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Albanian man organises sham wedding then lies about persecution July 4, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Australia, Macedonia.
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Order to grant migrant visa, despite sham marriage

IMMIGRATION Minister Chris Evans has been ordered to issue a visa to a Macedonian farmer despite the fact he arranged a sham marriage.

Sadik Selimi, 55, was refused a visa in 2007 after it was discovered he married an Australian woman in 1995 and paid her $25,000 in an attempt to stay in Australia permanently. But after a long legal battle, led by his adult Australian daughters, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ordered Senator Evans not to refuse the visa to Mr Selimi.

The tribunal found that although Mr Selimi had engaged in “illegal and morally reprehensible conduct” over a number of years, the offences were not serious enough to warrant rejection of his visa application.

In a decision handed down by Graham McDonald, the tribunal ruled that although Mr Selimi was convicted in 2000 of 10 offences in relation to the sham marriage, he was unlikely to reoffend and presented “no threat to the Australian community”.

Mr Selimi, who was born in Macedonia and is of Albanian descent, came to Australia in 1994 for his daughter’s wedding.

He returned to Macedonia in March 2001 after failing to secure a protection visa.

Mr Selimi had pleaded with Australian authorities to give him protection to “escape from the persecution and discrimination suffered by me and all other Albanians at the hands of the Serbs”. His application was rejected.

The current legal fight was over an application for Mr Selimi to be given a parental visa, now three of his daughters live in Australia.

The tribunal noted that when Mr Selimi lived in Australia between 1994 and 2000, he worked in a market garden, where he was regarded as hard-working, thoughtful, honest and reliable.

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