Philippines 2018 Annulment Update for Australian Sponsors

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Philippines 2018 Annulment Update for Australian Sponsors


FULL DISCLOSURE: I Jose Respall am not a legal practitioner in the Philippines, and therefore cannot and will not advise anyone on how to apply for an annulment in the Philippines.

I am, however, a Registered Migration Agent from Australia (RMA #9901644), and can explain how Public Interest Criteria 4020 (PIC 4020) may impact your permanent partner visa application for Australia from the Philippines, should you present a bogus document to Department of Home Affairs.

In 2015, the online publication Rappler published a five part report on suspicious amounts of annulments coming out of Cavite. Most were missing key documents, key information and other vital info required for a proper annulment. (Links to the parts can be found at the bottom of this page.)

Earlier in February, Rappler updated the reports with the rulings made on four of the court judges handling these invalid annulments. The ruling states that the judges were guilty of misconduct and trying to make Cavite a haven for fixed annulment cases. “The judges were found to have allowed petitioners outside Cavite's jurisdiction to file their annulment cases before them, considered a "friendly" court.”. Full article here.

This has highlighted a potential pitfall that would be detrimental to Australian sponsors. Incidences of acquiring fraudulent annulments is rising in the Philippines, and hopefully by reading this you can avoid falling into a PIC 4020 nightmare.

It is essential that if you are intending to, or already have an annulment in the Philippines, that you and your solicitor follow the application process to the letter. The Department of Home Affairs are aware of these activities, and will scrutinise your partner visa application to Australia from the Philippines extensively.

If you or your solicitor take any shortcuts in the annulment application process and make it to the Department of Home Affairs only to have the annulment deemed bogus, then the Filipino applicant may be barred from entering Australia for 10 years.

If you’re still married in the Philippines, and want to avoid these minefields, then please register your intentions to migrate permanently to Australia, ideally with a registered migration agent like Respall.

Thank you and MABUHAY!

Annulment Process for Philippines

INFOGRAPHIC: How to get annulled
Gov’t warning: Make sure annulment documents are real
EXPLAINER: Untying the marriage knot 101

Initial Report

Part 1: The annulment business
Part 2: Cotabato court issues spurious annulment documents
Part 3: Cavite: Haven for paid-for annulments?
Part 4: Bribery in annulment mills
Part 5: Annulment scam

February 13, 2018