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  • Visa Plan Australia

What if you have nominated a wrong occupation in your visa application?

Updated: Feb 4

In short, inserting a wrong occupation in a visa application would be very difficult to be remedied even if it was a mistake. Nevertheless, it may be possible to find, as a matter of fact, that the occupation specified in the application form was not the nominated occupation. However having regard to the concept of nominating an occupation as a requirement of a valid visa application, and the terms of the application form (‘What is your nominated occupation?’), the circumstances in which this may be open would appear to be narrowly confined. In considering this question, the applicant’s explanation for the mistake would be relevant. Other relevant factors may include the match (or mismatch) between the occupations in question and the applicant’s qualifications and experience, the skills assessment sought, and the relevant assessing authority specified on the application form: obiter comments by Justice Cameron in KC v MIAC [2013] FCCA 296 at [17].


For example, if the mistake was in the nature of a clerical or typographical error, you could argue that the nominated occupation was other than as specified in the application form: Pavuluri v MIBP [2014] FCA 502 at [49]. However, there is no guarantee that this argument would succeed. Furthermore, it may not necessarily be enough that the applicant ‘made a mistake’ as a result of incorrect advice or lack of legal advice when completing the form: Chen v MIAC [2011] FMCA 859; and Pavuluri v MIBP [2014] FCA 502.


Singh (Migration) [2019] AATA 5586

The Tribunal affirmed the decision of the Department not to grant the applicant a Subclass 485 visa.


The applicant applied for a Subclass 485 (temporary graduate) visa in the nominated occupation of Life Mechanic. It was accompanied by evidence that he had applied for a skills assessment to the relevant assessing authority. He did not provide a skills assessment to the Department for Lift Mechanic, but a copy of a skills assessment in which he had been successfully assessed for the occupation of Electrical Engineering Technician. He claimed that he relied on the professional service of a migration agent who had prepared all the documents and nominated the occupation of Life Mechanic when he should have nominated Electrical Engineering Technician. The Tribunal considered that that the applicant might be dissatisfied with the service provided by the migration agent however there were other avenues open to him for complaint. On the evidence, the Tribunal was not satisfied that he simply nominated the wrong occupation and should have nominated the occupation for which he received a successful skills assessment, after the failure of the skills assessment in relation to the occupation nominated in his application for the visa.


Lao (Migration) [2019] AATA 5587

The Tribunal remitted the application for a Subclass 485 visa for reconsideration, with the direction that the applicant met the criteria in contention.


The applicant applied for a Subclass 485 (temporary graduate) visa in the nominated occupation of ICT Business Analyst. At the hearing, she stated that she had made an error in her application. She had wanted to put her nominated occupation as ICT Sales Representative however due to a clerical error she had inadvertently hit ICT Business Analyst. She said that as the occupations in the drop down box online was one after the other both starting with ICT it was a clerical error. She provided evidence that she had applied for a skills assessment for ICT Sales Representative on the same date she lodged her application. She also provided proof that she studied a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Marketing and was employed as an ICT Sales Representative. Given the strong evidence in relation to her intentions, the Tribunal was satisfied that she intended to apply for ICT Sales Representative and not ICT Business Analyst.

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