24 September 2007

Australian immigration cracks down on fraud

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Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship has joined forces with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) to crack down on fraud within the Australian immigration system, protecting genuine Australian visa applicants.

The two bodies signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday, facilitating cooperation and the exchange of information.

The minister for immigration and citizenship, Kevin Andrews, said the agreement would enable them to use financial data held by AUSTRAC to assist in investigations into serious offences such as people smuggling, fake marriages and the activities of unregistered migration agents.

Preventing fraudulent applications for Australian visas and jobs is good news for skilled Britons applying for Australian immigration and looking for a new job in Australia. A major governmental scheme like this will give employers the confidence they need that migrants to Australia have arrived through the proper channels and are legally recognised as a skilled worker; a vital requirement with so many of the country's industries still enduring a skills crisis.

"Illegal activities such as contrived marriages are often characterised by the transfer of large sums of money in and out of Australia. In these cases, evidence of the level and type of payment is vital in obtaining appropriate sentences on conviction. AUSTRAC data will assist in identifying and prosecuting those who are involved in this type of illegal activity," Kevin Andrews said.

Australia needs skilled workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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