visa_application_approvedFor some time now the Department of Immigration (DIBP) has been changing its attitude towards visa applications being lodged that are not ‘decision ready’.

So what does a ‘decision ready application’ mean?

In short this is an application where based on all information and documents you have provided a favourable decision can be made by migration officer. This is basically a decision to grant you a visa due to submission of all required documents.

While in the past migration case officers requested any missing documents in your application, this is now completely up to them to make decision based on current information provided or basically refuse a visa.

Unfortunately not all applications lodged can be ‘decision ready’ despite all your efforts. The best example is a requirement to undergo a medical check for certain permanent visas (mainly in family stream category). For such visas processing times are usually over 1 year which is also a validity period for your medical results. Therefore lodging a visa application for let’s say Partner visa and providing medical results at the same will make these results void when, after 1 year, your case officer is about to make a decision on your application. As a consequence, a new medical examination will have to be taken.

While preparing all the required paperwork you might also come across a situation where some documents from your home country (e.g. police check) might be really hard to get or the process can be time consuming. Sometimes you might be better off lodging an incomplete application while waiting for the remaining documents be sent through.

Having said that by lodging an incomplete visa application you risk:

– losing your visa application fee (each application is reviewed on case by case basis)

– becoming llegally in Australia if your previous visa has expired and no other visa options are available

– at best, you are delaying the whole process as long as a case officer is kind enough to request any outstanding paperwork from you. Remember that decision-ready applications receive priority processing.

To summarize:

– make sure your all visa documentation is ready and well organized at the time of lodging your application

– use available checklists to make sure you haven’t missed anyting (note that not items on a checklist might apply to you)

– for any missing documents provide an explanation in writing such as cover letter stating the reasons for incomplete application.

– use professional help if you get lost with what’s required and what’s not.