The detection of errors in immigration documents, especially ones that have been translated into a specific native language, leads to rejection of the application or causes quite lengthy delays in processing. This is immensely important in the case of visa document translations, mainly due to the necessity for personal information to be preserved in its actual sense and meaning while making it convenient for the immigration authorities to understand it in the required language. However, immigration translation is only a small aspect of the entire process. People often fail to provide the required details or misrepresent information on the forms, which is not only unethical but also presents a risk of rejection/delay. Using NAATI-certified translation services is a good option, but it also pays to take certain precautions while submitting documents for immigration application. The following is a compilation of ten common errors that need to be avoided to ensure faster approvals for visa applications and immigration processes.
Error # 1 – Providing pictures with non-compliant dimensions
Visa/immigration applications require pictures of specific dimensions so that they may fit in their place perfectly on the respective forms. If the size is too big or too small, it could make it difficult to confirm the identity of the applicant in relation to the information provided in the document. The common dimension preference is 35 mm (width) and 45 mm (height) for general pictures, while the head image is permitted a maximum height of 30 mm. Submitting pictures of incorrect size will lead to rejection of the forms.
Solution – Double-check picture dimension specifications before submitting them along with the application.
Error # 2 – Incorrect methods of paying immigration process fees
The type of payment method depends on the stream for which the fees is to be paid. Common methods of payment applicable for most processes include bank drafts, money orders and/or certified cheques; but it is best to confirm the payment mode applicable to avoiding possible rejection of the forms. Another problem often experienced in payment methods is the determination of the fee value when dealing with foreign exchange. Most visa offices only accept payment in their local currency, so it is advisable to check the website of the specific office to find out the actual costs in local currency. Using current conversion rates to determine costs could be an ineffective use of time and effort, as the calculated values may differ from those mentioned by the officials. It is also important to pay the correct applicable amount as the form will be rejected even if the paid amount is in excess of the actual value. Keeping a keen eye on these details will help to push your application through the process quickly.
Solution – Pay the correct amount in the preferred local currency (as stated officially) by using the applicable payment mode/instrument.
Error # 3 –Signatures missed in required places
This may seem to be a simple and quite insignificant mistake, but the fact is that a major proportion of rejected applications have missing signatures or misplaced signatures as the cause of rejection. Forms that are usually used in visa applications have multiple places where the applicant’s signature is required; but out of common habit, people often sign only in the bottom section. Another problem is that people often put their signatures in places where it is required only when a certain condition has been fulfilled. For example, a certain form may require a signature in a particular section only when the content in that section has been translated. If the applicant puts his/her signature in this section despite the absence of translation, then the officials simply reject the application due to non-compliance with norms.
Solution – Check your forms thoroughly for signature requirements, and sign only in places where it is required.
Error # 4 – Only providing documents mentioned specifically by the authority
You may think that submitting documents exactly according to the attached checklist would be a good strategy for getting your immigration application processed. Going by the code is good, but providing additional supporting evidence helps to speed up the process. These supporting documents come in handy when the basic documentation is not sufficient to pull the case through. The officials rarely apprise you of such conditions, and in all probability the documents are returned to the applicant long after the submission had been made.
Solution – The type of additional documents that may be usefully provided depends on each individual case. However, documents like lease records, communication transcripts, bank statements, etc., can prove to be highly useful in speeding up the process.
Error # 5 – Lack of supplemental forms (applicable for certain regions)
People from certain specified regions are required to provide supplemental documents in additional to the standard forms for visa application. The purpose of these supplemental documents is to obtain information that is otherwise not evident from the standard forms. Usually these documents are in the form of survey-type questions, or in the form of a targeted questionnaire. The answers provide greater insight into the personal preferences or approach of the applicants.
Solution – It is better to identify the type of supplemental forms that could support your case in immigration applications, so that they may be submitted along with the standard documents.
Error # 6 – Misrepresentation / unaccountability of information
Misrepresentation of information is a serious offence in any legal framework, as the official authorities rely completely on the documented information. If detected, the application containing misrepresented or unaccountable information (the absence of specific information which is not explained by the applicants) is not only rejected, but is also barred from being re-submitted for a certain duration. This duration depends on the regulatory guidelines existing in different regions. One of the problems associated with the misrepresentation clause is that minor errors that may have occurred out of erroneous translation may be perceived as intentional, due to which the application could be rejected and barred from further submission.
Solution – The only possible solution in this case is to get the document checked thoroughly by a language expert to ensure that the content bears relevancy with actual information. Also, it is better to provide valid explanations for information that is missing or has not been provided on the forms.
Error # 7 – Submitting handwritten forms that lack clarity
Handwritten forms are hardly ever preferred, especially in immigration approval processes. The reason behind this is the lack of clarity and illegibility of various types of handwriting that people usually adopt. In the case of visa approvals, the assigned officer will simply return or reject the file if any information does not indicate clear perspectives. Moreover, handwritten forms are not capable of being verified. Digital copies, once verified, are provided with bar codes or similar substitutes that not only authenticate the information, but also aid in fast digital transfer, thereby saving valuable time and effort that would otherwise have been used up in tedious conversion. The other obvious benefit of digital documents is that they can be printed countless times as long as the soft copy is preserved.
Solution – Create digital copies of filled forms for ensuring clarity, facilitating authentication and allowing long-term usage of the information.
Error # 8 – Failing to include a cover letter while submitting documents
The absence of cover letters does not cause rejection of immigration forms. However, it can cause significant delays in the process. The primary use of cover letters is to brief the verifying office about the personal overview of the applicant, and the factors that makes him/her suitable for qualifying for immigration.
Solution – Always submit a cover letter introducing yourself and outlining why you qualify for a visa approval.
Error # 9 – Using inappropriate mailing media for submitting the application
Immigration offices usually ask applicants to send the filled-in forms and supporting documents by mail. However, if you use normal mailing methods, then there is a high probability of the package getting delayed or even lost in transit. Tracking such packages can be tedious and can consume a lot of time. Another mistake that people make in this regard is to keep on waiting for some response from the immigration authorities. A good approach in such situations is to make an enquiry at the designated centre if no response is received within a reasonable time.
Solution – To avoid unnecessary troubles, it is best to use registered mail or courier services to send documents, as they can be tracked, with a level of accountability being attributed to the mailing company.
Error # 10 – Holding up application submissions in anticipation of criminal record verifications
While it is good to wait for the criminal record verifications to be delivered before the application is submitted to the officials, such practices are often not advised. Unless required for permanent residence in a foreign country, the criminal record verification report may be submitted at a later date. Waiting for the verification report prior to application is an exercise in futility. Such actions only contribute to delaying the process further.
Solution – It would be a good approach to find out if verification reports are required as per your case. If they are required, submit the application immediately and then provide the verification report when it is delivered to you. This will save valuable time in the process, eventually leading to faster approval.