Following two recent cases of serious migration fraud committed by people posing as migration agents, the Australian Government is urging all consumers who require immigration assistance to check their migration agent is registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) before seeking or paying for services.
In the last month, a 52-year-old man was charged with 23 migration fraud related offences in Queensland, and a 38-year-old Western Australian woman was sentenced to six and a half years jail for extensive migration fraud.
Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs the Hon Jason Wood, said anyone requiring immigration assistance should be extremely careful to avoid unlawful operators pretending to be registered migration agents.
“Only registered migration agents can legally give immigration assistance in Australia,” Assistant Minister Wood said.
“Consumers seeking advice from those not listed with the OMARA risk being provided incorrect information, or being charged thousands of dollars for a fake service and no visa outcome.”
The names and contact details of all registered migration agents are published on the OMARA Website. The website also provides advice on how to use a registered migration agent, the services they provide, how to resolve any disputes with registered migration agents and how to work with a registered migration agent located overseas.
“Consumers should always check the Register of migration agents on the OMARA website and use the Register to make contact directly,”
“The Australian Government has no tolerance for attempts to exploit Australia’s Migration Program and unwitting visa applicants. The penalties for anyone found guilty of this illegal activity are severe,” Assistant Minister Wood said.
For further information on the OMARA and the Register of migration agents is available on the OMARA website.
Anyone with information about individuals falsely claiming to be a registered migration agent should contact Border Watch immediately on the Department of Home Affairs website.