Taking a serious view of the growing cases of unauthorized visa agents proffering professional services in Australia, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has advised has people not to be taken for a ride and use the services offered by registered agents only.
Reportedly, people making use of migration agents are once more being told to confirm they use only those who are registered in the wake of the latest fraudster was sent behind the bars to serve a 7-year prison term.
Just registered migration consultants have the right to legally offer immigration aid in Australia even as to do the same it is mandatory that they are listed on the Register of Migration Agents, duly held by the concerned body, namely, the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA).
Agents who are registered can assist with visa petitions or other visa matters, via preparing, or helping to get ready, a visa application or other paper, and by counseling about a visa petition or visa issue.
These professionals can also help by getting ready for proceedings before a court or review body regarding a visa petition or visa matter and via representing in proceedings before either a court or review body regarding a visa petition or visa subject.
Reportedly, Paul Harrison, the latest fraudster, has been sent behind the bars by a court in Perth in the aftermath of being convicted over a series of criminal and migration scam crimes which has cost his victims more than $730 000.
Reportedly, he was jailed for a period of four years concerning 26 criminal scams and stealing charges, and three years for 19 charges under the Migration Act related to unregistered migration advice, proffering fake or forged papers/certificates and false details to the DIBP.
The charges surfaced from a joint probe between the DIBP and the Western Australia Police Major Fraud Squad, involving a made-up cattle contract with foreign buyers.
Meanwhile, the Australian Border Force (ABF) Acting Assistant Commissioner has showered praise the result as an important outcome for both law enforcement organizations. He stated that it is a major sentence by the court even while it sends a rather clear warning to the public that migration & criminal fraud is an incredibly serious crime which carries harsh penalties.
He added that with a view to not become a victim of migration fraud, people seeking migration advice would do well to guarantee they utilize only those migration consultants or agents who are registered.
Significantly, the verdict comes in the wake of the recent successful trial of a different Western Australian man who was sent behind the bars to serve a 4-year term for comparable crimes even as he was asked to repay expenses of $39,000 to those who had suffered at his hands.
According to the MARA, people would do well to be pretty careful of the unauthorized operators masquerading as registered migration advisors or agents. Visa aspirants must at all times check the official website of the DIBP to check they use only a duly registered migration consultant or agent.