Migration Agents approved to sign Statutory Declarations
From 18 September 2018, Migration Agents are approved to witness Statutory Declarations. If you are a client of Australian Visa Group, you may request our or Migration Agent Perth or Migration Agent Sydney to witness your Statutory Declaration. Although Migration Agents are authorised to witness Statutory Declarations, we may request you organise for an independent person witness your statement. Statutory Declarations are required for all Partner 820/801 applications and are often used to support claims of good character in other visa applications.
The Migration Agent must be registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). All visa specialists working at Australian Visa Group are registered with MARA.
Migration Agents are also approved by the Department of Home Affairs to certify documents including in visa, nomination and sponsorship applications.
The new legislation can be found at Statutory Declarations Regulations 2018
What is a Statutory Declaration?
A statutory declaration is a written statement which you sign and declare to be true before an authorised witness. Statutory declarations are commonly used to legally verify names, addresses, lost passports and as evidence to support Australian visa applications.
A statutory declaration is not the same as an affidavit, although they have similar purposes. An affidavit is a written statement of fact, confirmed by oath or affirmation for use as evidence in court proceedings. A statutory declaration is also a statement of fact, but is not confirmed by oath or affirmation.
Anyone can make a statutory declaration under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959, including minors and retirees.
If you intentionally make a false statement in a statutory declaration you can be charged with a criminal offence which carries the possibility of up to four years imprisonment.
Migration Agents approved to sign Statutory Declarations but who can witness Statutory Declaration outside Australia?
A statutory declaration can be signed by a person outside Australia, provided their occupation appears on the list of authorised witnesses who hold an official, administrative connection to Australia, with the exception of a notary public.
Details of some authorised witnesses at an Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate are available from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website. Recent changes made under the Statutory Declarations Regulations 2018 provide that a notary public who is appointed overseas, exercising his or her functions at that place, is authorised to sign a statutory declaration.
What does ‘having a connection to Australia’ mean?
An official, administrative connection to Australia may include, but is not limited to:
- for occupations listed in Part 1 of Schedule 2, a person who is currently licensed or registered to practise in Australia under a law of the Commonwealth, a state or territory
- for persons listed under Part 2 of Schedule 2:
- a person who holds Australian membership to a professional body or organisation, eg an accountant who holds Australian membership to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
- a person who is appointed in Australia, eg an Australian Commissioner for Affidavits and Australian Commissioner for Declarations.
Australian Visa Group was established in 2007. We specialise in Skilled, Employer Sponsored and Family Migration. We have offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. If you require assistance with your visa application please contact our office on 1800 875 285.