We cannot stress it enough. Visa application is not a straightforward process, even with visa assistance from legal companies such as ours. It involves hundreds of people relying on twenty dozen pages of laws and policies only to decide whether they will allow you to step on the country or not.
But amid these legal complications, one major factor that mostly contributes to the bulk of the waiting time before the visa gets approved or denied is how the documents are prepared before submission. You provide an untranslated birth certificate in French (without telling us in any way what it is) and you will exponentially prolong the process (because most of our case officers are English speakers, so are those working in the Immigration). Present a passport that will expire in three months, and your waiting time will double.
Here are seven simple and quick fixes that you can do that will allow for a smoother and faster processing of your visa.
Visa application is all about documentation. You need all the records, accounts, and paper works that back up everything you claim about yourself during the application. If the papers you surrendered lack one vital document, the process will be on a halt.
The Immigration wants an entire picture of your identity. With one piece of the puzzle missing, that picture will not make sense, or worse, they might think you are lying with the information you provided. Any records missing will amount to a couple of days or weeks we spend telling you to submit such paper. That is time you are losing in the application process already.
The people at the Immigration department are mostly English speakers. Therefore any documents printed in any other languages should be translated. They will not accept just any translator. It should be done by someone accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.
This government agency is the national standard for issuing accreditation for practitioners in Australia. Any NAATI-accredited translator or interpreter means they are operating lawfully and are allowed to legally interpret your government documents.
Our case managers (the people who collect and process your documents and liaise with the Department of Immigration), as well as the Department of Immigration itself go through hundreds of paper works each day. They mostly includes three passports, ten kinds of certificates, and twenty records belonging to five people each, all in just one application. It is not very hard to get lost in all of these.
You can make the process faster by labeling the papers you submitted. We will usually provide a list of documents for your reference, you may label your documents according to the suggestions listed. If you are submitting more than one passport, label each one with the names whom they belong to. The same goes for birth certificates, employment records, and registration copies. The less time they spend identifying which document belongs to whom, the more time goes towards the decision process of your visa.
Some of our Government records and ID’s are being produced in color and there is a reason for that. It improves the readability of important details and they make the pictures and logos clearer and more identifiable.
When you submit the copies of these documents such as passports, driver’s licenses, and birth, death, and marriage certificates, please do so in full colour. Our case managers can read and prepare the papers better and faster if they are not in black and white. Not to mention that the Department of Immigration also prefers the records to be in colour. You want to get it right the first time.
The Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection receives hundreds of thousands of documents each day. Given that they are not Google.com and have a finite storage capacity, they limit the documents to a total of five megabytes in size only, anything more than that and they will reject it.
You may achieve this by compressing your PDFs online via SmallPDF.com. Just upload your PDF files and the site will compress them for you.
Sometimes we do not have the original versions of important documents and that is fine, as long as you have your non-original copies certified by the Justice of the Peace or a Notary Public (you can search for one in our area here). Their certifications will allow your non-original copies to be recognised by the Department of Immigration as valid.
Your visa grant should be in sync with the details in your passport, from the passport number to the expiration date. And since visa application process normally takes months, you have to be sure you still have the same passport when you finally secure your visa. If it expired along the process and you get another one with different numbers and expiration dates than the one in your visa, you will have a huge problem once you set foot in Australia.
Make sure the passport you provide will be good for six months up to a year to avoid hassles with the Immigration.
*Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this article is for general information only. Always seek professional legal advice in regards to your situation as every situation is different. Immigration legislation changes regularly and thus always, get up-to-date advice on your situation. Lodging a visa application is a judicial process and is based on the quality of legal advice and legal representation you receive. It is illegal for any Migration Agent or Lawyer to guarantee 100% of a positive result as it is a judicial process.