You've been studying or traveling in Australia for several months, you want to stay longer and to help you out, a friend has offered to marry you. It may seem like a harmless lark, but getting involved in a fake marriage for immigration purposes is actually a crime, and you should not do it. Here are five reasons why:
1. Hard to fake a paper trail
In most cases, if you get married and want your spouse to be able to stay in Australia, you need to have proof of your relationship. Proof of the relationship may include pictures, travel documents of holidays you have taken together or proof of living together (shared bills, etc.).
Even in cases where you are trying to legitimately declare a marriage or domestic partnership, it can be hard to come up with the right supporting documents. If you are faking the relationship, it can be virtually impossible to come up with documents.
2. Long time to sustain a lie
If you manage to come up with documents, getting a marriage or domestic partnership visa is not a fast and easy process. In most cases, it takes 12 to 15 months to process a marriage visa. That can feel like an eternity to a couple who is actually in love, but if you are in the midst of a lie, it can feel even longer as you struggle to remember the sticky web of lies supporting your application.
3. No second chances
If you get caught in the middle of an immigration lie, you won't get another chance to apply to live in Australia. In many cases, you will be permanently banned from the country if you commit immigration fraud.
4. Serious penalties
In other cases, the penalties for faking a marriage are so severe that you may wish you had just gotten kicked out of the country. Although punishments can vary, people involved in sham marriages for immigration purposes can get fined up to $100,000, and they may have to sit in an Australian jail for up to ten years.
Instead of lying or getting involved in what seems like a harmless, foolproof marriage to a friend, get immigration help with companies such as CLS Capital Link Services. There are countless ways to extend your stay in Australia. A visa processing specialist can help identify the best path for you to take. That may range from an investor visa to a skilled worker visa to a protective visa. It all depends on your unique circumstances.