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Illegal Immigration ‘agents’ cheat skilled migrants
January 2009 - Press Release
Mr Assyl Haidar, CEO of on-line visa consultancy LIVE IN australia.com has expressed serious concern about the activity of shady characters presenting themselves as accredited migration agents, while ripping off unsuspecting applicants of sometimes thousands of dollars.
“These rogues prey on naïve young international students, selling them black-market paperwork. Such shonky operators are nothing but con men. Unfortunately, they can be found operating in most major Australian cities.”
Mr Haidar warned these shadowy agents charge thousands of dollars for fake documents. Particularly targeted are young Chinese and Indian students, who approach or who are approached by people sharing their ethnicity, which lulls them into a false sense of confidence and security.
The Migration Institute of Australia (MIA), of which LIVE IN australia.com is a member, had reported 60 such rogue agents to the federal Immigration Minister, Chris Evans.
The MIA controls registered migration agents, but unregistered and de-registered agents fall under the jurisdiction of the Immigration Department.
Recently nine businesses in
It will be alleged that international students in Melbourne seeking permanent residence were charged up to $20,000 for fake education and work experience certificates and that a Chinese-owned and Indian-owned businesses were being used as fronts for an unregistered migration agencies.
International students need documents from both the colleges they attend and the employers for whom they do work experience before they can apply for permanent residency.
If an application is made with fake documents it is deemed migration fraud, for which there can be severe penalties.
A migration review made public by the Federal Government has called for independent regulation of the industry. A spokesman for the Department of Immigration said: "It is alleged that for a fee those involved have been providing clients with fraudulent education qualifications and bogus work references to assist them in obtaining Australian permanent residence through the skilled migration program."
Among the "large volume" of evidence seized were laptops and desktop computers.
It will be alleged that students were able to buy fake education results for courses at a private training college.
Immigration sources said students caught in the scams had already paid tuition fees of up to $20,000 before paying between $7000 and $20,000 extra for bogus documents.
Mr Haidar urges all potential immigrants seeking visas to deal only with registered agents, preferably affiliated with the MIA. This will ensure that visa procedures and all immigration matters will be handled within the law, and with the welfare of the applicant uppermost. ‘Legal’ applicants will also save thousands of dollars they would otherwise have wasted on illegal documents through illegal, outlaw agents.