Woman blames high com

National, Normal

The National, Monday December 16th, 2013

 A SOUTHERN Highlands woman has blamed the Australian High Commission for ruining her chances of marrying an Australian man due to the lengthy process of preparing her visa. 

Rebecca Repo, 42, from Ialibu, claimed that she was supposed to have married Rossco Sorbello on her return to Brisbane in 2011 but that did not eventuate because it took one year for her visa to be processed.

Repo had gone to visit her family in Brisbane the same year and during her stay there, she met Sorbello and they planned to get married.

She returned home when her visa expired and applied for a renewal stating that she was going back to get married. 

“I was only given the application document checklist for a prospective marriage visa and not the actual application form for either one of prospective marriage visa, provisional partner visa or permanent partner visa,” Repo claimed in a letter of complaint to the Australian High Commissioner Deborah Stokes on Oct 2, 2013. 

“I was advised to pay K5,410 for a provisional partner visa which I promptly paid up and received a proper receipt for it.  

“I was further advised to come back after 12 months to get a visa to travel to Australia (Brisbane) to marry my fiancé.

Repo said the long wait affected her relationship with Sorbello who decided to marry another woman of Filipino origin. 

“I am devastated and look to a gloomy future as my only opportunity to get married to an Australian and find happiness has vanished,” she said.

“Furthermore, had I been correctly advised to fill in the prospective marriage visa, which is valid for nine months only, I would have gone to Australia to marry my fiancé.”

Repo has since requested for a refund of the K5,410 she paid to have her visa processed. 

She has engaged private consultant Toby Waim Kagl to follow up on her case. 

The high commission’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) confirmed that Repo applied for a partner visa in mid 2011. 

“We have an advertised processing time of 12 months for partner visa applications. This application was finalised significantly within this time.

“Records indicate that Repo was notified of this decision via a number of avenues, including verbally. Applications finalised in line with our legislation are generally not refundable,” the department stated.

DIBP has been in communication with Repo and has advised that she contact them to clarify the information.