Australian Partner Visas – Fraud and Identity Theft!

Third-World countries have long had a problem with the proliferation of fake official documents, and the tendency to be “morally flexible”. It’s not a put-down. It’s a side-effect of human cultures being highly diverse. We don’t always look at the same things in the same way. It happens that in countries like the Philippines there are plenty of people who will offer fake documents as a speedy solution. And people are not necessarily so fanatical about getting facts right. 

So we get intentional and non-intentional mistakes on documents. Sometimes this is due to carelessness of the applicant, and sometimes due to the carelessness of the clerk in the Government office who records the details. In other cases it’s due to a deliberate attempt to cover something up!

  • Birth certificates with spelling mistakes and incorrect dates
  • Marriage certificates with the same
  • Children registered to different parents, either to cover up an out-of-wedlock birth, or to facilitate a do-it-yourself adoption!
  • Children born out of wedlock having their parents listed as “married” on their birth certificates to save the “face” of the parents and/or the children.
  • Passports with spelling mistakes and wrong dates
  • Any other documents with mistakes or false information
  • Careless supply of information to the Migration Agent:
    • Wrong spellings
    • Wrong dates of birth
    • Forgetting to include the occasional relative
    • Or deliberate omission of children, because she’s embarrassed to tell the new husband…, Auntie Bing Bing said it would be a good idea!
  • Or hiding a marriage, often for the same reasons, leaving the couple open to committing a criminal offence of bigamy!
  • Or worst of all, coming up with fake documents to provide a new identity to cover up a questionable past or maybe a criminal record!

I think we’ve seen it all!

The problem is that the Australian Government, in particular the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) doesn’t have the same moral flexibility when it comes to facts. False information and fake documents = fraud!

I’ve already mentioned PIC 4020 in other BLOG posts, ie. Public Interest Criteria, or Regulation 4020 from the Migration Regulations (Cth) 1994. False statements and fake documents will cost you a visa refusal, and a 3 year ban from making any further applications! And saying it was an innocent mistake, this won’t cut it.

Could it get any tougher? Interesting you should ask……

PIC 4020 will be amended 22 March 2014 to include one more factor – IDENTITY FRAUD!

You will be caught out under this if:

  • You supply a fake (“bogus”) identity document, or one that contains false information about your identity
  • You provide any information at all that indicates that you are somebody else
  • OR where they are “not satisfied as to the identity of an applicant”!

What that last bit means if they are merely not sure about who you are, because you haven’t supplied sufficient quantity or quality of documents to prove who you are, then you will also be caught under PIC 4020!


  1. Visa application refusal
  2. A 10 year ban on further applications
  3. No room for appeal!

We at Down Under Visa have for a LONG time pressured our clients when the documents they’ve supplied us have been questionable. They might contain varying dates and varying spellings, or there might simply be not enough there to be convincing.

Well, in light of the changes coming up, we won’t be getting any more relaxed about this. We will be asking “Would you like to risk a 10 year ban?” Because this is what you will be facing.

So don’t risk this happening to you. Get professional help from a Registered Migration Agent like Down Under Visa who knows not only the legal requirements of Australian Migration Law but also knows about documents and information in the Philippines. And for goodness sakes, please cooperate with us when we tell you we need more, or we need something corrected!

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