485 Visa Application Refusal Due to Incorrect AFP Check

485 Visa Refusal

485 Visa Application Refusal Due to Incorrect AFP Check

If you have faced a refusal for your 485 visa due to submitting the wrong type of Australian Federal Police (AFP) check, you’re not alone.

This common mistake happens when the AFP check provided isn’t specified for Immigration/Citizenship purposes, causing significant stress and delays in the visa process.

We have seen applicants providing police checks not issued by the AFP but rather by state police. Police checks done by organizations other than the AFP are not acceptable.

Next Step: Apply for an AAT Review

If your visa has been refused due to submitting the incorrect AFP check, consider applying for a review with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

The AAT can reassess the decision made by the Department of Home Affairs and potentially overturn it if there was an error​.

If you are currently on a bridging visa, the AAT may be your only option unless you are applying for other prescribed visas.

Steps to Apply for a Review

  • Lodge an Appeal- You must lodge your appeal within 21 days of receiving the refusal notice. Ensure all documentation is correct and up to date.
  • Prepare Your Case- Gather all necessary documents, including the correct AFP check, and any other supporting evidence.
  • Professional Guidance- Consider seeking help from a registered migration agent or immigration lawyer. They can provide expert advice and assist you through the review process​.

The Importance of the Correct AFP Check

Correct AFP Check

  • Ensure that the AFP check is specifically for Immigration/Citizenship purposes, code 33. This is a critical requirement for 485 visa applications, and failure to comply can result in a refusal. Always apply for your AFP check well in advance and double-check that you are selecting the correct type.

Timing of Submission

  • The AFP check must be applied for within 12 months before lodging your visa application and must be included at the time of submission.

Professional Guidance

Engaging a registered migration agent or an immigration lawyer can be crucial.

They can help ensure that all your documentation is accurate and complete, which is essential for a successful application or appeal​.

We here at Ultimate Migration prepare upfront AAT submission.

Choosing a Migration Agent

  • When selecting a migration agent, ensure they are registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA). Registered agents must adhere to a professional code of conduct and provide accurate, up-to-date advice.
  • Look for agents with positive reviews and a proven track record in handling 485 visa applications and appeals.

Managing Stress During the Process

Dealing with a visa refusal can be extremely stressful. It is important to manage your mental health during this time. Here are a few tips to help you cope:

  1. Stay Organized- Keep track of all deadlines and required documents.
  2. Seek Support- Lean on friends, family, or mental health professionals for support.
  3. Stay Informed- Regularly check updates from reliable sources or consult with your migration agent to stay informed about your application status and any changes in immigration policies​.

Additional Tips and Common Pitfalls

  1. English Proficiency
    • Ensure you have the required English test results before lodging your application. If you do not hold a passport from an exempt country, you must complete an English test and meet the required scores​
  2. Health Insurance
    • Adequate health insurance is mandatory. Ensure you have the correct cover for the duration of your stay, as this is a common reason for visa refusal​
  3. Meeting Study Requirements
    • You must meet the Australian study requirements, which include completing at least two academic years of study in a CRICOS-registered course. Do not apply if you do not meet these criteria, as it will lead to a refusal​
  1. Stream Selection
    • Choose the correct visa stream based on your qualifications. Applying under the wrong stream is a frequent mistake that leads to refusals​

Understanding Different Streams and Requirements

485 Visa Graduate Work Stream

  • Suitable for international students who have recently graduated with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the skilled occupation list. Ensure that your qualification matches the requirements and that you have a positive skills assessment.

485 Visa Post-Study Work Stream

  • Designed for international students who have recently graduated with a higher education degree from an Australian institution. This stream does not require your occupation to be on the skilled occupation list, but you must meet the study requirement and have applied for your first student visa after November 5, 2011.

485 Visa Second Post-Study Work Stream

  • Available to graduates who hold a first 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream and who have lived in regional areas while holding their first visa.

Ensuring Compliance and Avoiding Common Mistakes

Double-Check All Documentation

  • Review all documents thoroughly before submission. Even minor errors can lead to delays or refusals.

Keep Updated with Policy Changes

  • Immigration policies can change, especially in response to global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay informed about any changes that may affect your application.

Seek Early Advice

  • If you are unsure about any aspect of your application, seek advice early. This can prevent mistakes and increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Maintaining Communication

  • Stay in regular contact with your migration agent or lawyer. Promptly respond to any requests for additional information or documentation from the Department of Home Affairs.


Navigating a 485-visa application or dealing with a refusal can be challenging, but understanding the common pitfalls and ensuring all requirements are met can significantly improve your chances of success.

Ensure you submit the correct AFP check, meet all deadlines, and seek professional guidance when necessary.

Managing stress and staying organized are also crucial to successfully navigating this process.

By following these steps and being thorough in your preparation, you can enhance your chances of obtaining a 485 visa and avoid the common mistakes that lead to refusals.

For more personalized advice and assistance, consider consulting with a registered migration agent or immigration lawyer​

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