(for privacy reasons, these are not the real applicants)
A double win – a Child visa for a 14 year old boy and his 17 year old sister who turned 18 2 weeks after the application.
There were challenging issues in each of these, each very different but overcome with careful planning. They are both in Australia with their mother and step-father now and Permanent Residents.
The boy, 14, had a Western father but living in Thailand, separated from the mother. He lived 6 hours away from the boy, never saw him, and was not easy to deal with. The mother was in Australia, it was not possible for her to talk to the father. We made contact via FaceBook with the father and started a dialogue. We developed a good respect for each other, making it easier for me to get the vital paperwork for the Child visa. We even managed to get him to travel 6 hours by bus to his own Consulate to have his signature witnessed. I used the emails from him as part proof of his approval to let the son migrate., Every case is different with challenges. It takes careful planning and often creative thinking to get a Child visa.
The parents started by using a local Thailand business, not qualified in Australian Child visas. They were paying high amounts for unnecessary paperwork. For instance, a 14 year old does not need a Police check but this business charged them a lot for one. Eventually the sponsor realized he needed professional help and came to us. We got the Child visa in about 5 months, all smooth.
The daughter was 17 years, 2 weeks away from her 18th birthday when we lodged the Child visa. This was important as she wasn’t studying, an important factor if she was over 18 years. If an applicant is 18 years and over, they MUST be studying and proof of this is needed. Think you can provide fake papers for study. In some cases the visa office will ring the school to check the student is studying.
The Child visa applicant should really be studying at the time they make a decision on the visa. In this case we were not asked for proof at the time of decision of the Child visa. We were lucky, not all cases go through so smoothly. In this case the evidence at the time of application was very strong and well presented. This helped get a decision without any request for further information. The Child visa applicant was lucky.
Our policy is to make a Child visa appliction really strong with evidence. This helps us avoid interviews that can cause problems. In this case, we advised the visa office that a child under 20 years is not regarded legally as an adult. We asked that any interview be with the mother. They agreed. Why did we do this? We did not trust a young inexperienced 18 year old to understand what to say at interview
Our experience is crucial to success. You never know what traps come up and often, case offices in the visa office are inexperienced. We always write a submission quoting the law to them. This has meant we have had no Child visas or any other family visa refused in the last 4 years. We tell them why the applicant qualifies.