A court in Brisbane has of late been holding a hearing on a series of fraudulent weddings that were arranged by immigration agent Chetan Mashru and his so called spouse Divya Gowda who assisted in solemnizing these weddings between the periods March 2011- 2012.
Through this fraudulent wedding scam, 15 men from India were wedded to women in Australia in order to avail the Australian permanent residency. This was done in spite of the legal framework in Australia that classifies arranging weddings with the purpose of obtaining visas as an offense under Immigration act’s section 240.
One of the brides from Australia was Leilani May who gave evidence of her wedding to the Indian national Amritpal Singh in the year 2011. The court was given proof that the couple had given fake documents and a legal declaration to prove their wedding with the assistance from Divya and Chetan.
1000 US dollars were paid as upfront cash to Leilani and weekly 250 US dollars by her spouse in return for the fake wedding, quotes Colemangreig.
These fake weddings were compared with a television show of Channel Nine titled ‘Wedded at First Sight’ in which the couples met only on the day of their wedding. There was no exchange of wedding vows or the wedding costume as the couple had only signed and exchanged documents at Brisbane townhouse of Divya and Chetan.
For a union of two individuals to be considered as a marriage, certain criterions must be satisfied. This is defined as the union of a woman and a man and excludes all others, willingly entering into for life as per the Marriage act.
The ceremonial eligibilities of a wedding have also been defined in the Marriage act that are:
• The individuals must be above 18 years of age
• An authorized celebrant must be present for the solemnization of the wedding
• The required documents and notices are demonstrated
• Presence of witness during the wedding
In the present case, immigration frauds was committed by the individuals involved as they provided fake documents for the wedding and mislead the government officials intentionally in order to immigrate to Australia and obtain a visa. As per the provisions of the Marriage act, a wedding is void if the consent is secured through duress or fraud.
In the case that involved Divya and Chetan, it was evident that both the parties involved were conscious of the motives of the wedding. The mere exchange and signing of documents between the parties involved and the absence of fanfare raised questions on the genuine nature of the relationship.
The aspects that one who needs to immigrate to Australia has to be aware of are:
• If a wedding is arranged between to individuals with the intention of availing an Australia visa, it is an offense
• If fake statements are provided to demonstrate a real relationship, it is also an offense
• If consent is obtained through duress or fraud, then the wedding is void
If you are looking to Migrate, Study, Visit, Invest or Work in Australia, contact Y-Axis, the world’s most trusted Immigration & Visa Consultant.