Partner visas: One mistake and your application can be denied, even if you amend it
The application process for a partner visa requires an applicant to provide truthful and verifiable information, while providing misleading or false information – regardless of the intention – can lead to the application being rejected.
In particular, decision-makers apply what is known as Public Interest Criteria (PIC) 4020, which is a requirement for a visa applicant to prove their identity and provide truthful information.
Under PIC 4020, a visa may be refused if bogus documents or information that is false or misleading is given to the Department of Home Affairs or the Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT), Sydney-based immigration lawyer.
And although a system to correct mistakes made on an already lodged application exists, it is not a guarantee that the department or the tribunal would disregard the initial information provided by applicants, particularly if the “mistake” was interpreted as a deliberate action.
A recent case of a visa denial observed by the lawyer was that of a man named John
In the case of John H, both the Home Affairs department and the tribunal denied the granting of a partner visa to an Egyptian woman based on the fact that the applicant’s sponsor (John. to whom she is married) initially failed to declare a previous marriage and the fact that he is the father of two children.
Regardless of the fact that the applicant provided the form to correct the documents in question, both the department and tribunal considered both John H and his wife’s actions as a deliberate act to provide false and misleading information.
John was born in Egypt and first entered Australia in 2009 holding a student visa.
He then applied for a protection visa which was refused by the Department of Immigration. He remained in Australia on various bridging visas until he was granted the right to reside permanently in Australia in 2012.
He is now an Australian citizen.
The AAT affirmed the decision not to grant the applicant a partner visa and John H now needs to wait up to one and a half years before being eligible to re-apply for his wife to join him in Australia.
The consequences could have been worse as a result of a visa refusal under PIC 4020, Ms H said.
“The department can ban you from applying for another Australian visa for up to ten years,” she said.
“In addition, the department may refuse to grant a visa to any listed family members.”
It is important to note that in case of an appeal, the AAT could decide whether to waive PIC 4020 in light of:
- Circumstances that affect the interests of Australia, or
- Compassionate or compelling circumstances that affect the interests of an Australian citizen, or permanent resident that justifies the granting of the visa
This power is limited to the AAT only.
In John case, Ms H believes that the AAT was not satisfied that any hardships John may face are of such compassionate or compelling circumstances that would justify the granting of the visa for his wife.
*Not his real name.
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