19 September 2012

Australian immigration scam uncovered at university

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Twelve staff at Perth's Curtin University have been charged for allowing an Australian immigration scam to continue.

Australia visa

The University of Curtin's lax security measures allowed the scam to continue.

The Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) found the 12 to be responsible for lax security measures which allowed another employee, Keith Low, to alter International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores.

IELTS is one of the most widely used standardised tests in the world, designed to test the taker's English language proficiency in speaking, writing and listening. Almost every country in the world offers IELTS tests; in 2011 over 1.7 million people took the test.

The test is a requirement in many country's visa application processes.

Low allegedly accepted bribes from test takers in order to improve IELTS scores and therefore increase their chances of obtaining an Australia visa. The CCC found various usernames and passwords used by Low to access the facility's system and update results.

Low was jailed for his activities.

While Curtin University no longer offers IELTS tests, the CCC warned similar institutions of the risks of poor security measures.


The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.

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