De facto on a 457 visa granted on review – the importance of submitting all relevant evidence
A recent Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) case demonstrates the importance of submitting all the relevant evidence at time of application. The review was for an application for de facto on subclass 457 visa that was initially refused.
The application was initially refused by the case officer because the case officer was not satisfied that they were 'de facto' and thus not 'a member of the family unit of the primary applicant.
A joint lease was attached to the initial application as evidence of their living situations, however, this joint lease was recent and only showed them living together for 2 months - way short of the 12 month rule. However, the applicants had actually been living together much longer than that but due to circumstances did not have both names on the lease. No evidence was provided that they had actually lived together longer than that and the visa was refused.
Once at the tribunal it was clear to the presiding Tribunal member that the decision should have been granted because the applicant explained the lease situation and provided additional evidence for the purposes of the MRT case (1403366  MRTA 55 (27 January 2015))
If the applicants had provided this information and 'additional' evidence in the first place, then the case officer likely would have granted the visa but this information wasn't provided at the time and the case officer can only decide on the information at hand.
MRT reviews take at least 2 years before an appearance. The applicants could have saved themselves some time and money, not to mention the anxiety and stress of a visa refusal and appeal, if they had provided the relevant evidence at the time of application.
It is unclear if the applicant had migration agent support in the initial 457 application but if they did, they should demand their money back.
If this was Frontier's case we would have prepared each document to ensure that it complies with what the Department is looking for, provide explanatory notes for the evidence and prepare a professional written submission that ties all the evidence together. In short, Frontier would have prepared the initial 457 application as if it were a legal case because that's what makes us different; we're more than migration agents, we're Australian qualified lawyers.
Once again, Frontier believes you are more than capable of doing your visas yourself but you need to understand the importance of submitting relevant evidence at the time of application.
For more complex cases where time lines are unclear, you will also need to build your case and not rely on the case officer to piece it altogether.
So for those that are considering doing this application yourself, take notes from here and make sure you submit all relevant evidence at time of application.
If you want to be confident that you're submitting all the relevant evidence, just have a chat with us and see how we can help you. We can provide full case management support or just simple DIY support.