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fayeth1989

Form 888 - Australian citizen in UK

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Hi there,

 

I am new to this forum and would firstly like to say thank you so much for all of the advice that is already out there! I have a question about form 888 for the offshore partner visa and haven;t been able to find the answers so far.

My partner is Australian and I am English and we currently live in the UK and are applying for the visa from the UK. We have asked 3 family/friends in Australia to complete form 888 for us, and 3 family/friends in the UK.

My questions are specifically about form 888: 

1. One of our friends in the UK is actually an Australian citizen (here for 2 years), so is completing the official form 888 for us. I am confused as to who can witness his signature to ensure it is considered a legal document in Australia. We have a friend who is a nurse but is a UK citizen - could she witness this or would he need to take it to a solicitor/notary? (I would rather avoid causing extra work for him or him being out of pocket if possible!)

2. I have read online that all documents don't need to be certified as long as they are scanned as good quality, colour copies. Is this also true for the passports of those who fill out the form 888 (both in Australia and the UK)?

3. For our UK family and friends, they will be making their statement on plain paper and signing and dating. Do their signatures also need to be witnessed, and if so I am really struggling to find concrete information on who can witness this.

 

Thanks for any help you can offer - this process truly is a headache!!

 

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Good luck on finding some answers, i have a similar situ so will be interested in what people say  :)

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Hi there, I’ve copied and pasted this info for you.


Form 888 Statutory declaration by a supporting witness in relation to a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa application
A few of the specified rules realting to NON Australian Declarations for Form 888

If the visa applicant is outside Australia and is unable to have an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident complete this form, any person who knows the applicant and their partner or fiancǸ(e) may also complete this form.

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, even if it is made using this form or the template provided by the Attorney-General’s Department.

However, under policy, your statement should be 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 Prescribed personslisted below.
This person should sign, date and specify their occupation at the bottom of the statement.

Prescribed persons include those who are a:

Justice of the Peace;
medical practitioner;
legal practitioner;
civil marriage celebrant or registered minister of religion;
dentist;
nurse;
optometrist;
pharmacist;
physiotherapist;
full-time teacher;
bank manager or bank officer with 5 or more continuous years of service;
postal manager or permanent employee of the Australian Postal Commission with 5 or more continuous years of service;
police officer;
public servant with 5 or more continuous years of service

I’ve actually used form 888 although I’m applying offshore, my friends and family have had their forms witnessed by a doctor, solicitor and teacher....when supplying ID, colour scans of passports have been used, I’ve used the Australian Forum to research lots of information, there’s a few migrant agents and moderators on there that offer good advice, quite a few people have done the same thing without any problem, it may be worthwhile having a look through the forum.

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Hi mhaffie,

 

Thanks very much for your help. I have trawled through forums and visa websites and find conflicting info (some quite old!) - the good thing is, different approaches seem to work for different people, so that's a good start if you ask me! We've now got 3 Australian citizens completing form 888 in Australia, however our closer friends are here in the UK (those who have seen our relationship develop more recently). So I think a mixture of official signed and witnessed 888s from Aus, and a few statements signed by a nurse, for example, from the UK will hopefully be sufficient, based on what I have read.

 

Good luck with your application if you're still waiting on a decision ^_^

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I think if you are from the UK there seems to be two routes you can take, either fill out the 888’s and make sure you have someone from the ‘professional list’ to witness the signature, colour scans of ID are definitely acceptable, alternatively a typed statement on blank paper and witnessed etc... the migration booklet is definitely out of date since online applications have taken over and there is a lot of conflicting info, I’ve trawled these forums for hours and lots of people’s applications have been accepted using these methods so I shouldn’t worry too much, I think other aspects of the applicant hold more weight, this is just a small part of it, so don’t worry too much, thanks for your kind words, I hope your application runs smoothly and you soon receive good news.

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My daughter and her boyfriend have recently submitted their defacto visa with an agent here in Australia ( Jan 2018)  my daughter is a permanent resident here in Australia and her partner was here on his 2nd year WHV  and now been put on a bridging visa awaiting a decision . Myself and her step dad filled out a form 888 as we are Australian citizens which were certified by a justice of the peace along with the certification of our passports  , his parents both made a written statement which were witnessed by a prescribed person on the U.K. list along with their passports . The agent was happy to forward these . I would say your Australian friend could also get someone to witness his form 888 whom is on the list but it could still be considered not a legal document  but not due to the witness but because he is not residing in Australia . All form 888's and written statements and passports were all certified for my daughters boyfriends application 

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I think if you are from the UK there seems to be two routes you can take, either fill out the 888’s and make sure you have someone from the ‘professional list’ to witness the signature, colour scans of ID are definitely acceptable, alternatively a typed statement on blank paper and witnessed etc... the migration booklet is definitely out of date since online applications have taken over and there is a lot of conflicting info, I’ve trawled these forums for hours and lots of people’s applications have been accepted using these methods so I shouldn’t worry too much, I think other aspects of the applicant hold more weight, this is just a small part of it, so don’t worry too much, thanks for your kind words, I hope your application runs smoothly and you soon receive good news.


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Oops sorry for some reason I’ve re sent my original reply .... btw *other aspects of the applicant* should have read .... other aspects of the application

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Hi,

 

slightly hyjacking post here, sorry! I’m also doing he same process and was wondering what exactly should be written? How many 888 is good? I have lots of people I could get to do this but don’t want to trouble more people than necessary:)

 

many thanks 

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Hi there, if you aren’t using an 888 form and your witness statements are being typed up as a declaration, then the same questions have to be answered, how often your witnesses see you for example and whether they believe you relationship is genuine and ongoing and the explain your reasons for this etc, they like at least two but I’ve got four, two from friends and two from family, you can send more but I don’t really see the point in sending in too many, waiting for people to return them can also be a long process.

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On 19/03/2018 at 08:47, mhaffie said:

Hi there, if you aren’t using an 888 form and your witness statements are being typed up as a declaration, then the same questions have to be answered, how often your witnesses see you for example and whether they believe you relationship is genuine and ongoing and the explain your reasons for this etc, they like at least two but I’ve got four, two from friends and two from family, you can send more but I don’t really see the point in sending in too many, waiting for people to return them can also be a long process. emoji4.png

Hi,

Does form 888 have to be completed plus a hand written statement which both then have to be certified?

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Hi,
Does form 888 have to be completed plus a hand written statement which both then have to be certified?


Hello there,

Each person completes an 888 which has room for their statement... once completed it has to be certified by someone on the approved list. If there’s not enough room for their statement it can go on to a second sheet. I had three witness statements which were all approved without any problem. Hope this helps.

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19 minutes ago, elbow271 said:

does anyone realise this question was raised last year?  🙂

Aussiebird's question was only posted a few hours ago. 

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15 hours ago, Aussiebird said:

Hi,

Does form 888 have to be completed plus a hand written statement which both then have to be certified?

The Form 888 is just the form 888... no need to do an extra statement. All boxes and information required is provided on the form + space for the 'authorised person' to sign.  Australians and non-Australians can both provide a statement using this form. 

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/form-listing/forms/888.pdf


309/100 visa application lodged 28/08/13 | Visa sub-class 309 granted 09/05/14 | Arrived NSW 27/05/15 | 100 (PR) visa application lodged 27/09/15 | PR granted 13/04/16 | Citizenship application lodged 18/06/19

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Hi guys! Been trying to follow this thread but getting confused about the answers. Need to know where to get a form 888 stat dec signed in the UK? I know there’s an official list of professions but does anyone in the UK offer this as a service or can I just walk into an opticians for example and ask? 
cheers

R

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2 hours ago, Rosie0709 said:

Hi guys! Been trying to follow this thread but getting confused about the answers. Need to know where to get a form 888 stat dec signed in the UK? I know there’s an official list of professions but does anyone in the UK offer this as a service or can I just walk into an opticians for example and ask? 
cheers

R

No one in the UK offers this as a service.   Most people would go to their own doctor or dentist or optician and ask them to do the witnessing for them.    


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Posted (edited)

It is clearly stated on the actual form how to do this:

“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, even if it is made using this form or the template provided by the Attorney-General’s Department. However, under policy, your statement should be 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 above. This person should sign, date and specify their occupation at the bottom of the statement.”

In other words, the best way to do this is to get a solicitor to witness the declaration, which is the UK equivalent, or failing that use someone on the list. 
 

Generally speaking, Australian stat decs declared overseas can be witnessed by a:

  • person on the approved witness list who has a connection to Australia
  • notary public appointed overseas
  • employee of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission who is:
    1. in a country or place outside Australia, and
    2. authorised under paragraph 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, and
    3. exercising his or her function in that place
  • employee of the Commonwealth who is:
    1. in a country or place outside Australia, and
    2. authorised under paragraph 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, and
    3. exercising his or her function in that place 

You may be able find an approved witness at an Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. Visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or Smartraveller for contact details. 

Approved witnesses who are overseas are allowed to charge a fee for being a witness.

Details here: https://www.ag.gov.au/Publications/Statutory-declarations/Pages/who-can-witness-your-statutory-declaration.aspx

 

 

Edited by paulhand

____________________________________________________________________

Paul Hand

Registered Migration Agent, MARN 1801974

SunCoast Migration Ltd

All comments are general in nature and do not constitute legal or migration advice. Comments may not be applicable or appropriate to your specific situation. 

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I used my friendly chemist - just make sure he adds his job, address and sig to all required docs  - good to go

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Following up what Paul says, as I recall a solicitor will charge about £10- to witness a signature, maybe slightly less. You can generally walk into any high street solicitors and get it done there and then or on the same day.

You can also use a Notary Public (referred to in the list in Paul's post), who can be found here (has a helpful search facility against town/ postcode): https://www.thenotariessociety.org.uk/ 

Slightly more expensive than a solicitor but they certify documents for a living (usually commercial/ financial) and are good at checking with you what you are signing - they then sign and attach an embossed seal that copies well, so there is no doubt the document has been witnessed in accordance with English law (I am not sure about Notaries in Scotland). I wrote a statement for my application, following the headings in one of the forms (I can't now recall which one, maybe Form 80 - how and where we met; moving in, getting engaged and married; etc.) which I had notarised, along with a supporting statement from my wife that we also had notarised. We submitted six Forms 888, two from friends in Australia and four from overseas, witnessed by professionals on the list in accordance with the directions on the 888 (one solicitor in the UK, on in Aus, one Doctor, can't recall the others).

(For completeness only, the most formal process to certify a document for use overseas is called "appostilization". We had to have our Marriage Certificate appostilized for another reason, so we uploaded a copy as we had it anyway. However, I have not seen anyone here being asked to do so; it is a more expensive and complex process than witnessing or certification by someone like a solicitor.)


309/100 - lodged 25 May 2019; no RFI; 309; granted 31 January 2020

 

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