07 November 2011

Australia visa fraudster jailed as immigration crackdown continues

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The Australian Government has highlighted the sentencing of a man to 33-months jail as a warning against immigration fraud.

Australia visa application

A man has been sentenced to 33 months jail for providing false documents in Australia visa applications.

Following an investigation by Australian immigration and federal police authorities, a man has been sentenced in 33 months in jail for forging false documents used in permanent residency and Australia visa applications.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship have used the opportunity to showcase the implications of migration fraud and the hardline approach of the Australian court system to crimes of this nature.

"This conviction should serve as a reminder to the community that the department and the courts will act swiftly against those who attempt to defraud our migration programs," said a departmental statement released over the weekend.

"DIAC works constantly to ensure the integrity of our migration and visa systems – and the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, announced in July the government would overhaul penalties to allow better enforcement of the current law".

The department also took the opportunity to warn that receiving or attempting to use a fraudulent visa - or a visa obtained by fraudulent means - is also a serious crime.

"Anyone found to have obtained a visa based on fraudulent information can expect to face visa refusal or cancellation and prosecution," the statement said.

The sentenced man, Carmine Amarante, was found to have produced over 500 false documents used in support of skills assessment and Australian state sponsorship applications.

Authorities are still investigating other individuals and businesses associated with this incident.

Those seeking to apply for an Australia visa are urged to ensure immigration advisers are registered with the Migration Agents' Registration Authority (MARA).

Senior members of the Australian Visa Bureau casework team are registered with MARA.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people emigrate to Australia and lodge applications with the Australian High Commission.

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