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Beware of Scams, Caution Australia Immigration Authorities

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These days, Australia--much like several other top immigration destinations--seem to be battling bogus and dishonest immigration agents and visa service providers, who appear determined to make a killing at the cost of Australia visa aspirants, and rob them of their hard-earned money, in the name of offering them sponsorship and/or Permanent Residency (PR) in the country.
But the good news is that the government of the country and its concerned bodies, including the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), are aware of the situation and seem committed to increase awareness and make the visa candidates aware of the prevailing not-too-favorable situation in the nation.

Against the backdrop of the alleged rising cases of visa frauds and offering of a visa in lieu for payment, the concerned authorities in Australia are reportedly reminding people--looking for employment opportunities in the nation--that it will be better, if they keep away from, and even bring to notice the offers of a visa in exchange for money.

Some months ago, it became a criminal activity to seek, get or proffer a benefit in return for visa sponsorship or job opportunity.

As per a spokesman for the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), paying for visa sponsorship is regarded intolerable by the Canberra since the same weakens the integrity of the skilled work programmes, which are duly tailored to address real skill scarcities in the nation’s labour market, via making manpower obtainable from outside Oz.

He added that it is not acceptable for the sponsors, nominators, recruiters/firms or other third parties to make a personal gain from their situation in a paying for visa sponsorship agreement, nor is it all right for the present or potential visa holders to get hold of the prized Permanent Residence (PR) in the country, or have the chance to work in Oz, by proffering a gain to a recruiter/firm for a job.

Reportedly, the DIBP is also warning that there are scams out there where criminals give bogus pledges of work and PR in the nation as a method to take advantage of, or take money from aspirants.

The spokesman elucidated that the DIBP is fully committed to educating individuals about the right procedures, for applying to reside and work in the country and to aid them to defend themselves from migration fraud and scams. It is crucial that one understands his rights and his employer’s duties to guarantee he is protecting himself.

The spokesperson further said that while a good number of people follow the right and lawful procedure, in fulfilling visa and sponsorship conditions, a minority do not. The DIBP carries-out a series of steps to discover those who are busy with fake activities, and have punishments in place to check and control the visa holders and sponsors who are discovered to be involved with the wrong activities.

He also indicated that while the latest legislation was cast broadly to comprise third parties--like professional service providers--because of situations where illegal payments have been camouflaged in the context of the charges levied for other professional services, there is no aim whatsoever of employing the legislation to authorize the delivery of lawful professional services for income.

In the same way, the DIBP has no target whatsoever of using this framework to either approve rightful business activities or to pursue businesses which necessitate the visa holders to reimburse expenses that are otherwise forbidden from being passed on under the individual visa scheme. But, the same does not stop the pursuit of illegitimate movements under more suitable legislative provisions, he cautioned.

The DIBP gives advice on how to keep away from scams, including being aware of visa application costs and procedures that apply to one’s particular state-of-affairs, and being cautious of any job offer necessitating an upfront payment or giving back some of one’s earnings.

It will be better that those using a migration agent confirm they are duly registered with the concerned body, namely, the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA), even as every visa petition should only be submitted directly to the DIBP even as an agent or consultant does the same on the behalf of the candidate, he concluded.


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