Visa Application And Associated Costs
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Check List Using The Regulations As A Template eg - Spouse Visa
Get Enough Sleep
Visa Application And Associated Costs
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
What Can Go Wrong If You Don't Record Your Mail Properly
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
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
Essential Prerequisites For A Ministerial Discretion Application
Last Lunge Applications
State And Territory Sponsorship
Believing The Client
Spouse Visas - Unexplained Large Deposits of Money
Managing No. 8503 On Tourist Visas
Tax Deductibility of Migration Advice
Dates On Documents And Names On Documents
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
Take A Statement
Case Management Software
Check All Past Visa Applications
Visa Holders Being On Their Best Behaviour
Email Communication With Immigration - Delete All Strings
No Without Prejudice Conversations With Immigration
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
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
It is important to remember that the Code imposes an obligation on you, before proceeding with an application, to inform the client of all the costs involved. Paragraph 2.20 of the Code states:
A migration agent must:
- find out the correct amount of any visa application charge and all other fees or charges required to be paid for a client’s visa application under the Migration Act or the Migration Regulations; and
- tell the client the amount of each fee and charge; and
- if the agent is to pay an amount for the client – tell the client the date by which the amount must be given to the agent so that the interests of the client are not prejudiced; and
- give the client notice of each amount paid by the agent for the client.
In addition to the application fee the client should be informed of the costs of health checks (generally $180 per person), police clearance checks (vary from country to country), the agent’s professional fees, and any security bond, or assurance of support bond which may be applicable.
The information provided in the application form must be true and correct in every detail. This is specified in s. 101 of the Migration Act which states:
A non-citizen must fill in his or her application form in such a way that:
- all questions on it are answered; and
- no incorrect answers are given.
The Act states further at s.105:
- If a non-citizen becomes aware that:
- an answer given in his or her application form; or
- an answer given in his or her passenger card; or
- information given by him or her under section 104 about the form or card; or
- a response given by him or her under section 107;
was incorrect when it was given, he or she must, as soon as practicable, notify an officer in writing of the incorrectness and of the correct answer.
- Subsection (1) applies despite the grant of any visa.
Remember that you should be careful to ensure that you keep records relating to the following obligations on clients:
- If a visa applicant’s personal circumstances change, so that an answer on a visa application form is no longer correct, the applicant must inform the department in writing of the new circumstances and of the correct answer. Where an application is lodged onshore, the applicant has a duty to advise of a change of circumstances until the visa is granted. If the applicant is offshore, the duty to advise applies before the applicant is immigration cleared i.e. after they have passed through immigration processing at the port of entry to Australia.
- An applicant for a visa must advise the department or overseas post of any change of address lasting 14 days or more. See s. 52 of the Migration Act which, as relevant, reads:
(3A) A visa applicant must tell the Minister the address at which the applicant intends to live while the application is being dealt with.
(3B) If the applicant proposes to change the address at which he or she intends to live for a period of 14 days or more, the applicant must tell the Minister the address and the period of proposed residence.
This is very important for notices to clients. If the client has already had dealings with DIMIA then you should ascertain if the client has given DIMIA the latest address correct address. The writer has had a number of cases where DIMIA sent notices to the client at the last address supplied, with the result that merit review rights were lost because the client never got the notices and the client became s. 48 barred. [If you suspect that your client has made other applications for visas, then you should make an application under the Freedom of Information Act for copies of all files held by DIMIA in relation to your client. One never knows what time bombs may be there.]
The applicant is liable for any information provided in the form, even if they were not aware that incorrect information was provided, or if another person filled in the form on their behalf. If it becomes apparent that incorrect information was provided in a visa application the Minister may cancel the visa under section 109 of the Act. Should that occur, it is important that a reading of your file makes it clear that:
- You have properly advised the client in relation to these matters; and
- Any failure occurred on the part of the client and not on your part as an agent.
These issues are particularly important in migration matters where the consequences of the failure of an application or the cancellation of a visa are very serious.
Any documentation provided in support of an application must be a certified copy of an original document. If the document is in a language other than English, an English translation of the document must also be lodged. The translation should be by a qualified translator. Again, record on your file that you have advised your clients of these requirements.
A complete copy of everything submitted to the department must ALWAYS be kept on your client file.