Applications for visitor visas appear simple enough that you would not need a migration agent to assist you in completing it and organising the supporting documents. Oftentimes, the completion of application forms and documentation are lodged by travel agents or relatives. Most applicants prepare and lodge them themselves.
In any case, it is important that you are aware of whatever answers are given or documents are submitted by you or on your behalf. Your visa could be cancelled if you provide incomplete or incorrect, false or misleading statements, even if not intended. You could even be barred from future visa applications if you provide fraudulent supporting documents.
After your visa grant and your arrival in Australia, it is your responsibility to meet all the conditions of your visa grant and to leave Australia before the expiry of your visa.
Do you know exactly when your visa expires? Determining the visa expiry date can be confusing.
Take this as an example: One of my clients was granted a visitor visa on 24 December 2010. She last entered Australia on 5 November 2011. Her visa grant stated:
Entries allowed: Multiple entry to and from Australia during the validity of your visa
Must not arrive after 24/12/2011
Period of stay: 03 months.
Visa expiry date: 24 December 2011
At first glance, you would think that her visitor visa expires on 24 December 2011. However, because she last entered Australia on 5 November 2011, my advice was that her visa expires on 5 February 2012 which is 3 months after the date of her last entry.
My client went to the DIAC counter and was advised that on the computer, it states that it expires on 24 December 2011 and therefore, my client got stressed and told me I gave the wrong advice.
Because of the conflicting opinion, I therefore asked the Visitor Policy section of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to clarify and provide written advice.
In reply, the DIAC Visitor Policy Section wrote me to confirm that my advice was correct and further explained that “if she re-entered on 23 December 2011, for example, her stay period would take her to 23 March 2012.” This is because the visa has a “must not arrive after date of 24/12/11”, which means that if she leaves and re-enters before that date, the 3 month stay period will re-set.
This information is of a general nature and should not be taken as authoritative legal advice for specific cases. Australia has a scheme that requires persons who give immigration assistance to be registered as migration agent.
The writer, Atty. Imelda Argel is a practising migration solicitor and a registered migration agent in Sydney, Australia. She is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the High Court of Australia, an Attorney at law in the Philippines and in the State of New York, USA. Her Registered Migration Agent no. is 9682957. She is the author of Time- Saving Immigration Practice Solutions (TIPS) on General Skilled Migration (GSM) a publication for migration agents, at www.migrationprecedents.com.au, the recipient of the inaugural NSW FAWAA (Filipino- Australian Women’s Achievement Award) for her outstanding achievements in corporate practice and entrepreneurship, and the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (NSW Chapter) Achievement Award for law and community service. More information is available at www.iargel.com.au. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at (+612) 9699 3210 or by appointment at Suite 41, Ground Floor, 61-89 Buckingham St. SURRY HILLS NSW 2010.