Going at it alone or getting assistance from an immigration lawyer

Posted on October 23, 2015 by Emily

When applying for your visa, it is crucial that you are well informed regarding the required evidence needed for your application.

The Department website is a great place to start for all your visa questions. However, the information provided by the DIBP is general information. Therefore, it may not be suited to your personal case. You can visit an immigration lawyer to insure you will receive the correct and necessary assistance which is appropriate to your situation.

Immigration law is constantly changing, it is fast-paced and complex. It can at times be difficult to navigate and it is important to ensure that you are providing the right information to the Department otherwise it can become a costly experience to repeat.  Having the right immigration help is imperative to the success of your application.

For individuals trying to process their own application here are some common mistakes that can be avoided by seeking the help of an immigration lawyer.

1. Schedule 3 Issues on a partner visa application:

Changes to the schedule 3 policy put into effect on 1 July 2014, have made gaining approval on a partner visa application increasingly difficult. Immigration Solutions Lawyers (ISL) has an extensive amount of experience with the new policy changes and has had many successful cases. Success with applications is not achieved lightly and only comes with hard work, focusing on clients’ circumstances and addressing thoroughly the new criteria in schedule 3.

However, some applications cannot be brought within the new policy and in these circumstances an offshore partner visa may be a viable option. It may be difficult for couples but in some circumstances an offshore application might be the only option. In some cases applicants have lodged their own partner visa application and schedule 3 has not been adequately addressed or the criteria cannot be met at all. It is essential for applicants to adequately assess your prospects of success before proceeding any further. For this an expert opinion should be obtained from an Accredited Specialist Immigration Lawyer.

2. Disclosure and Transparency:

Withholding relevant and important information may harm the applicant’s chances of gaining a positive outcome and further complicate your matter. Applicants not disclosing all the relevant information can lead to extensive delays in the processing of your application, and may result in a refusal or cancellation of an existing visa.

If you have had an irregular immigration history, or a visa refused/cancelled in the past, remained in Australia unlawfully or have been found to have provided false or misleading information, this may lead to a future visa refusal or cancellation.

3. PIC 4020:

PIC 4020 is a criterion that is attached as a requirement for many skilled migration, student, business skills, family and temporary visas. Before an application can be completed successfully PIC 4020 requirements must be satisfied.

According to legislation in PIC 4020, even an inadvertent error on a visa application can determine a refusal on the grounds of PIC 4020. Extreme caution should be taken by the applicant and advice from an accredited specialist lawyer sought. It is essential to use an experienced Immigration Lawyer to ensure that your application meets validity requirements and is not subject to PIC 4020.

4. Previous criminal record:

Applicants entering Australia will need to meet the character requirements of the Migration Act 1958 as part of the visa application process. This means that individuals with a substantial criminal record including imprisonment sentences of 12 months or longer or even multiple sentences adding up to 12 months of imprisonment may be required to provide a police certificate. By appointing an immigration lawyer to assist you with your case, they may be able to identify any possible opportunities for additional character assessments or required documentation to help you in potentially overcoming this barrier.

5. Importance of notification:

Failure to notify the DIBP of any changes in your circumstances may result in a visa refusal. There have been cases in the past were the Department has sent a request for further information to the last known address of an applicant and no response was received, a decision to refuse the visa is taken due to failure to respond. If you do not inform the DIBP of a change in circumstances, important documentation will be sent to the last known address which may result in a visa refusal.

By appointing an immigration lawyer to your case they will provide the department with all updated information throughout the process of your visa application. It is also essential that you keep your lawyer fully informed of any change in your circumstanced throughout the visa process to ensure that the DIBP always has your updated information.

6. The right immigration help:

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection have been subject to substantial fee increases over the past 12 months. The visa application process can be both labour intensive and costly for applicants.  Attention to detail is vital for a successful application. Taking the wrong or inappropriate advice may result in the delay of your visa application, additional and unnecessary fees and may lead to the cancellation or refusal of the visa application.

Immigration Solutions Lawyers is a leading immigration law firms in Sydney, headed by the managing director and principal lawyer Anne O’Donoghue. The firm has extensive experience and expertise in immigration law and has been assisting clients in navigating the different avenues of migration to Australia since 1993. ISL has the know-how and dedication to achieve the best possible outcome for each of their clients. Their “hands-on” and collaborative approach has given them success in even the most complex visa applications.

To read more about Immigration Solutions Lawyers click here.

Click here to read our article ‘Are You Getting the Right Immigration Help?’

Click here to read some of our successful cases.