The Australian protection visa (subclass 866) is a special permit for people seeking asylum in Australia. Once granted, you are allowed to live, work and study in Australia indefinitely. The application process can be quite tedious. Applicants lodge their request by filling a statement for protection visa application. If the department thinks that their claims are genuine, they are invited to a protection visa interview. This article discusses what applicants should expect at a protection visa interview.
Preparing For The Interview
The questions asked at the interview are not very different from those in the statement for protection visa application. As such, it would be worthwhile to go through your statement to ensure you do not make any contradictions during the interview. Get adequate sleep and rest before the interview. It prevents anxiety on the day of the interview.
During The Interview
You are allowed to bring your immigration attorney to the interview. If you do not have one, you can ask the interviewer (contact person listed in the invite) to allow you to take a close friend or relative. The interview is recorded on audio. The department officer will introduce him or herself and ask you to do the same. You are also required to provide your identification documents. The department will provide an interpreter if English is not your first language. You can ask them to change the interpreter if he or she is not fluent in your language.
Below are some tips and tricks to help you through the interview:
You must be relaxed. It ensures you give coherent answers.
Ask the officer to expound questions that you do not understand.
Do not attempt to exaggerate your situation in a bid to win the officer's heart. If you do, you will mess up your case.
The department officer will ask personal details. He or she might also test your honesty with uncomfortable questions. Do not get agitated or angry. Instead, repeat your facts.
Feel free to ask for a break to relax and clear your head. If you give incorrect information, correct it before the end of the interview.
After The Interview
The department officer will conduct some background research to establish the authenticity of the information you provide. You may be asked to clarify facts or provide extra information if some of your statements are inconsistent. Besides, the department may invite for a second interview.
If the department ascertains that you are at risk of persecution in your home country, they will send an approval letter and visa evidence card. If they do not approve your request, ask your immigration lawyer to appeal the decision within 28 days.