Last updated on October 31st, 2019
After submission of visa application, the next step was to upload all the supporting documents to immi site. Below is the checklist of all the documents based on DIBP guidelines:
|Full scan of all important pages of the passport||Yes||Yes||Yes||First, Visa pages and Last page|
|Birth Certificate||Yes||Yes||Yes||Each page|
|Marriage Certificate||Yes||Yes||Each page|
|Government Issued ID Proof (Pan Card/Voter/Aadhar etc)||Yes||Yes||Each page|
|Form 16 for each employment||Yes||First and Last page|
|Last 6 salary slips for each employment||Yes||Each page|
|10th and 12th Mark Sheets (along with names of subjects)||Yes||Yes||Each page|
|10th and 12th Certificates||Yes||Yes||Each page|
|Bachelor’s/Masters Marks Sheet (along with names of subjects)||Yes||Yes||Each page|
|Bachelor’s/Masters Certificate||Yes||Yes||Each page|
|Professional Certifications||Optional||Optional||Each page|
|Offer/Appointment/Relieving/Experience letter||Yes||Optional||Each page|
|Roles and responsibilities letters||Yes||Each page|
|IELTS scorecard||Yes||Yes or Functional English Letter||Each page|
|Skills assessment letter (ACS/Engineers Australia etc)||Yes||Each page|
|Police Clearance Certificate (for each country where you have stayed more than 12 months)||Yes||Yes||Each page|
|Medical health assessment||Yes||Yes||Yes||N/A|
|Form 80 and 1221, if requested||Yes||Yes||Each page|
Though the list looks deceptively small, the actual number of documents was enormous. Thankfully, as most of the documents were same as those submitted for ACS, there were only a handful of documents which were not yet ready. One of the most important of them was the functional English letter for my wife.
What Is Functional English?
Functional English simply means you have good enough knowledge of basic English to perform everyday tasks. In other words, you don’t have to be Shashi Tharoor :D. Spouse of a primary applicant needs to prove that he/she can communicate in functional English.
How To Prove Your Functional English?
DIBP requires you to furnish either of the two documents as a proof of functional English competency for your partner
- An average IELTS score of 4.5 /TOEFL iBT minimum score of 32/ PTE Academic score of 30/ Cambridge English Advanced test(CAE) minimum score of 147 or,
- A letter from the institution or university stating that you have completed the full-time degree, diploma or trade certificate and that the medium of instructions was English
If you don’t provide either of this, you have to pay something called the second instalment of visa application charge or VAC. The current cost of this second instalment is $4885. Since I wanted to save time and money, I didn’t want to go through the IELTS route for my wife. So the only option was to contact her university and get the functional English letter.
She did her bachelor’s degree from Pune University and getting letter seemed like a straightforward task. Of course, in India, nothing is as easy as it seems.
Firstly, my wife had to take half day leave to visit university office to apply for the letter. Secondly, the Pune University campus is more suited to be a maze in the Harry Potter books than an educational institution. To find the department responsible for issuing the letter was akin to finding a Horcrux (magical object from the Harry Potter series). After giving the written request and paying charges for the letter, the lady at the counter asked my wife to collect the letter after a month, as if she was going to write the constitution.
After one month, when my wife contacted the lady over the phone, she assured that the letter is ready. However, in reality, she didn’t even type the letter until my wife got there. When faced with the question about the same, she gave an exhausted look and asked my wife to see her in a couple of hours. All this time just to fill in my wife’s details in a ready-made template and get it signed from an authorised person. Tell me about bureaucracy!
Here is the sample format of the letter which we received.
In my friend’s case, when he got his letter (with the usual delay), it was missing the date. So he had to make an additional trip to get it corrected.
Taking a lesson from this, I already cautioned my wife to carefully check for all the details, sign, stamp and date. Thankfully, in her case, everything was in place. I added the document to the list of documents to be scanned and notarised.
Getting Everything Notarised
The next part was even more fun.
I made at least four sets of the documents for notarization. Why four sets? As a backup, just in case some of the documents didn’t bear the stamp or missed the signatures. I proved right in doing so. The entire thing looked more like a PhD thesis project than a bunch of visa documents. All in all, there were some 500+ pages to be notarized. Now just to make it clear, it is not required to notarize documents if you can provide good quality colour scans of the documents. However, to be on a safer side, I went ahead with notarization no matter how tedious it was.
I got hold of one of the notary advocates near my home. One lazy Saturday afternoon, when he was least interested in doing any work, I took my lot to him. Looking at those papers, he gave me bewildered expression and calmly increased the cost to Rs. 10 per copy which was a lot more than what he did at ACS stage. After some negotiations, I was able to bring it down to Rs. 8 per copy.
Once the price was settled, he started working on the set. As I expected, 100 pages into the process, the stamp ran out of ink, but the man was so unprofessional that I had to ask him to refill it. Half the documents had a very light impression of the stamp, some were stamped on the text area making it illegible to read the stamp while in few others the stamp was upside down.
Hence, the need for four sets. Out of all this mess, finally, I was able to make one final set which bore correct stamp and sign on all pages. Told Ya!
Once again I scanned all the notarised pages and uploaded them (it is called frontloading when documents are provided even before CO asks for them) one by one to the immi site. It was a tedious job but the right naming of the files helped me a lot to do it quickly. I would suggest that you meaningfully name the files, not just for you but for the CO too. The easier you make it for him/her, the faster your application will be processed. With that, most of the work was done, all that remained were health examination and police checks.
Moving To Australia Series
- Moving To Australia – The Idea
- 10 Reasons Why I Chose Australia
- Which Work Visa Is Right For You?
- Should I Go With Migration Agent?
- Introduction To Skilled Visa Points System
- How To Prepare For Skills Assessment – Part 1
- How To Prepare For Skills Assessment – Part 2
- How To Clear IELTS In First Attempt – Part 1
- How To Clear IELTS In First Attempt – Part 2
- How To Clear IELTS In First Attempt – Part 3
- EOI – Express Your Desire To Migrate
- Getting Visa Invitation
- Lodging Visa Application And Making Visa Payment
- Getting Evidence of Functional English
- Undergoing Health Examination – The Whole Story
- Getting Indian PCC And The Road Ahead