These days in late 2013, when the Department looks at a partner visa application, they look at more than just the forms and documents you submit. They look at a range of other things about you. They think specific factors will help them to decide whether or not you are a ‘high risk’ applicant. They do not publish these factors.
Many of the things they look at are reasonable, such as the immigration history of each of the applicant and the sponsor. Some partner visa issues however are a little more surprising. For example, the Department will take into account how you first met each other: a couple who met online are considered by Immigration to be “higher risk” than a couple who were introduced by friends or family.
In today’s world, online dating is an everyday occurrence, and in most cases, has very little to do with the genuineness of a couple’s relationship. Most people who use online dating services do so as this is simply more convenient and effective for them. There is nothing wrong with it. So, it is not really fair to discriminate, is it?
The reality is that there are some visa applicants who do not tell the truth, and the Department has to consider the overall program when making decisions about how to assess applications. Sometimes this means that a higher level of scrutiny applies, even for a reason as simple as the fact that you met your partner online.
This ‘inside information’ isn’t apparent to someone who isn’t familiar with the intricacies of the Department’s internal policy. That’s why it is always best to get advice on preparing your application. That way it can be put forward in a way that ensures the case officer who looks at it, can more easily see the totality of your relationship, despite the fact that at first glance there may be certain risk factors arbitrarily applied.