What is Form 888?
Useful usually digital and editable document utilised to summarise information from friends and relatives offering third-party confirmation of a genuine relationship for migration purposes.
Most people believe that Form 888 is mandatorily required in relation to partner visa applications but this is not the case. Only certain types of partner visa applications require it and are particularly important when the visa applicant is in Australia and without a visa at all.
Another misconception that I come across almost daily is that the form absolutely must be accompanied by evidence of the deponent being an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia which is rubbish!
So it’s simply a declaration made by a person used to support the claim that two (other) people are in a genuine relationship.
Friends and relatives of applicant couples complete this form. It’s commonly used as one of the forms in support of a Partner visa (aka spouse visa) or Prospective Marriage visa (aka fiance visa) application.
Can you use Form 888 if you are outside Australia?
If you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident and you reside outside Australia, your statement cannot be considered a “statutory declaration” under Australian law…. But the form can still be useful!
Get your statement witnessed or certified according to the legal practices of the country in which you make the statement. Failing that, it should be witnessed by a person whose occupation or qualification is comparable to those listed in the section “Who can certify a form 888” below in this article. This person should sign, date and specify their occupation at the bottom of the statement.
Who can complete a 888?
The form is commonly completed by a person who:
- knows the visa applicant and their partner or fiancé(e) and the history of their relationship;
- is at least 18 years of age; and
- is an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident.
What must you write in form 888?
As we have stated above, someone other than the applicant or sponsor should complete this form.
Apart from standard identification questions, in this form, you should give a brief description of how you got to know the applicant and sponsor. You should also indicate how often you have been in touch.
The person who is completing form 888 should state if they think the relationship between the applicant and sponsor is genuine and continuing.
Small tips here do not simply write “Yes I do”, but be more specific and write the detailed reasons in your own words as to why you believe them to be in a genuine and continuing relationship. You should also give all the reasons why you think they are in a genuine and continuing relationship, not just one reason.
What if you make a false statement in form 888?
If you intentionally make a false statement in form 888, then you are liable for a punishment of 4 years imprisonment.
In addition, the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) provides penalties for providing false or misleading statements is 12 months imprisonment or a fine of AUD$12,000.
Who can certify a form 888?
In Australia, a prescribed person must witness a statutory declaration.
You’ll need to find someone from the list in the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 and Statutory Declarations Regulations 2018 as below:
- Justice of the Peace;
- medical practitioner;
- legal practitioner;
- civil marriage celebrant or registered minister of religion;
- teacher employed on a permanent full-time or part-time basis at a school or tertiary education institution;
- bank officer with 5 or more continuous years of service;
- permanent employee of the Australian Postal Corporation with 5 or more continuous years of service;
- police officer; or
- public servant engaged on an ongoing basis with 5 or more years of continuous service.
There is a full list of prescribed persons on the Attorney-General’s Department website.
What must you attach to form 888?
You should attach a certified copy of the passport or birth certificate of the person who completed this form 888. Alternatively, any document that shows evidence of this person’s current name, age and where applicable their Australian citizenship or residency. An example could be an Australian driver’s licence.
How many form 888s should you submit?
You may be asked to submit at least two separate declarations (updated) during the processing of your visa application.
However, we recommend you should submit 4… get one from the sponsor’s family, one from the applicant’s family, and two from the couple’s mutual friends.
How does the Department use Form 888?
When the department assesses a Partner or Prospective visa, it looks at the social aspects of the relationship. Other aspects can also be evidenced in the forms. The Department uses all the information you provide in Form 888 to determine if you are in a genuine relationship.
Download editable form 888
Application For An Offshore Humanitarian Visa
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