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On page 14 of the ACS PDF guidelines, what does it mean by "Sworn Before", "Signed Before" or "Witnessed Before"? Does this mean that I have to have a lawyer present as a witness when my colleague signs the affidavit and the lawyer will stamp a seal?

Also, if I get an employment reference letter, do I also have to get the document witnessed by a lawyer as well? Or do I get the reference letter signed first then get it notarized by a lawyer after?

I'm confused, can someone please help me clarify this process?

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First, this extra affidavit is required only if you cannot get an employment letter listing your duties, etc. from the company itself on company letterhead.

An example could be if the company no longer exists or your direct boss or human resources refuses to write the letter. Instead you ask a colleague (who must be at your level or higher) to write an equivalent letter: what your tasks and skills were, your work relationship, etc.

You and your colleague need to get someone, often a notary public, to witness and certify the document. That will include your colleague swearing that it's true and he or she wrote it. You should be able to get more information on who can certify it from the local embassy. It's possible that they will do it for a fee. The particular wording is legalese to make it an official ("statutory") document that in connection with a particular type of witness makes it acceptable to ACS and thus to the Australian government.

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