Dodgy schemes? We’ve seen a few! Down Under Visa had somebody the other day contacting us about wanting an Australian partner visa, and with a plan that he thought was quite reasonable. We get around a dozen visa assessment forms filled out every day, and yes of course all of these people would like an Australian visa for their lady from the Philippines (or gentleman from the Philippines). However not all become clients, and I’ll explain why.
Down Under Visa are always ethical
Yes, old-fashioned ethics. We do very nicely (thank you very much) by remaining ethical in our migration agency practice. Our Code of Conduct, which all Registered Migration Agents are required to follow, says that we should not take on cases that are doomed to fail and face refusal, and that we should advise clients clearly and honestly about their chances of success. Personally, I like a quiet life and I don’t want to have ticking-time-bomb visa applications in the system. If they will not work, I will say “Sorry, can’t help you” and I’ll often try my best to put them onto the right track and in surprisingly many cases they do come back when they’ve taken that advice.
But we get those who have already worked out their clever schemes, and all they want to hear is that we also think they are a great ideas. Well, Down Under Visa and Jeff Harvie don’t work like that.
The enquiry I was referring to was a fellow who had met the lady in the Philippines 6 weeks before and was determined to marry her. He said she was widowed, but then told me she wasn’t actually. She just hadn’t seen the husband for a few years. She knew that he worked in Dubai, and he came back for his holidays. But the clever scheme was that she could just have him declared legally dead, pick up his death certificate in a few weeks, and she could marry our enthusiastic Aussie man and they would soon be bound for Australia!
Wrong in every possible way! Yes, it is possible to have someone declared legally dead, however this is done through the courts and it’s done when there has been no evidence of him being alive for (I think) 7 years. And this will take a year or more before the court will instruct the National Statistics Office (NSO) to issue a death certificate for the husband. If they find he has people who have seen him, or evidence of him voting, or of having a functioning bank account, or records of international movements, then he’s not exactly dead, is he?
This would be one of those cases where the girl and/or her family would be pushing her to get herself to Australia so that they could all benefit and share in her windfall. In this case, there were apparently family members working in the NSO. This means fake papers that would be exposed later when the visa application was lodged and the Australian Embassy asked for the NSO documents to be sent to them directly from the NSO office. Visa refusal and a three-year ban would be the end result!
The other issue we get all the time is those who really haven’t known each other very long. I had one the other day who had known the girl for only 6 days, and wanted to marry. I will point out that they need proof of a genuine and committed relationship, and that it’s hard to show this after only knowing each other for a week! I will take them on as clients, but only after a certain time period where they can show a bit of history. Fortunately, many will go away and will come back after they’ve let the relationship mature a bit.
The same applies to those who haven’t met in person before. The Australian sponsor needs to get on a plane and meet the lady in person, and only after that we can start talking about visa applications.
But one thing I will definitely not do is to knowingly take on a case where there is clearly fraud taking place. Death certificates for husbands who are alive and well? I don’t think so! And even those cases that are not fraudulent but where the case is weak? No. Again, we get enough legitimate work without having to compromise on quality.
And Jeremy asked me to add that THIS is why the Embassy and the Department are tough! This is the sort of nonsense they need to deal with all the time, with people trying to con them. You need to work hard to prove that you’re not up to something sneaky. This is why we push you for evidence that you are not like this. So please understand and please be patient with us.