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tboulay

Statutory declaration signed by family member

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Hello all,

I am trying to figure out if immigration would allow a Commonwealth statutory declaration form signed by a family member. My partner is permanent resident, she will be my sponsor. Her sister can sign statutory declaration forms as she is citizen and a Navy officer. Could she potentially sign all/any of the statutory declaration forms that I/we will submit? 

From AG Website:

 

Quote

 

Can my family member or a person connected to the content of my statutory declaration also be a witness?

There is no prohibition against witnessing a Commonwealth statutory declaration if you have a connection with the content or declarant. However, you may wish to confirm with the organisation requesting the statutory declaration whether they will accept a statutory declaration if it has been witnessed by a family member or a person connected to its content.

Thanks!

 

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What visa are you going for? If it is the partner visa then the only stat Dec forms are the form 888 which whoever fills them in will need to organise.

However that aside, personally I would use someone else to avoid any possible issues. Easy enough to find a free JP.

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41 minutes ago, tboulay said:

Could she potentially sign all/any of the statutory declaration forms that I/we will submit? 

Yes, provided they have 5 or more years of continuous service. 

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28 minutes ago, Aussie_83 said:

What visa are you going for? If it is the partner visa then the only stat Dec forms are the form 888 which whoever fills them in will need to organise.

However that aside, personally I would use someone else to avoid any possible issues. Easy enough to find a free JP.

I'm going for 820. I thought I needed statutory declaration forms from a few friends / family members saying that our relationship is genuine and continuing? 

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9 hours ago, tboulay said:

Could she potentially sign all/any of the statutory declaration forms that I/we will submit? 

This is a question of COULD SHE versus SHOULD SHE be the witness.  Yes she can technically be the witness, but as my colleagues state, it looks better that she is not the witness. IMMI forms can be witnessed by a long list of professionals, not just JP's.


 

 

Disclaimer:

Makes me sick, in the fact that I must include a disclaimer. All opinions, advice and comments expressed by me are of my own personal opinion, and not that of a Immigration Agent, Lawyer, or related professional. They are given in the spirit intended, as an independant contributor, to a public forum. No implied, or expressed guarantee or undertaking as to accuracy or relevance is given.

 

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On 5/2/2019 at 8:15 PM, AussieDude said:

it looks better that she is not the witness.

Why do you believe that?

The person is only witnessing a signature and confirming that the person making the declaration states the information is correct, so persons known to each other would be an advantage in most cases.

Interested to hear why you think it wouldn't look good.

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18 hours ago, Nightcall said:

Why do you believe that?

The person is only witnessing a signature and confirming that the person making the declaration states the information is correct, so persons known to each other would be an advantage in most cases.

Interested to hear why you think it wouldn't look good.

Great question,

By definition in Commonwealth Law, a witness has just one obligation, to verify that the person signing the declaration is the person 'identified' in the declaration as the declarent.  The witness, and I recall the Attorney Generals Guidelines for J.P's,  states that the act of  'witnessing a signature' should be prefaced to the witness with an explanation, to the signor, that the act of a witness does not 'in anyway' constitute or suggest the accuracy/validity of the declaration, just the identity, actualisation, location and time of the declaration.  The obligation of a witness is solely to verify the authenticity of the signor.

Formal legal training emphasises the separation of accuracy versus validity with regard to reviewing a witnessed declaration.  It is a popular misconception that a formally witnessed declaration, has more accuracy or 'truth' over an witnessed declaration.  Simply not true.

Under case law in Australia, the impartiality of a qualified witness has been challenged extensively, and has lead to many a denial of evidence (the declaration). It  is generally considered that a witness with a close relationship proximity to the declarent will be less impartial to a witness,  than a witness with no relationship to the declarent.

So, when a 'known person' is the qualified witness,usual  legal review would normally raise a couple of questions;

  1. Is the witness suitably qualified (easily determined).
  2. If the identity, date, time or location of the declared facts are material to the relevance of the case, then; If YES, then are there grounds to suggest that the witness, due to their relationship proximity, may be susceptible to external influence to ignore or compromise the fundamental responsibilities of a witness?  I have seen countless declarations declared inadmissible due to prudent legal contest attacking the 'impartiality' of the witness.

So, my point was that any qualified witness, regardless of their relationship proximity, can be a lawful witness in Australia. 

However, given a choice between an impartial or non impartial witness, then choose the impartial witness.  Considering the epidemic level of false declarations before IMMI, if the option of a truly 'impartial witness is available, then IMHO it should be taken up over a witness that is known to the signor/declarent.

Hence, 'non-impartial witnesses will not look good under legal review'.

 

 


 

 

Disclaimer:

Makes me sick, in the fact that I must include a disclaimer. All opinions, advice and comments expressed by me are of my own personal opinion, and not that of a Immigration Agent, Lawyer, or related professional. They are given in the spirit intended, as an independant contributor, to a public forum. No implied, or expressed guarantee or undertaking as to accuracy or relevance is given.

 

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I think its fairly obvious why it wouldn't be good. There are many instances where a witness signature is required for Australian documents and most, if not all, have the requirements that the witness:

  • be an Australian citizen who is 18 years of age or over
  • not be related by birth or marriage to the applicant
  • not be in a de facto or registered relationship with the applicant or with a parent of a child applicant
  • not live at the same address as the applicant or with a parent of a child applicant.

 

I grew up in a very small country town and our local JP was also my uncle. He refused to sign any documents for me back in the day because he was related to me.

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6 hours ago, AussieDude said:

However, given a choice between an impartial or non impartial witness, then choose the impartial witness.  Considering the epidemic level of false declarations before IMMI, if the option of a truly 'impartial witness is available, then IMHO it should be taken up over a witness that is known to the signor/declarent.

Hence, 'non-impartial witnesses will not look good under legal review'.

Thanks for the detailed reply, although I somewhat disagree with your legal review point, I see you are talking about in general with Stat Dec's and seeing they keep expanding the list to include people like financial planners I understand your point.

But I was talking about the OP's situation, I don't believe that a Australia Navy Officer (or certain other professions) would look bad for signing the Stat Dec simply because they are related to the person.

Certain professions carry a lot more weight than others on the list.

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, SammyJ said:

I think its fairly obvious why it wouldn't be good. There are many instances where a witness signature is required for Australian documents and most, if not all, have the requirements that the witness:

  • be an Australian citizen who is 18 years of age or over
  • not be related by birth or marriage to the applicant
  • not be in a de facto or registered relationship with the applicant or with a parent of a child applicant
  • not live at the same address as the applicant or with a parent of a child applicant.

 

I grew up in a very small country town and our local JP was also my uncle. He refused to sign any documents for me back in the day because he was related to me.

Obvious isn't always legally correct, I know the obvious reasons, I was asking a certain poster about their views.

There is only one government document that I know off that requires your dot points and that's passport applications, what are these many instances that you refer to?

BTW I can sign statutory declarations and affidavits etc and do so regularly, so I am aware of the legal requirements. 

 

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On 5/5/2019 at 2:48 PM, Nightcall said:

Thanks for the detailed reply, although I somewhat disagree with your legal review point, I see you are talking about in general with Stat Dec's and seeing they keep expanding the list to include people like financial planners I understand your point.

But I was talking about the OP's situation, I don't believe that a Australia Navy Officer (or certain other professions) would look bad for signing the Stat Dec simply because they are related to the person.

Certain professions carry a lot more weight than others on the list.

Technically I agree with you 100%.  It was more about 'given the choice', IMHO I would seek an independant witness.  I also absolutely agree that the integrity of the witness is somewhat influenced by the profession of the witness.


 

 

Disclaimer:

Makes me sick, in the fact that I must include a disclaimer. All opinions, advice and comments expressed by me are of my own personal opinion, and not that of a Immigration Agent, Lawyer, or related professional. They are given in the spirit intended, as an independant contributor, to a public forum. No implied, or expressed guarantee or undertaking as to accuracy or relevance is given.

 

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