Allegedly dobbed-in by a friend of fake marriage
Manpreet loes his bid to get partner visa
And to make matters worse, he has to pay $6,000 to the department’s lawyers.
Sydney July 24: This is the story of Manpreet Singh, a citizen of India, arrived in Australia as international student in June 2009. His visa ceased in September 2011. In February 2012, he applied for a Partner visa on the basis of his relationship with his sponsor, Ms Blyton, an Australian whom he had married on 16 December 2011.
At the time of his application in February 2012, he did not have a substantive visa and his visa having ceased in September 2011, it was outside the allowed time of 28 days. He required exceptional and compelling circumstances to be successful for his application to be considered by the department.
As his application progressed, on 22 August 2013, the department wrote to him seeking information about his relationship with his sponsoring partner and whether there were compelling reasons for the department to waive the requirements of substantive visa and time limits breaches. (Requirements of cl.820.211(2)(d) in Schedule 2 to the Regulations.)
On 19 September 2013 the department refused his application.
As a result he sought a review by AAT (formerly MRT).
On 17 September 2014 the Tribunal received letter (‘dob-in letter’) from someone called Bhupinder Singh – someone supposedly Manpreet’s flatmate and friend had sent in a letter to the department saying Manpreet’s marriage was fake. The letter had Manpreet’s details who was described by name, date of birth, passport number and citizenship. It said he was in a “fake relationship” with an Australian citizen, Ms Blyton; that she was in a relationship with her original boyfriend and had a child with him after she married Mr Singh; that Manpreet and sponsor had never lived together or had a sexual relationship; and that the relationship was formed “in exchange of big money to get permanent residency”.
On 14 April 2015 the Tribunal wrote to Manpreet inviting him to comment on or respond to requirements of substantive visa and making the application within of 28 days of that visa expiring.
It also put to him that it had “confidential information available” indicating he was involved in a bogus marriage.
This was said to be relevant because, if true, it indicated that he was not in a genuine spouse relationship, would not meet the s.5F definition of a “spouse”, and hence would not meet the criterion in cl.820.211 which required that the Applicant be the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. Manpreet was also again invited to provide information as to compelling reasons to waive the Schedule 3 criteria.
On 24 April 2015, Manpreet responded through his migration agent addressed the issue of compelling reasons and submitted a statutory declaration in which a Mr Bhupinder Singh of Westmead claimed he knew the Applicant and sponsor but denied having written to the Department in respect of Manpreet’s relationship with his partner.
The tribunal – examined the dob-in letter and the Stat Dec and sought further evidence from both Manpreet and his partner Ms Blyton. As it turned out – their financial and medical records were very closely scanned and the Tribunal found a discrepancy between Ms Blyton’s residential address provided to the Department and that recorded on her medical records.
Further – the joint accounts when examined showed that the monies put into a joint bank account were immediately rerouted to another bank account held by the Applicant (in a round robin fashion) so that only token amounts remained in the joint account.
There was also a big problem for Manpreet who had claimed in his oral evidence he was earning approximately $78,000 per annum and thus could support Ms Blyton as home-maker wife (who did not work) but his tax returns showed his declared income to be $35,000 or so.
The Tribunal also observed that Ms Blyton’s pregnancy corresponded with the date of the “dob-in” letter and the allegation that that pregnancy was said to be to an alleged boyfriend, not Manpreet. It noted that the Central Coast doctor for Ms Blyton had stated that the she had been a patient of that practice since birth.
And after considering financial and medical the Tribunal turned its attention to social aspects of their relationship. It noted that the couple had practically no evidence of family and friends’ knowledge and acceptance of their marriage. Very few photographs were produced and most of those were of Manpreet and his sponsor Ms Blyton. Manpreet’s explanation was that they were hard-working couple and did not really have a social life as such.
After considering all the evidence, although the Tribunal found that the parties were validly married, it was not satisfied that a genuine and exclusive spouse relationship was present at the time of the application. And on 11 August 2015 the Tribunal affirmed the decision not to grant the Manpreet a Partner visa.
At the next level of Federal Circuit Court Manpreet failed to convince the court that the Tribunal got its decision wrong and thus simply affirmed the department’s original decision which was affirmed by the Tribunal. The court also ordered Manpreet topay $6,000.00 as department’s lawyer’s costs.
– by Staff writer