Over the last couple of weeks, the news about a visa issue for a top tennis player has been circulating.
Arguments around political motives, detentions, visa cancellations, and other related topics have been storming all media platforms.
However, the woes around this particular visa issue are not uncommon. It's just that such news (or not much if you are an ordinary individual) is never attractive enough for the media to pick up.
The issues faced by this top-seeded tennis player only happen so often because immigration or visa work is often seen as an administrative backdrop. It is a necessary evil that "we just need to get it over and done with". Well, in reality, it's more than that.
Without considering Australian immigration laws associated with the case (which our partners at AVIE (Australian Visa & Immigration Experts) are qualified to advise on) and any alleged political motives, there are apparent issues that we can identify:
Ensuring that all information provided on a visa is accurate and truthful
Ensure that you understand the rules around your terms of entry and your eligibility and post-entry requirements.
More often than not, individual applicants, whilst fully respectful of the law, do not realise or believe the boxes they are asked to tick essential and, more so, why such boxes are there in the first place.
For example, many applicants believe that "honest mistakes" can be justified, and immigration officials will glide over the error.
In truth, this is not always the case (especially under UK immigration rules), "mistakes" whether it is to the applicant's knowledge or not and whether it is "material" to the application can be seen as providing false information or false representation.
In such events, immigration officers can refuse the visa applications, and granted visas can be revoked or cancelled.
If an immigration official can prove that deception is adopted (successfully or otherwise), they can also impose a ban of 10 years for any further application.
There are also cases where conflicting information provided on various applications is picked up and queried over a number of years. Whilst most of such discrepancies are minor, i.e. wording or otherwise, information such as exits and entries, health questionnaires, criminal records or other material points can make a huge difference.
For example, having a minor misdemeanour may not be an issue if it was declared upfront when applying for a visa, but failing to declare it or subsequently declaring it in future applications can be seen as deception. Thus, whilst an individual may have been a law-abiding resident in the UK, having unearthed, a historic mistake could still mean that a visa can be revoked.
As such, it is always crucial for an applicant to ensure the information they have provided is accurate and true, even if they are using an agent.
More importantly, it is always in the best interest of those who hold a visa or enter a country to know what they have signed up to and what continuing conditions they need to meet under the visa category.
For example, many countries (including the UK) have fairly strict COVID policies around self-isolation pre/post-entry or those who need to follow specific rules if they are fully vaccinated or not. In other examples, whether a visitor can work or what activities a visitor can do whilst in the country.
Such rules are not there for show, and whilst some may see enforcement of the regulations as improbable tasks, following such regulations and updating the authorities is essential. Again, it is not a case of inadvertently or blatantly disregarding rules. Instead, whether 'by' inadvertently or blatantly breaking such rules impacts how the authorities see the individual as a suitable applicant, visitor or resident within the country. The more serious the breach / disregarding of the rules, the more severe the consequence (immediate or the future).
After all, no one (at least we believe) set out to defraud, misrepresent or deceive the authorities. In most cases, mistakes are mistakes and breaches of the rules, inadvertent. However, carelessness or error can be costly.
In this immediate example of the top-seeded tennis player, the outcome of his immigration woes is likely to spell a disastrous reputation loss and titles to be won.
Shores & Legal are experienced and expert immigration partners for your business and personal immigration requirements. We have years of experience in helping companies and individuals to identify their immigration requirements and strategy to the UK. Our extended family at Partners Immigration can also help with non-UK movements. If you wish to discuss your immigration requirements, contact us at +44 (0) 207 097 6778 or firstname.lastname@example.org.