A couple lodged a partner visa application, prepared by themselves on 12th December 2013. Fortunately they were both in Australia at the time. If Mr X had been outside Australia at the time then he would most likely need to stay outside Australia throughout the processing of the visa. Almost one year of waiting later, on 17th November 2014 the couple had their outcome: refused. Today this means the $6865 application fee is lost for this fee is not refundable in the event of refusal. The application fee to appeal the refusal decision is currently $1,673 in addition to likely migration assistance fees and further processing times. Mr and Mrs X waited until 25 February, 2016 before their case was heard before Tribunal totalling more than two years of living in uncertainty, their life together on hold not knowing whether or not Mr X would receive a visa to stay in Australia. This is one of the most turbulent and stress-creating times a person can go through. Why did this happen?
I will run through the case and what the Administrative Appeals Tribunal reasoned at the hearing last February in the hope it will prevent mistakes being repeated by someone else going through the process. If people ever traipse through the minefield of Australian immigration law they are often only going to need to do it one time. As a result of the newness of it all, understandably mistakes are probably going to happen. Unfortunately some mistakes can mean the difference between a visa grant or refusal. Here are the mistakes.
Mr and Mrs X had separate addresses at the time they applied. This does not in and of itself mean a visa will be refused but weighs in favour of refusal. During the hearing they were found to have good reasons for having separate addresses at the time they applied. These reasons should have been written, evidence given and included with the visa application. This is probably not a thing most people would know to include. During the processing of a visa application a case officer will expertly look for weaknesses in any claims made so we always need to give reasons convincingly.
The couple did not provide with their partner visa application sufficient evidence of ‘pooling of financial resources or sharing of day-to-day household expenses’. In my opinion this would be the main reason for visa refusal which is why it is the area I focus on the most when preparing a partner visa application. The less evidence, the more I work on this aspect. While Mr and Mrs X waited for their case to be heard at Tribunal they would have been provided opportunity to provide evidence of ‘financial pooling’. By February, 2016 they were able to show the Tribunal enough evidence to show that “they have in the past integrated their finances and currently share ongoing financial responsibilities”. But had they been guided enough at the time they applied in December, 2013 they would have unlikely needed to go through the excruciatingly worrisome refusal and appeals process.
The Tribunal went through all the factors related to partner visa application assessment but the only factor explicitly stated that the case officer was not satisfied with was the ‘pooling of financial resources’. The good news is Mr X ended up with a partner visa after the required processes were fulfilled. For further information about relationship ‘factors’ that are assessed after you lodge
a partner visa application click on the image below: