False documents in the Philippines – How it usually works

I think you’ve all read my few articles on the Down Under Visa BLOG Page about the risks in making false statements and submitting bogus documents (PIC 4020). Any logical person knows that this is fraud, and especially knows that Australian Government Departments take a dim view of this. Some countries have a fairly relaxed attitude and a certain “moral flexibility”, however Australia is not one of those countries. And the Immigration people are no exception.

One of the problems in the Philippines is that it is difficult for the average Aussie to get their head around bogus documents, because Aussies are not used to this. We’ve seen movies where forgers are men in long coats who hold their meetings in dark alleys. If your Filipina wife or fiancée did not have a meeting down by the waterfront in a dark alley, then the paperwork must be just fine! She got it from the Government office, so surely it must be the real deal!

Wrong!! Ain’t necessarily so!

One of the creepy things that happens here in Philippines is that the source of the fraudulent documents is often the Government Department itself. The “fixer” is somebody who works there, who has access to the security paper (SECPA) that the documents are printed on. And the end-result looks like the real thing.


Lately we have had:

  • A CENOMAR/Advisory On Marriages document from the NSO (National Statistics Office) which said the lady was never married, when in fact she was.
  • An NSO Marriage Certificate with mistakes corrected, and which took only a few days (whereas they normally take several months plus have a few other details which were not on this one)
  • Even a Baptismal Certificate which came straight from the Church office, in a Church that had no actual records of the Baptismal taking place.


Every single one of these documents is capable of causing a visa application refusal, as well as a 3 year ban on further visa applications to Australia.

What you (and we) have to deal with is that most people here are accustomed to trusting and following important people behind desks in offices. It’s the Government official! How could they give bad advice? “Very easily”, is the answer! They don’t care about the end results. They just care about making a bit extra to supplement their income.

So be aware, and ever vigilant against fraudulent and bogus documents, as well as lies, omissions and false statements.

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Filed under Administration of visa applications, Australian Visa Applications, Character Requirements

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