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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

my wife and I, both German citizen, applied for an eVisitor visa online. She got her visa granted within hours. I got an email requesting a statutory declaration after 3 days. I assume this is because I was a Turkish citizen before 2003.

We first were struggling on what a statutory declaration really is, concerning the correct form and appropriate content as well as the "authorized witness". In Germany people usually go to a notary for such things.

We called the Australian Embassy visa hotline in Frankfurt and asked for the definition of a statutory declaration. They told us that it would be sufficient if only I sign personally as the request does not ask for a "certified statutory declaration".

So did I and did not hear from the eVisitor help desk for 8 days.

Is it really sufficient if I sign personally?

I assume not. AFAIU a witness is necessary for a statutory declaration.

Today at 6am (4pm EDT) I called the Department of Immigration and Citizenship in Australia (Phone: +61 13 18 81) and the person at the hotline told me that a witness is needed and revised her statement as I told from the statement from the Embassy in Frankfurt.

So it was still unclear. However my foreboding told me a witness would be needed.

Therefor I went today to a notary. We first had to discuss 20 min. on the terminology and what the notary might be ready and is not ready to do for me under the German law. We didn't know in detail what the appropriate form is and discussed on the terms like "statutory declaration" (they don't know it), "sworn declaration" (they do it only in German, which wouldn't be good), "certified signature" and "signing as witness".

The notary declined to sign as a witness, as he meant he does not know anything on the content of my declaration and cannot witness.
So at the end we agreed that he verifies my identity and certifies (as a note on the declaration) that I personally (name, birthday, address) signed it. Like me, he himself signed on the last page of the declaration.

Is this now sufficient as a statutory declaration signed by an "authorized witness"?

If yes, we still have the question whether the formulation of the declaration is appropriate. I couldn't find any template on immi.gov.au for my case nor in the Internet. So I copied some statements I found in other examples to look it a bit serious and hoped that this would be sufficient. See the main part of the declaration below:

" STATUTORY DECLARATION

I, firstname lastname,
Address: street, City, Country

do solemnly and sincerely declare that the information given below and the statements contained in this declaration are correct and true in every detail. I know that it is an offence to make a declaration knowing that it is false in a material particular.

- I hereby declare X . .
- I hereby declare Y . .
- I hereby declare Z . . "

Do you think this is sufficient?

I hope so, as the planned travel is on December 14.

Is there actually a way to expedite the visa process somehow?
Somebody told me that I should write repeatedly mails stating in the subject that it is urgent.

In the mean time my wife and myself are a bit too scary that the whole process will take more time than we actually have.

I would appreciate any urgent advise or hints.
Thank you in advance.

mersue
 

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I can't believe you haven't been granted an eVisitor at the same time as your wife. After all, you are a German citizen, which means you come from a low risk country.

The way you certified your statement seems good, the way I understand it you vouch with your signature that what you say is true. And the purpose of certifying is proving it was really you who signed the declaration.

We have a blank Australian statutory declaration, but we haven't used them for the statements that were certified in Europe. We wrote our own - the way you did.

I have no idea about the processing time, I hope somebody will the same experience with write an answer to your question.

All the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the sympathy. My visa application has been granted now.

The only issue was actually whether we did something wrong concerning the statutory declaration (SD). As time flies fast it was becoming scary.

As I imagined a witness is indispensable for a SD. I assume getting a German notary to sign the SD was a good step forward.

I actually would find it really helpful if there would be a declaration template and some explanation on the term "authorized witness" on the web site immi.gov.au for visa applicants from foreign countries. May be there is a template but I couldn't find it. What I found looked very specific to Australian laws. A German notary gets frightened if he/she has to sign something which is not possible to match to German laws directly.

Anyways, I may travel now :)

mersue
 
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