The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will soon provide Centrelink with the details of visa applicants and sponsors of the onshore partner visa programme (Subclass 820/801) for the years 2012/13 and 2013/14. The aim of this is to identify instances of migration and social security fraud. DIBP will release the information under the Australian Privacy Principle6.2 (b) of the Privacy Act 1988 and the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999.
More than 5,000 records will be released to Centrelink for data-matching purposes. They will be used to identify non-compliance and fraud through declarations regarding relationship status and personal details.
The shared information will result in the identification of these non-compliance issues, and form the basis of enforcement strategies and quite possibly criminal investigations. DIBP will investigate in instances where:
  • Visa applicants are suspected of being involved in migration fraud in the partner visa programme.
  • Centrelink customers are failing to report their correct relationship status to DIBP.
  • External parties are using the partner visa programme as a path for their clients to obtain permanent residency in Australia.
  • Sponsors are potentially being exploited through the partner visa programme.
Those affected by the data-sharing are non-citizens and sponsors who have lodged onshore partner visa applications, and whose relationship details differ to those provided to Centrelink.
If you are concerned about how these changes may affect you, please contact an FCB Smart Visa migration agent on (02) 9922 5188 for a confidential discussion.