Marriage as a platform is being used to get residence status by people from outside Australia. In recent cases, many have lost validity of their visas that have been targeted on account of relationships that have been cancelled due to false and incorrect claims. It has been documented that the number of visas issued since the year since the year 1990 has been doubled and the number during the year 2012-13 is approximately fifty thousand. Figures estimate that illegal migrants could reach an approximate figure of 60,000 foreign citizens. Of course, the estimates accounting for fraud through marriage/cohabitation has not been made available but even if 50 per cent of the stated figure is considered then it could be enough to populate a small township.
It is important to understand the legitimate options of migrating to Australia before embarking on dubious ways and finding oneself in deep waters. The Australian government has cracked down on illegal immigrants through the spousal route. Partner migration to Australia can be obtained under the following groups:
• Prospective spouse (fiancé),
• Interdependent (same sex relationships).
All the above categories can be granted temporary residence for two years, as trial period. At the end of two year trial period and on production of evidence of continuing co-habitation that permanent residence can be granted.
Defacto describes the relationship when the man and the woman live together in spousal relationship without getting married. Australian Immigration Law specifies that defacto relation means 12 months of co-habitation as a legally wedded husband and wife would have. Since in such cases marriage has not been soleminised evidence as to co-habitation or living together has to be produced.
Prospective spouse means a fiancé and sponsorship for her/him with the condition that marriage has to take place within 9 months of arrival, failing which the fiancé has to leave the country.
Interdependent facilitates sponsoring of same sex partners to migrate to Australia. Elaborate evidence of such relationship and co-habitation has to be provided.
There is also a provision for illegal spouse waiver. Technically speaking people who have overstayed are not qualified to apply for valid visa. However, such illegality in spousal relationship can be handled if strong evidence can be produced that co-habitation has been for at least two years and/or have children who have become Australians by birth. It would also mean that no prior visa application has been rejected for any other reason.
Australian immigration officials are cracking down on visa fraud as part of a campaign against national identity fraud. Facial recognition aids are being put into place and this going to make it extremely difficult to avoid detection in times to come. The tardy process could be the state of coordination and cooperation between agencies that is expected to get smoothened in times to come. Identity fraud costs the Australian government over $ 4 billion each fiscal year and things are getting serious to be ignored any further.