How your social media profile can impact your Australian visa application.

In a world where our digital selves grace global public platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and many others, how can your social media profile determine your success in getting an Australia visa?

In short, your social media profile can have as much impact on your Australia visa application as it can have on any other formal application. Your social media accounts can be monitored and used to assess the credibility of the information contained in your visa application. Any publicly available information is taken into consideration when making a visa application decision. This may be information regarding your work history, qualifications, relationship status – any information in fact which might contradict details you have included in your visa application.

Facebook used to uncover visa application ‘truths’

Like other global public bodies, Australia’s Department of Immigration can and does conduct internet searches. They have refused applications where information contained with a social media profile was inconsistent with that in the application. In one high profile case, the Department refused an applicant’s submission because of inconsistencies relating to his religious status. On appeal, the Federal Circuit Court upheld the Department’s decision, ruling that material on his Facebook page constituted “evidentiary material” used to determine  whether his claims made in his visa application were truthful.

Not quite the US model…yet?

While such verification exercises are not without its critics, it remains to be seen whether Australia will adopt the US social media checks introduced by the Trump administration. Under the new procedures, rolled out in June this year, consular officials can request all prior passport numbers, five years’ worth of social media handles, email addresses, phone numbers and 15 years of biographical information including addresses, employment and travel history.

Your social media checklist

While social media platforms enable us to communicate and connect with friends, family, colleagues and contacts, it is important to remember that the internet is a global public forum. If you are considering reviewing your social media profile, this checklist might be useful:

Personal details – check what personal details are available on the internet and social media channels, and consider removing any information which is out of date or no longer reflects your current situation.

Posting comments – when posting information on social media platforms or internet forums, consider that this may be seen by the Department of Immigration.

Privacy settings – check the privacy settings on your social media accounts. These allow you to control the information published about you by others and to choose what information is publically displayed.

Professional advice – enlist the advice of a professional to ensure your visa application runs smoothly from start to finish.

Part of Ark Migration’s due diligence involves doing the same internet and social media checks that are done by the Department of Immigration. We look for any inconsistencies between the information contained within your social media profiles and in your application, and address these early on to give you the best chance of success.

For a free, no obligation consultation about your application or migration plans, contact Michael Leonard, CEO and Founder of Ark Migration on +44 7904 666 124 or email michael@arkmigration.com