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30th July 2013
Volume 251

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Dear students, 


Welcome to the latest edition of IMMIGRATION NEWS and to the new subscribers. This free service is brought to you by Australian Immigration Law Services. You can subscribe using the link on the right hand side or by visiting our website. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to any of your friends.


In this edition we cover the horror of a girl knowing that someone has stolen her identity to get himself a visa. 


Waking up to discover you are married without your knowledge or consent - in Australia! 
  -By Tanaya Das


Hema ponders on the thought of being registered as Married in NSW without her knowledge


On her way back from holidays in March, Hema was asked to provide documentary evidence of her visa while leaving from India. 


DIAC advises everyone that you don't need a visa label to enter Australia. Unfortunately in many countries that isn't enough to convince the airlines enough to board a plane to Australia.


The airline demanded proof of Hema's student visa so she called her long term partner of seven years in Sydney to find the visa grant letter in her room or on her computer email inbox. 


Hema had never read the grant letter from DIAC before as her friend had organized her student visa application through an Education Agency.


To the couple's horror they discovered someone else had declared himself dependent on her student visa application and worse still, had supplied a marriage certificate from the NSW Birth Death and Marriage (BDM) office to support such a claim.


She says "I spent days in shock not being able to function because I didn't know how or what had happened and suddenly to discover I was registered as married without my own knowledge or consent made me just want to believe this could not happen".


She refutes any prior knowledge of the existence of this document and says that the person listed as her husband was only an acquaintance who became her friend because he used to help her with technical things. In her own words "I am not good at computers, didn't have an email account till I moved to Sydney and just got a facebook account just few months ago."


It was easy for someone who knew how trusting she was to deceive her; she was honest about the fact that she needed help with even basic computer related things. Her friend offered to help  organize her documents and apply for her onshore student visa and while she thought he was being generous with his time, he was actually adding himself as her dependent on her documents.


Her eyes well up with tears as she says "I know that people steal other people's identities but I never thought that someone I considered a friend, who was so helpful and always on hand when I needed something would go ahead and use the information I trusted him with."


She has no knowledge of how it came about that this person could get a valid marriage certificate without Hema attending any ceremony, meeting the celebrant listed on the certificate or even knowing the witnesses. 


Hema and her partner checked with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Sydney to confirm that the certificate is not a forgery and she is really registered as married in Australia.


Hema doesn't even begin to know where to start but as far as DIAC and the NSW government is concerned, she is legally married.


At this point she is scared and afraid to be out in public, confrontations with the person who did this have resulted in a confession and assurance that he will put things right but hasn't taken any steps to rectify the situation.


Hema says "He's got a wife in India who has recently moved to be with him in Sydney and I can't even begin to understand his reasons for this large scale deception. I can't let my family or anyone know that this has happened. Being married is a big deal in India and we get married for life, I simply can't be married, just can't, I am not!"


Australian Immigration Law Services is assisting Hema to discover how she could be considered married without her consent. The BDM office has been asked to provide an explanation how this is possible. 


Stay tuned for their answer in Part 2 of this story



The author of this story Tanaya Das is a former international student who did her post graduate studies in journalism from UTS. She has written many stories in the past for Immigration News covering the collapse of some of Australia's notorious business colleges and other human interest stories.
She has also worked as a researcher for programs aired on ABC and SBS and as an Online content Editor for Thomson Reuters.
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Kind regards,


Karl Konrad  Managing Director


Jee Eun HAN, Executive Manager     

Australian Immigration Law Services

MARN: 9904238, 0850073 

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 At Australian Immigration Law Services (AILS), we offer professional advice and practical solutions to all migration matters. Our team of licensed agents and consultants specialise in various areas of immigration law, such as skilled migration, business, family, and reviews.











 Hema's story is a sobering reminder that you have to be careful who you trust in lodging a visa application on your behalf.


In her case the trust was manifestly abused by her friend and seemingly a corrupt education agent.


It would be easy to think Hema's case is just one where perhaps she was too trusting and now she is paying the price. However that would be a simplification.


Hema has become the victim of identity fraud. In her case is seems a very sophisticated operation whereby the BDM office has been duped by some very experienced criminals.


Never under estimate the length some people will go to commit fraud against the Australian government when it comes to visa applications.


Waking up one day to discover you are considered legally married without your knowledge would be an experience most of us could not comprehend.


It is expected when DIAC becomes aware of all the facts in this case they will hold no suspicion against Hema and pursue those who perpetrated this crime.


One of life's unpleasant lessons is that at times your trust can abused by others. In hindsight Hema has learnt that when it comes to legal issues such as visa applications it is always going to be safer to pay licensed professionals than friends who offer their help.





Karl Konrad

Managing Director 

Karl Konrad  


Han Photo with Jacket
Executive Manager
Jee Eun Han





Australian Immigration Law Services  

phone: 61 2 92791991 | fax: 61 2 9279 1994
email: | website: 


 Level 1, 36 Carrington Street Sydney NSW 2000

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