29 September 2011

Australian authorities crack down on dodgy migration agents

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The Australian Department of Immigration and citizenship and Australian Federal Police are seeking to prosecute cases of migration fraud

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Australian immigration authorities are seeking to prosecute cases of migration fraud

The Australian immigration authorities and police have conducted a court-warranted raid today on the Sydney Chinatown apartment of a formerly registered migration agent who has allegedly obtained AUD$80,000 through fraudluent migration services.

The operation followed a number of complaints from former clients of the suspect who claim they paid for Australian visa application services that were never undertaken.

An immigration department spokesperson said the authrorities are seeking to prosecutre for both the alleged fraud against clients as well as a separate charge of using false Commonwealth documents for criminal gain.

"The department takes allegations of fraud by those in trusted positions, such as registered migration agents, very seriously," the spokesperson said in a media statement released by the department today.

Australian law requires people offering professional migration advice to be registered with the Australian Government's Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). The MARA website explains that registered agents are "bound by a Code of Conduct and are required to have an in-depth knowledge of Australian migration law and procedure and meet high profssional and ethical standards".

The department urges people that are emigrating to Australia to check the registration status of their migration agents or advisers. The senior members of Visa Bureau's Australian migration casework team are registered with MARA, which authorises them to provide Australian visa and immigration advice.  For more information, click here.

Australian Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy that specialises in helping people move to Australia

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