DIBP is acting quickly to cancel dubious partner visas with already over 1000 partner visas cancelled, including permanent visas, over the last 3 years.
It has been estimated that over 30 per cent of marriages in Australia involve migrant spouses. And the numbers are increasing as visa regulations in other classes get stricter. This has led to greater scrutiny of both applicants and visa holders by DIBP.
Monash University migration lecturer, Dr Bob Birrell has reportedly said that the huge backlog of cases was putting enormous pressure on migration officials.
“They are literally swamped with the client load, it’s very difficult to seriously evaluate whether the relationship is genuine and continuing,” he said in an interview with the Herald Sun.
Over the last three years, DIBP’s increased vigilance on partner visa holders and applicants have led to high-level of refusals and cancellations. Over 1000 permanent and temporary partner visas have been cancelled on grounds of bogus claims, bad character and incorrect information.
According to the Herald Sun report the number of partner visas issued annually has doubled since the early 1990s, with some 50,000 processed in 2012-13. A further 58,000 applications were in the pipeline as of June 30 last year.
Almost 12,000 spouse and partner visas were issued for Victoria last year, including more than 2000 to Indian-born people, 1245 for Chinese and about 1000 for UK-born applicants.
More than 100 visas were cancelled in the six months to December 31, 2013, 228 were cancelled in 2012-13 and 713 between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2012.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has been reported saying that the figures showed the Abbott Government had to be vigilant to stop people abusing the program.