Individuals applying for visas have recently been cautioned about what they post on social media sites, as the Department of Immigration undertakes a thorough social media check on all applicants.

The Australian Federal Circuit Court has recently ruled that information on Facebook has an evidentiary value and therefore can stand in court.

One must remember to bear in mind that social media platforms are not only limited  to YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat but also include platforms such as Google+, Tumblr, Reddit, Flickr, Quora, Whatsapp, Vine, PeriScope, BizSugar, Delicious, Digg and Viber. And, many others.

The Department will look at the information applicants have supplied and cross check it against various social media accounts to see if the detail aligns and is true.

This warning comes after there have been a few recent cases where applicant’s visas have been rejected because social media pages did not correspond with the information supplied – pertaining specifically to Protection and Partner Visas.

So, our advice is that it is probably time for a social media ‘spring cleaning’.

You can do this by making a few simple changes:

  1. Update your details
  2. Change your security
  3. Change your cover photo and profile photo to represent yourself. Remember, it is illegal to portray yourself as anyone (or anything) other than yourself
  4. Follow thought and industry leaders
  5. Refresh your photos
  6. Unfollow accounts that are negative associations
  7. Update your life events – add your work and educational history,
  8. Finally, just be honest.

With social media being a key communication medium and representation of your personal brand in today’s virtual and digital world, we suggest thinking twice before you click, ping and tweet – it may cost you your visa.