How your Facebook setting can lead to a visa refusal
Is your Facebook profile public? Did you ever consider that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection may check your page to see if the information you have put on your visa application is accurate and true? Are the Department of Immigration and Border Protection entitled to rely information contained on your Facebook page to refuse your visa application?
In a nutshell, the answer is YES. The Federal Circuit Court of Australia has ruled that the material on a Facebook page of a visa applicant is “information” that is “evidentiary material”.
The ruling has come after a case of a Bangladeshi national seeking the grant of a protection visa in Australia. The 36-year-old male claimed in his protection visa application that he had converted from Islam to Christianity before fleeing from Bangladesh. The applicant claimed that he had ongoing fear for his life if he were to return to Bangladesh on account of his religious conversion. His case was refused on the basis that he fabricated his claims of conversion to Christianity. The Department officer relied on information on the visa applicant’s Facebook page which stated that he was a Muslim.
It is important for visa applicants to be aware that any information which you choose to make public on your Facebook page can be viewed by Immigration officials and used when making an assessment regarding the credibility of claims contained in your visa application. If you do not want Immigration sifting through your posts or Facebook photos it is important to ensure that you have the appropriate Facebook privacy settings in place.