I think it was a bit of both, especially with the 820 and 801. The PMV I was always worried that it would be rejected as we were going through an embassy that had had a lot of rejections.Mish, your whole application process went very smoothly. Do you think you had a really strong application or just lucky?
The 820 was just a tick and flick to make sure we were married as we had already been proven to be in a genuine relationship from the PMV.
The 801 I made sure we had a lot of evidence as my husband was from a high risk country. I even made sure I updated them regularly, so for the first 6 months I did it every 3 months and then after that it was monthly. I would make sure that I attached our joint bank statements and joint bills at a minimum.
I did lodge a complaint with immigration after they announced the citizenship changes and I just got a standard reply that about the global processing times and that they would forward it to the relevant department for investigation. It appeared to be that they had just fobbed it off so I lodged a complaint with the ombudsman. Not long after I got a phone call from the assistant director of immigration (having an email sent to your husband asking you to call the assistant director of immigration almost gives you a heart attack!). To cut a long story short, the assistant director said that they were looking into the complaint (the immigration complaint) and was ready to finalise my husband's visa but needed me to withdraw the ombudsman one (extra paperwork for them to do).
My personal opinion is that all the evidence that we supplied them help a lot. I had the case that they could just look at it and it would be an easy decision for them.
Unfortunately, I will never know if it was luck, all the evidence or both, as there are other people that lodged with the ombudsman and got no action. However, now the ombudsman does not investigate unless it is outside global processing times.