Migrate to Australia Safely: Tips to Avoid Australian Visa Scam
In 2021, we heard about two visa scam cases being reported. The first case was reported in June 2021, and the second one was reported in November 2021.
In June 2021, a fake Australian migration agent was jailed for a visa fraud case – giving fake Home Affairs documents to visa applicants – and charged for six and a half years imprisonment and ordered to pay AUD 188,235.
Then, in November 2021, another visa fraud was reported. A 57 years old man was charged for providing false or misleading information. Over four years, the man has been accused of facilitating more than 130 fraudulent visa applications, primarily in the foodservice and regional farmworker industries, collecting more than $2 million.
Are Australian visa scam cases common? How do we avoid falling victim?
As a registered migration agent with more than 10 years of experience, I will take you on a case study to find out how to avoid an Australian visa scam.
Australia is one of the best countries to migrate to
Australia is one of the best countries to migrate to. The country provides chances for skilled immigrants, economic and financial stability, a large English-speaking population, a safe environment and strong citizenship rights. It is also a wealthy country with a market-based economy.
Due to these reasons, many people are desperate to migrate to Australia, which leads some to fall to visa fraud easily. In some cases, a visa scam starts where visa scammers claim to be close with people in the Department of Home Affairs, leading the innocent applicants falling into their traps.
However, is there such a thing as having connections with the Department of Home Affairs and in return will make the Australian visa application process easier? The answer is no. The Department of Home Affairs may know some migration agent companies but it will not affect your Australian visa application.
Case Study: Why do people get scammed?
Angel first came to Australia on an Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601), one of the subclasses of Visitor Visa.
She planned to extend her stay in Australia, so she started looking for a visa option that suited her conditions. She then met an ‘agent’, and the ‘agent’ advised her to apply for a Protection Visa (subclass 866) to extend her stay.
Angel, who believed the ‘agent’, agreed to apply for a Protection Visa (subclass 866) to remain in Australia. She engaged with the ‘agent’, provided all required documents, and paid for all the services. However, the ‘agent’ never updated her on how the application was going or told her about the information that was provided in her application. And little did she know, she was not eligible for a Protection Visa (subclass 866).
Gratefully, Angel realized it soon enough, so she contacted us and explained her circumstances. With no hesitation, Angel agreed to withdraw her Protection Visa (subclass 866) application, so she successfully avoided a chance of getting a visa refusal.
From the case above, we can see that the applicant fell into a visa scam due to the lack of information about Australian visas.
Australia provides various visa subclasses with different requirements and conditions, requiring careful research.
Based on my experience, below are some reasons why people easily fall into visa scams:
- Lack of knowledge and information on Australian visas
- Do not engage a registered migration agent
- ‘easier migration pathway’
Read more: How to avoid Australian Visa Scam
Is an Australian visa application complex?
Now, this question might pop up in your mind. I can say that the Australian visa application is quite complex. All forms and information about the Australian application process are provided in English. Hence, if your first language is not English, understanding how an Australian visa application goes might be the biggest problem.
Additionally, being unfamiliar with the Australian migration laws and jargon used in the Australian visa application process is another hurdle to overcome. Commonly, only those engaged with the Australian migration laws system, including registered migration agents, can give you professional advice on getting an Australian visa.
Tips to Avoid Visa Fraud
It is easy to avoid a visa scam as long as you have the urge to do further research before engaging with an ‘agent’. The tips below may help you in avoiding visa fraud:
1. Check if the migration agent is registered
All Australian migration agents must be registered with the Migration Agent Registration Authority. Those registered migration agents must have a registration number called MARN (Migration Agent Registration Number). You can check their MARN on MARA’s official website here.
2. The business does not have an ABN? Do not engage with them!
All businesses in Australia must have an ABN (Australian Business Number). If a company with no ABN offers you a chance to migrate to Australia, do not engage with them!
3. Beware of ‘legal shortcuts’
There is no shortcut for migrating to Australia. You must compile all the required documents and information for an Australian visa application. So stay away from a company that offers to provide fake documents!
4. Don’t easily fall into traps of people claiming to have ‘connections’
As I mentioned above, connections with the Australian government will never make your Australian visa application easier.
5. Don’t engage in a cash-only transaction or sign handwritten agreements
Does the company offer a handwritten agreement to be signed? And does the company provide cash-only transactions? Please do not fall into their trap! Make sure you sign a formal typed agreement and have an electronic transaction for your record.
ONE derland Consulting, one of the best-registered migration agents in Perth!
If you plan to migrate to Australia and would like to engage a registered migration agent, ONE derland Consulting is one of the best-registered migration agents you can find in Perth!
Engage ONE derland Consulting to prepare your Australian visa application. We will assist you from the beginning to the end and make the process as easy as it should be, and perform the following:
- Assess your eligibility for an Australian visa. We will provide you with advice whether you should spend your money and time on an Australian visa application or you have alternative options;
- We will provide you with written agreements and quotes to process your application if you are eligible. The agreement will cover our obligations and duty as a migration agent;
- Our agreement is transparent with no hidden fees. All the aspects of works are covered in the agreement;
- We will provide you with a dedicated Case Manager as your one point of contact. The Case Manager will assist you with your Australian visa application and keep you informed with the progress of your case;
- A tailored document checklist will be provided. We will provide you with a tailored document checklist to support your application which covers all of your circumstances and reasons for applying for a visa;
- We will prepare all the supporting documents, including a specified submission based on your circumstances to make your application stronger;
- Our migration agent will be your representative to communicate with the Department and/or during your AAT process, so you do not need to worry about communicating with the relevant authorities;
- Your application will be prepared by our Registered Migration Agent, who will go through your documents in more detail; anything missing will be identified and rectified;
- All of our team are dedicated to serving our clients, and we should be able to get back to you within 24 hours or less for any enquiries you may have.
We fully 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 are one of Australia’s most highly recommended migration agents. 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 step and get in touch with us. Our team members are professional, honest and speak various languages such as Mandarin/ Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia, Arabic, Japanese, and Thai. Contact us through email at [email protected] or via phone on 1300 827 159. Alternatively, you may book your consultation online, and it is backed by our 100% Money Back Guarantee Program.