IMMI s56 Request for More Information

3 Tips on how to respond to IMMI s56 Request for More Information

Overview of IMMI s56 Request for More Information

Have you received an IMMI s 56 Request for More Information correspondence from the Department of Home Affairs (‘DOHA’)?

If so, the good news is that the immigration case officer has started processing your application.

Generally speaking, s56 request is a positive enquiry made by your immigration case officer. During the application process, the case officer has identified that your application requires further information, documents and/or clarifications which are necessary in order to finalise your application.

To ensure that you get a favourable outcome, it is important to address this as accurately and competently as possible.

Here are some helpful tips that I have put together to help you get through.

Read the request email carefully

There is nothing worse than not reading the s56 request correspondence properly and misunderstanding the information required only to provide incorrect or insufficient documents in response to such a critical request.

As simple as it sounds, your task begins by reading through the s56 request correspondence in its entirety and ensuring exactly what information you are required to provide and by what time.

By perusing the s56 request correspondence, you can identify:

  • Exactly what information the immigration officer is asking
  • The deadline to provide the requested information by
  • Who you are going to have to liaise with;
  • How much time you are going to need to respond in order to get the requested information to the case officer; and
  • Whether you are going to need professional help
 
Review your original record

Has the case officer asked for the same information which you have already provided?

Check your own record first and review your original application in conjunction with the s56 request correspondence. By doing this, you will be able to understand what’s going on.

While checking, you might realise it is a simple fix as you realise you have omitted to upload the requested information earlier on.

On the other hand, if it is fresh information that you have not provided earlier, you will generally just follow the guidelines in the Department’s correspondence to provide the information.

However, after checking you record, if this really is something you have already provided, you may wish to clarify this with someone who has experience in the type of the visa you applied for. In most cases, the case officer is telling you to improve your documentation and this may be your last chance to satisfy the visa criteria.

By examining your own record against what is being asked in s56 request, you will get a better idea of what you should do next.

If you can’t get everything on time, request an extension

While it is always best practice to get everything in before the deadline, depending on the type of the information being asked to provide and your surrounding circumstances, you might not be able to get everything on time. In this case, you should ask for an extension of time before the deadline, close to the due date.

For example, you may have been asked to provide an overseas police clearance certificate from a country where the issuing authority is temporarily closed due to COVID lockdowns.

Your case officer will want to know that you are working on the information, so you should always demonstrate that you have made a reasonable effort to get the information in time when you request.

When to get professional help

So, while it is not always necessary to obtain professional help with your s56 request, there are some specific circumstances as to when you should seek advice.

To help you gauge your situation, I have created the following checklist to help you understand when you should seek professional advice:

  • Will providing the requested information to the Department contradict the initial information you provided in your original application?
  • Will providing the requested information to the Department disclose any material information which may work against your case? (e.g. criminal record)
  • There have been multiple s56 request correspondences relating to the same certain criterion already and you feel that you have exhausted your ability to satisfy the requirement
  • You have been bombarded with a huge s56 request list from DOHA and you do not know where to begin
  • There have been material changes in your circumstances between the time of lodgement of your application and the time you received your s56 request correspondence
  • You are running out of time or you have already missed the deadline

If any one of the above situations sounds like you, you should talk to an immigration lawyer immediately to assess your situation.

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Jay Son – Australian Immigration Lawyer

Jay Son is our Principal Immigration Lawyer and Director of Hummingbird Legal, admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia. Jay is based in Australia and practises exclusively in Australian immigration law.

Jay is a strong migration advocate and is highly experienced in challenging government decisions in relation to Australian immigration law, solving difficult migration matters and visa problems including the AAT appeals, visa refusals, visa cancellations, Schedule 3 submissions, health waiver and character concerns.

If you want to learn more about Jay, click here.