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Michael Arch

Michael Arch

Michael Ephraim-Arch has not set their biography yet

Posted by on in General

SBS News reports that a migration agent, Chetan Meshru, and his wife, Divya Gowda,a marriage celebrant, have been found guilty of 66 separate charges involving visa fraud after a two-week trial in the Brisbane District Court.

According to SBS, the scheme involved paying Australian women to participate in sham marriage ceremonies with men of Indian nationality who wanted to obtain partner visas to remain in Australia. The men also reportedly paid substantial fees to the migration agent.

The report quotes the Crown Prosecutor, Greg Lynham, as saying: "There was no courtship, there's no dating, there's no getting to know each other...It's simply rock up to the townhouse, sign some forms...and then the parties go their separate ways...."

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How can you tell if your client has not been given a fair hearing by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal?

Or to put the question in “lawyer’s terms”, how can you tell if the Tribunal member has been guilty of bias, and has therefore fallen into jurisdictional error, so you can get the case sent back to the Tribunal for another, hopefully fairer, hearing?

Well, like a lot of things in life, it may all be a matter of degree – sometimes bias can smack you in the face like a bucket of ice water, and sometimes it may be more difficult to identify.

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OK everyone, hang on to your hats!

Are you ready to read about a really interesting case about partner visas?

The answer better be yes, or I will go on strike (just kidding of course!)

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Sometimes, you can learn a lot more from studying a case that was ultimately unsuccessful than you can from a case where everything went perfectly from the start, it all went swimmingly, and the applicant was granted the visa that she or he applied for. 

The cases where things have gone “pear-shaped”, or run off the rails, show us where the pitfalls and potholes are, alert us to issues that we need to be aware of, and show us how to avoid running into similar problems in the future. 

A case that was decided last week, Singh & Anor v Minister for Immigration & Anor (2017) FCCA 192 (7 February 2017) provides a perfect example. 

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Not so fast!

Readers of this blog will recall my recent article commenting on the nightmarish visa ban that was imposed in America through Trump's Executive Order (currently being litigated in the Federal Court system in the US), as well as my suggestion that: "It won't happen in Australia". 

Well, it sure seems like I may have spoken too soon!

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