?

Immigration Telephones Client

When Is A Visa Application Made In Australia

Apply For A Visa In Australia

No Visa Application Is An Island

The Hammock Principle


As will be seen below emails from Immigration not being received by Migration Agents can be a serious problem.  The writer has a recent case where the agent only learnt months later that a student visa application had been refused.  The migration  agent says he regularly checks his junk mail to make sure  DIBP email has not spilled in that inbox.  If you haven’t yet done so make sure you mark  ‘’ as a ‘safe sender’.

The writer has regular disputes with Immigration over whether the email was actually sent (ie left Immigration’s computer).

The initial plan was to obtain a certificate from the migration agent’s Internet Service Provider (ISP), stating that the email had never made it into the agent’s inbox, but in this case the ISP only kept records for one month.  Hence it may be useful only to have an ISP which keeps email records for much longer than a month – check this with your ISP.

The mere fact that the delegate can produce a printout of an email which was purportedly sent, is not conclusive proof that the email was actually emitted out of the Immigration computer system.

We have asked Immigration to provide an engineering certificate that the email was despatched from  Immigration’s computer system and we are awaiting an answer.   There is also provision under s. 271 (Proof of certain matters) of the Migration Act for an Immigration officer to issue a certificate.  The relevant part in s. 271(1)(l) [ie subparagraph ‘l’ as in London] states:


(l) a certificate signed by an officer stating whether or not a specified computer program was functioning correctly:

(i) at a specified time or during a specified period; and

(ii) in relation to specified outcomes from the operation of that program under an arrangement made under subsection 495A(1);

is prima facie evidence of the matters stated in the certificate.

NoteFunctioning correctly is defined in subsection (5).

(5) For the purposes of paragraph 271(1)(l), a computer program is functioning correctly if:

  • outcomes from its operation comply with this Act and the regulations; and
  • those outcomes would be valid if they were made by the Minister otherwise than by the operation of the computer program.


Nevertheless, all of this is a worrying issue because of ss. 494B, 494C & 494D.  It is worth re-visiting those provisions now.

All sorts of things can go wrong in the communication pathway and the risk of any failure is carried by the client.  Letters still go astray, emails can disappear into cyber space, a fax may be chewed by a fax machine unbeknown to a migration agent.

So what to do about this.  One fail safe method is to simply email Immigration every 20 days in each file noting that no communication of a decision has been received and that it is therefore assumed no decision has been made. But this hardly practical when decisions can take well over a year after visa application.  However one has to use one’s instincts.  If a decision ought to have been received by a certain time then it would be prudent to inquire.

Sending material by fax can be problematical at the receiving end. Regularly the writer is aware of cases where even though the sender has proof of a fax being sent, the recipient denies this. On investigation it usually emerges that somehow when the fax was printed out is got mixed up with other faxes and was incorrectly filed. The safest course is to follow up on whether the fax was received and make a note of that.


Barbara Davidson