As I tell all people whom I consult with in relation to Partner Visas, the greatest headache facing the Immigration Departments is not, as the media would have you believe, refugee or boat people.
It is fake marriages.
The test itself seems to be simple enough, you need to be in a genuine, continuing relationship to the exclusion of all others.
But how do you prove it. There are only two people in the world who know if the relationship is genuine and they are sitting in front of you.
The question then becomes how do you convince a usually skeptical Immigration official that yours is the genuine relationship that will come across his or her desk today.
It is not simply a matter of attaching your marriage certificate to a form and waiting for the visa grant. Extensive evidence is required and will, due to human nature, vary from case to case.
Let me set out two of the common misconceptions, urban myths, that I have frequently encountered - joint bank accounts and photographs.
Joint Bank Accounts
The actual requirements is that the couple have intermingled their finances.
The joint bank account can be either good evidence of the genuineness of the relationship or it could lead to a rejection - a Visa Refusal.
Example 1: Both salaries go into the account and all expenses come out of the account. Happy days – approval!
Example 2: You work out how much it will cost for you to live, divide it by 2 and each of you pay that much from your individual accounts into the joint account.
If you receive a Visa Refusal then the (roughly) $8,000 filing fee is gone and you'll have to go to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Migration and Refugee Division) to argue that your relationship is genuine, having corrected your finances.
Photographs don’t prove a relationship is genuine but the lack of photographs will prove it is not.
500 photographs and a 1 hour wedding video will not be looked at.
Ten photographs and a statutory declaration of family and friends who are at the wedding, will be looked at.
The visa experts at Ray Turner Immigration Lawyers can assist you and make sure you do not waste your exorbitant Partner Visa application charge through each of the steps in a partner visa application.
We will not lodge a visa application unless we believe it will be approved.