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$15,000 wife offer in visa rort
$15,000 wife offer in visa rort

The Department of Immigration is investigating a sham marriage scam in Perth after advertisements on the internet calling for Australian women to marry for money.

The Gumtree website advert called for Perth women with Australian citizenship to enter into arranged marriages for two years in exchange for $15,000.

The advert, listed under the jobs section, was visited at least 37 times before it was taken down yesterday morning.

Federal Liberal MP Don Randall, who chaired a joint standing committee on immigration, passed a screen shot of the advert to the compliance division of the Immigration Department and was told it would be investigated urgently.

Mr Randall claimed the advert was just the "tip of the iceberg" of visa rorts for foreigners desperate to stay in Perth.

"People are trying all sorts of means to short-circuit their way into Australian," he said.

"Now that the people organising these sham marriages are bold enough to advertise, we can assume that it is becoming more common.

"The sad thing is that it makes it difficult for genuine couples to reunite and live in Australia."

A marriage scam was uncovered in Queensland recently, with an immigration agent disappearing after evidence emerged that he was brokering bogus marriages.

Those wanting to stay in Australia paid up to $18,000 for his services in matching them into bogus marriages with Australian women.

Anyone found guilty of rorting the system faces up to 10 years jail.

The subclass 820 and 801 partner visas allow foreigners to enter or remain in Australia on the basis of being either married or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen.

The process involves a temporary visa, usually for two years from the date of the visa application and grants the applicant full work rights and access to Medicare.

After two years, the applicant can also apply for a permanent visa, which if successful, provides access to social security.