I’m going to tell you something about several incidents that happened with Down Under Visa clients lately.
These are actual incidents that happened in the last week. We protect client confidentiality very closely, however I will explain these incidents without including the names or any identifying information that would cause a breach of confidentiality. I think it’s far too important NOT to tell these stories so as to protect other clients from possibly making these mistakes.
Firstly, we have a client with a problem with a child’s birth certificate. Some false information had been included when the birth was originally registered, which our sharp-eyed office staff had identified.
Note that we have one staff member who does nothing but check documents, and another who double-checks the previous checks. This is how seriously we take what we do, because it’s our job to see that your visa application is granted!
We sent the client to the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) to start the process of correcting the mistake. The LCR told her it would take 3 – 4 months to do this.
But then a staff member at the LCR offered to *”fix” it in 3 – 4 days in return for a payment under the table! This is what is known as a “fixer”. The client told me about this, and asked if this is what she should do? Of course I said definitely not! I then warned her of what would happen when the real birth certificate was delivered to the Australian Embassy in Manila. Instant refusal, and either a 3 year ban for false documents or maybe a 10 year ban for false identity documents!
I’m very glad she told me, and I’m very glad that she listened. In the next incident I’ll tell you of one that went a bit further.
In Incident #2, we had another client with wrong information on a birth certificate. Our office instructed her to get it corrected. A corrected document showed up. Fortunately our staff noticed that it wasn’t done properly. Yes, we’re very good at what we do. We raised this with the client during the week and she said something about how it was still being processed.
Then this morning she read a post that Mila had put up in Tagalog as part of our new “Filipinas Page” about fake documents, and she understood. We had an emailed “confession” from her this morning. She will now get the documents corrected properly, which means her application is back on track. If we had missed this error and we had submitted the application to the Embassy, it would have been too late.
In Incident #3, I had a client not understand why we wanted his lady to send us her documents as soon as possible so that we could check them. He assured us that her documents were fine, and I’m sure he believed they were. And maybe they ARE fine! We don’t know, because we haven’t seen them. We want to check them ASAP so that if there are any problems like the ones above, we can advise what to do to correct them properly and officially and without too much delay, so as to prevent any reasons why the Embassy could refuse the application.
Refusal rates for partner visa applications in Manila have always been significant. But since the introduction of PIC 4020 (Regulations dealing with false documents and statements, as well as identity fraud) I would expect this to go higher! It’s our commitment at Down Under Visa not to let this affect our great success rate. Any less would be letting our clients down, which we don’t do.
So please understand, and please cooperate with us when we sometimes need to tell you bad news about your documents and when we tell you to go through the correct channels to get these documents corrected. We do this because we are always on your side!