Visa racket to trap teens unearthed in Australia

Last Updated: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 12:56

Melbourne: A visa racket to get teenage
immigrant girls, specially from Middle east and South East
Asia, enter into sham marriages with older men has been
alleged by the opposition in Australia who have demanded a
government probe.

Federal opposition sought the inquiry after reports came
to light that hundreds of 17-year-old girls, had been given
prospective marriage visas over the past 5 years.

The teenagers were given prospective marriage visas over
the past five years after being sponsored by men up to three
times their age, Australian news agency `AAP` reported.

"Hundreds more women aged 18, 19, and 20 have obtained
prospective spouse visas, the rules of which dictate that
recipients must marry within nine months. Many of the
teenagers are said to come from the Middle East or South East
Asia." the report said.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison asked
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen to investigate, saying the
figures raised concerns.

"Alarm bells should certainly ring and what I want to
know is have those alarm bells been ringing, have these
applications been properly interrogated?" Morrison said.

"He (Bowen) should be investigating this issue
throughly and give a full explanation about the administration
of this programme, regarding the giving of visas to girls
under the age of 18 being brought to Australia under the
suggestion of some sort of marriage racket."

PTI



First Published: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 12:55

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