Mistakes in visa application can cost a lot of money. It can even cost you your Australian dream. Stay away from these three common mistakes.

1. Applying for a visa without understanding the eligibility criteria

This is common for people who prepare and lodge their visas themselves and depend on what is publicly available (websites, visa forums, etc.) or those who get advice from people around them who are not Registered Migration Agents/Immigration Lawyers.

It can be easy to get influenced by friends/family/colleagues who say, “I applied for this visa on my own and I got an approval. My case is very similar with yours, so I am sure you will also get a visa grant.” The thing is, every case is different—turning in your application at different lodgement times can mean a different legislation applying to it as the immigration law changes all the time. Different Case Officers may have varying perspectives on applying the visa requirements to each application.  

I came across 485 graduate visa refusals from applicants who thought they satisfied the criteria for the graduate work stream; however, their nominated occupation at that time was not listed under the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). These applicants have misinterpreted or misunderstood what they read from the Department of Home Affairs website.

2. Claiming points on SkillSelect that cannot be substantiated

Applying for Expression of Interest (EOI) for General Skilled Migration through SkillSelect looks very easy because it can be done online and the applicant is not required to provide any evidentiary documents. But if the points claimed cannot be justified when the visa is lodged, then the visa application can be refused.  

Errors can be made due to an honest mistake or because of wrong interpretation of the question.  For example, some applicants for General Skilled Migration visa (189 or 190) tick “yes” on the question, “Has the client completed a gazetted professional year in Australia in the last 48 months?” without checking what a gazetted professional year means. 

International graduates of Accountancy and IT in Australia who completed a professional year are eligible to claim additional five migration points. If you have mistakenly ticked the question above, your total migration points will be calculated as the total migration points in your EOI less 5 points.  If your total migration points at the time of visa application is less than your total migration points at the time you were invited to apply for a visa, your visa application can be refused.

3. Not providing all the required documents

When applying for an Australian visa, there are criteria to be satisfied at the time of application and at the time of decision. This means that the evidences should be provided at the time of lodgement to satisfy the criteria at the time of application and the rest of the documents can follow if it is under the time of decision criteria. However, the Department of Home Affairs is not required to ask for additional documents for every visa application and the Case Officers can decide on an application with whatever documents they have at the time they open your case.

I have seen some 485 visa applications refused for not having an AFP Police check at the time of visa lodgement.

These mistakes look petty but have huge effects. Try and remember these when you apply for your next visa or get a Registered Migration Agent/Immigration Lawyer to handle your application if you cannot afford the risk of getting an Australian visa refusal.

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