Be aware! Fraud by a Fake Australian Migration Agent Left Visa Applicants Hopeless And Broke
A fake Australian migration agent has been jailed for six-and-a-half years and ordered to pay $188.235 for giving fake Home Affairs documents to visa applicants. The woman was arrested following a joint investigation by the Australian Border Force and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The fraud caused a nightmare for visa applicants who have paid thousands of dollars for an Australian visa but ended up as unlawful non-citizens or unable to travel to Australia.
How did the fraud happen? And how can you spot a fake Australian Migration Agent?
Chinese-national fake Migration Agent commits $300,000 fraud
A joint statement from ABF, DFAT, and the Australian Federal Police revealed the fake Migration Agent was a Chinese national who resides in Perth. She had received more than $300,000 from her clients, who live overseas.
She charged her clients fees for visa applications, but never lodged the visa applications. This resulted not only in the applicants losing out on large amounts of money but also in them becoming unlawful non-citizens and unable to travel to Australia. Most of the victims have limited English skill and understanding of Australian migration law.
The investigation uncovered thousands of documents, some of which were fake Department of Home Affairs documents that stated the visa applicant’s visas had been granted.
How did the Authorities become aware and how did they penalize the fake Migration Agent?
The Authorities first became aware of the woman in 2013 when DFAT’s Passport and Compliance Section investigated around 30 intercepted foreign passports. The ABF and DFAT launched a joint investigation in 2014, revealing eight complaints with more than 70 witnesses. The woman’s house and office investigation revealed numerous phones, computers, and $30,000 cash.
The woman was convicted of twelves charges, including receiving a fee for migration assistance as a fake migration agent, dealing with proceeds of crime worth more than $10,000, and owning foreign travel documents.
The judge sentenced her to a six-and-a-half years jail with a minimum term of four-and-a-half years before becoming eligible for parole. She was also ordered the forfeiture of the $30,000 cash seized and made reparation orders for the complainants totalling $188,235.
How to notice a fake Australian migration agent?
If you plan to apply for an Australian visa with assistance from a migration agent, you need to make sure your migration agent is reputable. One simple step you can do to check your migration agent’s authenticity is checking their Migration Agent Registration Number (MARN) in Migration Agents Registration Authority. If your migration agent has MARN and is registered in Migration Agents Registration Authority, congratulations! Your migration agent is genuine.
Additionally, if your migration agent provides one of the things below, your migration agent may be fake:
- The agent organizes fake documents and photographs;
- The agent only gives you a handwritten contract and agreement;
- The agent promises you a permanent resident in Australia;
- The agent in Australia does not have an ABN;
- The agent offers you a rate of pay below the minimum Australian wage.
The importance of having a registered migration agent’s assistance
From the case above, you can tell how important it is to have a registered migration agent assisting you in your application for an Australian visa. Having a registered migration agent assisting you might cost more money, but you can trust your visa application process will run smoothly.
By hiring a registered migration agent, you also do not need to worry about getting a visa refusal as a registered migration agent will give you the best advice in applying for an Australian visa.
Are you seeking professional assistance for your Australian visa application? Speak to us! We are here to help!
We understand that applying for a visa to Australia is certainly very complicated. It is even more challenging during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our visa specialists at ONEderland Consulting will help you assess your visa options. We have a 98% success rate and one of the most highly recommended migration agents in Australia. Read our 4.9* score customer reviews.
We are complex visa specialists. As registered Australian migration agents with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA), we are regulated in our professional practice and bound by the profession’s Code of Conduct issued by the Migration Agents Registration Authority.
Take the first leap and get in touch with us. Our migration agents and our team are professional and honest. Our team members are also able to speak in various languages such as Mandarin/ Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia, Arabic, Japanese, Polish, German, and Russian. Contact us through email at [email protected] or via phone on 1300 827 159. Alternatively, you may book your consultation online and it is 100% refundable if you become our client.