More and more migrants are being duped by visa scams – especially in the 457 skilled worker visa stream. The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection last week issued warnings that migrants were put out of pocket by unscrupulous fraudulent ‘migration agents’ operation illegally.
Earlier this year New World Immigration also issued a blog with pointers on how and why an accredited migration consultant should be hired to deal with your visa applications.
“If you have been approached by someone offering to sell you a nomination, we want to know about it. Visa scams should be reported to the department and this can be done online,” he explained.
The DIBP has issued an example of how one such victim:
Chang, a qualified chef, wanted to find employment in Australia as he thought he and his family might like living and working in Australia and they could consider applying for permanent residence.
A friend told Chang that he knew of someone who helped to find people jobs in Australia and could organise sponsorship under the subclass 457 visa programme. Chang’s friend provided him with an email address to find out more.
Chang emailed the contact his friend had given him and received an immediate response from a person called Jo. Jo said that he could find a job for Chang as a chef with a good restaurant in Sydney and asked Chang to meet him at a local café to discuss the process further.
Chang met Jo at a local restaurant and Jo explained to him that in order to secure a job and visa sponsorship for Chang he would need to pay $5,000 immediately and then another $5,000 once the job was secured. Chang thought this was a lot of money and asked if he could speak with the restaurant in Sydney first. Jo said that he would ask the restaurant manager to email Chang with more details.
Chang received an email from Sam at Roasted Roo Bar and Bistro in Sydney. Sam said that they would like to offer him a chef position and emailed him a copy of an employment contract. Chang looked at Roasted Roo Bar and Bistro on the internet and thought it looked like a great place to work.
Chang organised another meeting with Jo. They met at the same restaurant and Chang gave Jo $5,000 to secure the job with Roasted Roo Bar and Bistro.
Later that day, Chang received an email from Sam at Roasted Roo Bar and Bistro in Sydney with a formal job offer. The email also asked Chang to provide another $5,000 to Jo, so that all the paperwork could be lodged with the department. Chang made this payment to Jo.
Chang did not hear anything for a couple of weeks and sent many emails to Jo, but did not receive any response. Chang sent emails to Sam at Roasted Roo Bar and Bistro and did not receive any response.
Eventually, he contacted the department and was advised that no application had been lodged with the department. Chang became very worried and called Roasted Roo Bar and Bistro in Sydney to speak with Sam.
Roasted Roo Bar and Bistro’s manager said no-one named Sam worked there and they did not need any chefs. Chang explained that he had been in email contact with Sam and gave them Sam’s email address. Roasted Roo Bar and Bistro’s manager said the email address for Sam was not linked to their restaurant and that they had never heard of him.
Chang was really upset as he realised he had been the victim of a scam and had lost a lot of his hard earned savings.
(Case study from Department of Immigration and Border Protection – Australia)