“The lesson is to keep your old forms and applications so that you can be consistent by referring back to your previous documents,” he says.

Some migration paths involve multiple applications and multiple visas – such as the path from student, to graduate, to permanent resident – so ensuring all details on the applications remain consistent is vital.

After years of experience and hundreds of clients, here's their advice for giving yourself the best chance at success: Work, family and business visas in particular can require a lot of substantiating evidence.

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“We had a case with one applicant who stated he separated from his partner in December 2010, but in an unrelated application said he was married until early 2011,” Rayner says, “the Department wrote back to say they’d caught him out.” At the time he lodged the first application, the client was actually trying to reconcile the relationship.

“We had to explain that you can only pick from a drop down list on the form, so you can only be either married or separated in the document, when in reality you can be both,” he says.

The importance of accuracy is something all three agents agree on.

“We’re seeing a lot more applications getting picked up because of small, often very innocent mistakes,” Glenn Rayner tells us.

“You have to pay attention to that sort of thing, and will need a migration lawyer familiar with trust and company structures,” he says.

For partnership visas, the Immigration Department will demand evidence of a genuine, lasting relationship.

“I look at it in the same way I look at going to court,” Bentley says, “it’s all about addressing the evidence to make sure it’s all clean and all consistent and won’t raise any questions.” Some sources of evidence can be more influential than others, Rayner says.

“Third party documentation is very important – particularly if you’re self-employed,” he says, “and government-level documents are going to carry more weight than private level documents.” Group certificates, tax returns, bank records and pay-slips are effective for proving employment.

Glenn Rayner tells us the Immigration Department appears to be increasingly vigilant, and doesn’t hesitate to raise issues.