Supporting documentation

When you apply for a visa of any kind you need supporting documentation, letters or travel documents and so on. Many of things things are obvious because it tells you what you need to send in with the application. Forms like a police certificate, passport or medical checks are pretty clear, there is not much that can go wrong there, but support letters from friends, employers or family is not so clear for example. Evidence of relationship or work experience can be quite difficult to get right sometimes.

Things we often see applicants doing wrong 

The most common problem is not enough, too much or too many poor quality documents. Clients who are over confident may feel happy with sending in the bare minimum of supporting documents, but this can fail badly if the INZ case officer doesn't agree with you on their importance, or is not clear on their relevance. People who are not sure will often send in huge piles of documents, but the INZ case officer will feel incredibly stressed to look through everything and may miss something important because of it. In the same way, sending in hundreds of utility bills may not be useful if they don't show something meaningful to your application.

We have also seen clients insist on including a certain type of document because their friend did it or they saw it on a blog and that person's application succeeded. Without knowing exactly the situation and what this documents was supposed to show there is no reason at all to say that this is the right thing to do

The other common problem are support letters that are either written far too formally or in an arrogant, officious tone, or at the other end of the scale, written far to casually or emotionally, and not being believable. A letter from your boss stating that this is a big company, employing lots of people, making a big contribution to the local economy, so please approve client X's visa, has absolutely no merit and shouldn't be included at all.

What is best to do

If you are unsure, get advice. It is really that simple, preparing an application is a complex thing to do. If you are thinking of applying for a visa and want to get started collecting documents early, the best thing you can do is try to collect a wide variety of documents and lots of them. Don't throw anything away that may be useful. WE love clients who come to our office with lots of supporting documents because even if things don't look very useful by themselves, they may be able to be linked to other documents which make for very powerful supporting evidence.

The documents supporting your application must be unique to your application and totally support your specific individual situation. There is no standard set of things which will definitely work for everyone.