Unscrupulous migration agents and fraudulent visa applicants are in the spotlight this week after a recent investigation presented by the ABC 7:30 Fairfax media program highlighted many issues of concern for the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
“Numerous investigations [by the department] revealed massive fraud within our Student, Skilled Migration, 457 programs.” Said Joseph Petyanszki to the program. Mr Petyanszki worked in the Department of Immigration for 27 years, 6 of which was spent in the investigation office.
The growing number of fraudulent visa applicants in addition to some migration agents assisting with producing fabricated documentation appears to have escalated since the political debate on ‘boat people’ surfaced with massive amounts of resources being placed on illegal immigrants arriving by boat with no documentation as opposed to those arriving by place with false documentation.
“Some investigations revealed thousands of skilled migrant applicants had lodged bogus qualifications from private colleges, funded by the Australian taxpayer, and in some cases excellent counterfeit degrees from our most prestigious Victorian universities.” Said Mr Petyanszki. “One investigation identified up to 4,000 applicants who used such documents to apply for skilled migration.”
With this recent investigation being reported in the media, in addition to the recent Brexit causing many skilled workers to look at Australia as an alternative to the United Kingdom, the Department of Immigration will be under further pressure to add more resources to ensure that fraudulent visa applications will not be approved.
It is with strong persuasion that skilled workers, investor visa applicants, business visa applicants and any other individuals or families who are interested in living and working in Australia go through a registered migration agent. A registered migration agent will follow the correct protocal and ensure that all documentation is legitimate and recorded. When you are looking for a migration agent, you firstly need to ensure that they are trading under a Migration Agents Registration Number which is issued by the Australian Government.