Updated: Jul 8, 2022
A s56 official request is usually a positive indicator that the Department of Home Affairs have your visa application in their sights. This official notice that the Delegate has commenced a review of your application is to be welcomed. Overall the Delegate has reviewed your application and indicated some documents or pertinent information is required. Now you have an opportunity to put things right!
Don't panic too much when you receive the RFI request. Do however read the checklist carefully and ensure you understand the requirements. You must provide all the information requested, if not the Delegate may finalise your visa application which inevitably may not realise the outcome you desire.
In the s56 email you may have received both documents as follows:
Request Checklist and Details
s56 Request for More Information
If the request is a complex the Delegate my also have included references to legislation and the option to withdraw your visa application. Needless to say do not do anything drastic until you have obtained professional advice from A Registered Migration Agent.
What Will the Documents Tell You?
s56 Request for More Information - Review this document carefully, it will state how much time you have to respond and how to respond. You must follow the instructions carefully.
Request Checklist and Details - This document details what you are required to provide. You are also likely to see a detailed version of examples of what the case officer is expecting from you. Read everything carefully, put a strategy in place to make an adequate response.
Remember you will have limited time to respond to the request, probably as little as 7 days but usually up to 28 days. Use your time wisely and get help straight away if you feel you need it.
Initially the Delegate will offer the legislated time to respond. In some cases it may not be possible to respond within the timeframe permitted. You may however request additional time to respond; in most cases this will be granted (if you ask nicely)!
Stay in touch with your case officer, this is important as you do not want a decision made on your case until you have had time to provide all the requested evidence.
Helpful Tips - From Our Experience:
Before responding to a s56 Request, collect the information and evidence in support of your application and response. Provide truthful, accurate, and up-to-date information.
Before submitting the information and documents, name them properly.
Avoid providing irrelevant information or documents. Remember the case officer has only requested what is listed on the checklist. Providing too much at this juncture may delay a decision in your case.
s56 Request - Partner Visa
An official RFI request in regard to a partner visa may require a straightforward response, perhaps an AFP Police Certificate. In this case you are probably competent enough to respond.
In other cases the Delegate may request further evidence in regard to the your relationship. It is easy enough to provide an AFP Police Certificate but how do you respond when the case officer has requested further relationship evidence?
How the Delegate views your relationship evidence is discretionary and not black and white. When responding to the official request, if you have not provided an adequate response the Delegate may not ask again. This is your chance to showcase your relationship and ensure the Delegate understands your circumstances fully.
Your relationship evidence should address all aspects and include evidence of your Finances, Nature of Household, the Social aspects and your Commitment to each other. If you fall short on these you may not achieve the result you want.
What is s57 Natural Justice?
A s57 Natural Justice letter is also otherwise known as an 'Invitation to Comment on (Adverse) Information' letter which is sent by the Department of Home Affairs. This type of justice letter is most commonly generated when the case officer assessing your visa application suspects that a bogus document or information that is false or misleading has been provided. This is a serious matter - obtain professional advice immediately.
What is an s56?
Section 56 Request for Further Information (RFI) is often a simple and straightforward request from your case officer. You are requested to provide some further information or supporting documents to assist the Delegate in processing your Australian visa or Australian Citizenship application.
The request could simply be instruction to provide your police certificates or attend a health assessment.
Getting The Right Help
The team at Visa Crew specialise in writing submissions to the Department of Home Affairs in response to RFIs. If you have received a s56 or s57 request firstly have a professional review the official checklist and advise you how to proceed. This will be the best money you have ever spent.
Be mindful what you read on social media, get your advice first hand from a Registered Migration Agent. We are trained and up to speed with immigration legislation and requirements of the Department of Home Affairs.
Have you received an official request, do you feel stressed?
If you are in this situation and feel stuck don't delay. Contact Us and speak with our qualified migration agent. We are specialists in this field and we can guide you through the process in a professional manner.
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