Hi everyone, a newbie here to this forum and forums in general so bear with me!
My fiance and I applied for a 189 visa (her as a defacto) on 3rd Feb 2014 as an Architect from being on a 457 in Brisbane for the last 2.5 years. I had my skills assessed through AACA, had meds etc. Without any further correspondence until today (25th March 2014) I have been refused a visa based on the basis that I have provided an incorrect skills assessment.
Now, apparently, the AACA have two different kinds of skills assessment - one that is for use as registration of an architect and one that is for the purpose of migration. I had no idea of this at the time and applied assuming that there is only this form of skills assessment. After my refusal, which both my fiance and I feel completely distraught about, I contact the AACA and they explained that if I sent them a stat dec stating why I needed the other certificate, they would send out the correct one.
My problem is that my CO has 'finalised' the application and my EOI has been removed. The CO stated that as there was no valid skills assessment at the time the application was lodged then they can do no more on the visa apart from refuse it and finalise it. I have had no request for information during this process - if I had, then I could have supplied this, or withdrawn the application. As it stands I have lost the application fee, and either face a tribunal which will cost $1600 or re-apply for another visa with the correct skills assessment certificate which will cost another $4000 which we simply cannot afford as we have our wedding this year.
Can anybody help with any advice? Is it worth to go to a tribunal with what I have described, providing I receive the correct skills assessment letter dated back when I received the other one? Could this situation be changed and not even go to a tribunal if I can get this information to my CO?
My fiance and I are completely floored by this news and can't believe that something like this can happen without any correspondence from them in the interim.
If anybody requires more info, just ask and I will let you know what I can. Any advice would be appreciated - especially advice which won't cost us any more money!