Witness Preparation For An AAT Hearing
We have representing clients to the Migration Review Tribunal and now the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for more than 20 years now. One of the most important elements in a successful AAT outcome is the preparation of a witnesses before the hearing takes place.
Yes it’s crucial your representative has made a good submission regarding recent court cases about the legislation and the DOHA’s policy but all of that will not matter if the visa applicant is not prepared for what they are going to face. Remember your representative will not be able to say anything until the end of the hearing, the visa applicant must face the barrage of questions first.
Many people think because it’s not a court setting the tribunal will be easy to handle. The AAT Members will be nice to them and all they have to do is tell the truth. If you believe that, then your chances of winning has already dropped dramatically.
The AAT hearing is an adversarial process. As such the questions they ask are probing and inquisitorial. Some AAT members may remind you of your beloved grandmother or grandfather but others like the villain in a horror movie. You cannot afford to show any doubt in your answers. Confidence must be displayed at all times.
The only way you can actually be confident is to know what to expect regarding what type of questions will be asked. Even the most experienced of business owners often fail in their first witness preparation sessions our office conducts. Couples who think they know all the answers regarding their relationships often stumble when they get asked a question they were not expecting.
It is also human nature that your memory will fail unless you are prepared. Even the most basic questions regarding places and dates people, will be areas you may falter. The AAT is not a place to stumble in your answers. The member will swoop upon a less than confident answer like a shark smelling blood.
Witness preparation is essential. It is not about preparing you how to tell fibs, it’s about making sure you can answer probing questions with confidence. It’s about making sure you will know what to expect and you won’t get flustered in giving evidence, particularly in the difficult questions. As far as the AAT is concerned, confidence means you’re telling the truth, hesitation means you are most probably lying.
Make sure your representative has prepared you for your AAT hearing and run a practice session with you. If you don’t do well in practice you need to keep doing it until you do. Don’t be told “don’t worry you will be ok, all you have to tell is the truth” for in reality you won’t be. If they don’t want to run practice sessions with you then you need to engage someone who will.
The AAT hearing may be your final chance of staying in Australia so don’t blow it simply because you are unprepared. We can help if full representation to the AAT or perhaps you just want to practice for the hearing. We are here to help. Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists. Save time and money and book a Skype appointment if you like! Your witness preparation can be at home via Skype and usually involves two 2 hour sessions.