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Nov 7, 2011

Child bride given protection after family death threats.

Reports today indicate that an immigration rort has been going on for some time involving hundreds of teenage girls being brought to Australia to get married under a government visa program. More than 200 17-year-old girls have been granted prospective spouse visas over the past five years mostly from the Middle East or South-East Asia.

In one case a year 10 Lebanese schoolgirl was granted after she arrived on a prospective spouse visa for an arranged marriage to a man many years older than her. The protection visa was granted because her own family threatened to kill her:

She found he was a violent drunk who kept a previous wife and three children in an adjoining townhouse. She was granted a protection visa after her own family threatened to kill her.

"She will be slaughter and killed," the girl's family said in a letter.

"By God, by God I will kill you at the airport and I will bury you in the grave. O you dog.”

Child safety researcher Dr Chris Goddard said the figures were extremely disturbing and joined the call for an inquiry "A thorough audit needs to be done to ensure these children are safe. Is this a program the Australian community really supports? This program seems to enable men to groom children and place them in a very vulnerable position," he said.
It is doubtful that grooming is involved, however it is disturbing that very young girls are being sent over here into arranged marriages on a sight unseen basis.


  1. Disturbing and astonishing. It was not so long ago that Mrs Exile and I had to provide DIMIA, as it was then, with a thick sheaf of evidence to prove that our relationship was above board. To be fair we probably gave them a lot more than was necessary but we were expected to be able to come up something that convinced them I hadn't just given some cash to get the visa and was going to do a vanishing act as soon as we'd landed. And from the article it doesn't sound like this has changed.

    An Immigration Department spokesman defended the visa program: "Applicants ... must meet a range of criteria ... including being able to demonstrate they are in a genuine ... relationship with their sponsoring partner."

    I'd be interested to know what was lost in the ellipses, but assuming it's nothing important and nothing much has changed since I went through the process I have to ask: what gives?

  2. I wondered the same thing, given the shit my old mother in law had to go through to get the pension. She arrived here from Scotland when she was sixteen, but had worked over there for a couple of years to help support the family. That for some reason caused a problem, even though she didn't apply till she was 75.