Recently, four Australian Citizens have been charged for allegedly convincing individuals to fraudulently marry non-citizens seeking to obtain permanent residency.
This came after the Australian Boarder Force (ABF) hard crackdown on foreign nationals engaging in deceptive visa activity, resulting in the refusal of 164 Partner visa’s and criminal charges under both the Migration Act and Criminal Code.
It has been reported by the Australian Boarder Force, that this conduct is connected to an elaborate contrived marriages syndicate operating out of Sydney that is targeting vulnerable young women, many of whom come from a disadvantage and low socio-economic backgrounds who are “lured in with promises of substantial payments” said ABF Acting Investigating Commander, Clinton Sims, where in fact a significant amount of the profits go to the facilitator.
A 32 year old man of an Indian Nationality, has been charged as the main facilitator of the syndicate, for a breach of section 240 of the Migration Act 1958 with four counts of arranging a marriage to obtain permanent residence. The maximum penalty for a breach of section 240 can reach a fine of up to $210,000 and/ or 10 years imprisonment.
The Department of Home Affairs has a range of measures in place to ensure the integrity of the Partner Visa program, this includes carefully assessing the documentary evidence attached to the visa application, detailed background check, interviews and home visit.
If you are intending on applying for a 820 & 801 Australian Partner Visa here are some key factors you should have in mind when attempting to prove you and your partner’s relationship is genuine.
12 months or more
You and your partner must be able to show the duration of the relationship has been over 12 months (unless exemptions apply). This includes how the relationship has developed and continues such as documents showing joint activities, future plans and commitment to one another, financials, joint accomodation and proof that the relationship is known by others.
If there has been a break in the relationship, you must make sure you hold evidence which explains the genuine reasons behind the break and reconciliation, otherwise the department may have reason to question your relationship.
Get at least 2 statutory declarations from Australian Citizenship (i.e. friends, co-workers, family members) who are familiar with the nature of your’s and your partner’s relationship and can assert its legitimacy. They will need to complete a Form 888 and have it certified along with their passport.
To ensure the department is satisfied your relationship is genuine when assessing your application – it is important you keep record of every part of your relationship. The rule is, that the more tangible evidence you have, the higher are your chances of a partner visa being granted to you.
Some of the more common evidence includes:
- Rental agreement
- Joint bank accounts
- Social media posts and communication (WhatsApp, FaceBook, Instagram)
- Text Messages and Email Communications
- Pictures together
- Joint plane ticket
- Hotel Bookings
- Event invitations.
Not sure if you should apply for a Partner visa, or need advice on your current application? Contact one of our lawyers or senior migration agents on 1300 92 11 14 and we can book you in for a consult.