My career included processing an enormous number of visa applications, easily thousands of them. I saw and heard it all, from the deeply suspicious to the sadly mistaken. While most good-faith applications got processed fairly quickly, there were some common mistakes that delayed multiple applications. Here are five solid tips for preventing the most easily-avoidable visa application mistakes:

1) Be Consistent

Are you applying for a visa for a two-week stay? Why, then, do you have a letter from your school or employer that says you’re coming for a month? Are you applying for a three-month stay when your payslip says you have only two weeks of vacation time?

These sorts of inconsistencies raise red flags when your application is processed. They need to be double-checked, and you may be contacted and asked to explain the inconsistencies. If at all possible, keep your application info and supporting documentation consistent!

2) Complete The Application Form In Its Entirety (And Don’t Forget The Signature)!

The number of people who submit an application without signing it in the appropriate places would shock you. One of the very best ways to check for simple omissions like this is to ask someone else to look over your application form before you send it in. Making sure you’ve really completed your application can save you from particularly embarrassing delays.

3) Provide Supplementary Information On Convictions Or Health Issues

Go a step further beyond simply declaring these complications; deliver useful information about them. Letters from your doctor, police certificates, and other documentation can get your application processed faster suggest Travelvisapro. These items can be embarrassing or painful to talk about, but facing up to them with honesty and advanced planning can simplify your application considerably for your case officer. In many cases, a little research will show you exactly what sort of additional information your case officer is going to need.

4) Be Honest

Experienced case officers develop reliable instincts for sorting truth from falsehood. I advise you to be rigorously and consistently truthful. A dishonest visa application might well slide through the system without raising an immediate alarm. The stakes are higher than you know, though; misleading visa information can come back to haunt you months or even years down the road. You’ll find immigration officers considerably less understanding and merciful than the case officers who process your visa application.

5) Get The Right Visa

Applications that are requesting the wrong type of visa are almost always rejected out of hand. These refusals can be expensive, as your application fee is rarely refundable.

Australian visas are divided up into many subclasses, and now those divisions have been further sub-divided into “streams.” The Australian visitor visa makes a good example of why you need to do your homework and apply for the right visa. Visitor visas are subclass 600, and there are three separate streams (tourism, business, and sponsored), each with a different application form. There are also online applications (e600) to consider and other visitor visas including ETA and eVisitor.