An Insight into the Migration Industry
Recently, a junior migration lawyer was reprimanded for professional misconduct. This included costs to be paid and an immediate disqualification for 18 months from the profession.
The then-lawyer selected a wrong category in the online drop-down menu which caused a refusal of the application. Out of “panic”, as he claims, he “delet[ed] parts of the substantive reasons and add[ed] in new, fictitious reasons that covered up the fact that he had made the determinative mistake. He sent the false documents to the client.”
It was recognised that it was “an easy mistake to make but one that is fatal to the application”.
As many others in the industry would agree, navigating migration law can be tedious and it is very easy to miss something very simple. Some application forms are over 30 pages requiring a lot of detail. If anything is incorrect that may trigger issues of visa cancellation, visa refusal due to PIC 4020 and subsequent bars and exclusion periods from Australia.
In an earlier court case this year, Le v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection  FCA 427, the court recognised and emphasised that substantial compliance with the form was sufficient. Minor mistakes on an application form should not be fatal and the focus should be on the entire contents and substance of the form rather than the minor details.
We are all human! Mistakes are prone to happen. What’s important is to be able to fix the mistake. If you have ever made a fatal mistake when completing your own applications, it may sometimes be curable. So don’t panic and seek a professional’s opinion.