Australian Spouse Visas – 12 Costly Misconceptions to Avoid If You Want to Succeed
1. SPOUSE VISAS ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO OBTAIN UNLESS YOU HAVE A JOINT BANK ACCOUNT OR LEASE – not true as many couples do not have these important documents but still succeed. We can show you how to compensate with other even better evidentiary documents from yourselves, friends and family. Evidence covers many categories above and beyond just your finances and includes the history of your relationship, the opinions of others about your relationship, proof of your travels together, your own personal statements about the depth and commitment of your relationship and many other relevant fields.
2. SPOUSE VISA APPLICATIONS ARE EASY -“MY FRIEND DID IT HIM/HERSELF” – that may be true for your friend but, if your friend was jumping off a high cliff and over rocks into the ocean, would you jump too? None of us do everything our friends do – we need to make our own choices, especially in matters as important as love and migration where the risks are so high.
3. I AM AUSTRALIAN AND I HAVE A RIGHT TO HAVE MY SPOUSE LIVE IN AUSTRALIA SO THEY WILL JUST GIVE THEM THE VISA – No! Spouse visas are only granted when you can also prove the relationship is genuine; being an Australian guarantees nothing on a spouse visa application. If it were otherwise anyone could just move in with or marry an Australian and obtain a visa.
4. SPOUSE VISAS ARE QUICKER IF YOU APPLY ON YOUR OWN – Also not true; doing it on your own can take 4 -6 months or more, sometimes even over a year until approval. One client was waiting six months to just to get a government case officer before we intervened. We have had some of our client’s spouse applications approved in 1 day and aim for a quick approval of 2 -4 weeks in all cases. We get faster approvals because we prepare the whole case better.
5. I CAN GET A SPOUSE VISA EVEN IF MY LAST VISA APPLICATION WAS REFUSED – Previous visa refusals almost always make subsequent applications harder as more evidence is required and you must prove good character for migration purposes and therefore sometimes apply overseas. Hence, it is better to make your first application succeed.
6. YOU DON’T NEED MUCH EVIDENCE TO GET A SPOUSE VISA – This is probably the biggest misconception of them all! No spouse case will ever be approved without substantial, credible and properly documented and organised evidence, preferably scrutinised by a lawyer (like the writer of this article) skilled in the art of vetting evidence for errors and or dangerous information which might otherwise prejudice your application
7. WE ARE MARRIED BUT WE NEED TO LIVE TOGETHER FOR A YEAR AS WELL BEFORE WE CAN APPLY FOR AN AUSTRALIAN SPOUSE VISA – not correct. Australian law states that you must either be legally married OR live in genuine de-facto relationship (monogamous/to the exclusion of all others) for 12 months before applying for a spouse visa. You do not have to do both. Furthermore, even if you are not married, you can start preparation for your spouse visa application before your 12 months of de-facto time is finished and then lodge the application as soon as it is.
8. SPOUSE VISAS ARE ALWAYS APPROVED IF YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS GENUINE AND NOT FAKE – this is a popular misconception, as everyone would like to believe that the Immigration officers are all honest, competent and skilful at discerning which relationships are real and which are not. However, like you, they are human beings and can be prejudiced against certain types of relationships, racist and even just overworked and incapable of giving proper attention to your application. You need the protection of a lawyer to deal with your case as they know how to deal with these issues upfront before and or as the problem occurs.
9. MY SPOUSE AND I HAVE ENOUGH COMMON SENSE, WHY DO WE NEED A LAWYER? Good question – you might also ask why you need a doctor when you are sick or a mechanic to fix your broken down car. There are many things that most of us can do on our own but some that are best left to the experts. Essentially, in this type of case, you need not just any lawyer but an experienced migration lawyer who has also had lots of spouse cases approved – since 2000 we have had nearly 100 consecutive spouse cases approved without one visa refusal.