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Indian spouses deported after failing ‘intimacy tests’

Australian Government has been deporting hundreds of overseas-born spouses,many of them of Indian and Chinese origin each year.

The Australian Government has been deporting hundreds of overseas-born spouses,many of them of Indian and Chinese origin each year after they failed Green Card-style intimacy tests.

A news.com.au report now says that the authorities have intensified efforts to expose sham marriages amid a surge in spouse visa applications.

The Immigration Department said a special unit would assess whether relationships were genuine.

Suspect couples are now being split up and interviewed separately about their lives together.

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“We might ask them for the floor plan of the house they’re supposed to live in together,” department spokesman Sandi Logan said.

“Or we might ask what they did on birthdays together for the last couple of years. Or what they gave each other for Christmas or Ramadan.”

About 40,000 visas were issued to married and de facto spouses in 2007-08,up from 26,000 a decade ago.

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The Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Bona Fides Unit investigated more than 1150 couples that year over “irregularities”.

About 220 partner visas were cancelled after holes emerged in couples’ stories. Another 3146 visa applications were rejected outright.

Logan said a two-stage visa process was used to deter rorters.

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Partner visas are first issued for two years. Couples must prove their relationship is genuine and ongoing for permanent residency to be granted after a temporary visa expires.

Less than 10 per cent of spouses who had visas revoked progressed to permanent status.

First published on: 27-07-2009 at 01:39:28 pm
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