What you need to know
Scams can happen in the following ways:
How to find fake immigration consultants
- If the advertisement lists only a first name and number
- If the employer or agent demands that you pay them a large upfront amount of cash for an ETA or a Visitor visa
- If the agent tells you to set up a new company and apply for Australia Business Number (ABN) to work
- If the agent says they will organize fake documents and photographs
- If the agent will provide you with a handwritten or printed agreement
- If you are promised a permanent residence in Australia
- If the employer or agent uses the Australian coat of arms on their website to deceive people into thinking that what they are offering is approved by the Australian Government
- If the agent says that you will be paid in cash only
- If the agent says that you won’t be required to get an Australian Government Tax File Number (TFN)
- If the employer or agent in Australia does not have an ABN
- you are offered a rate of pay below the minimum Australian wage, which all foreign workers are entitled to (see Fair work).
Be aware of fake migration agents. In Australia, migration agents need to be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.
If you choose to engage in visa fraud and do not go through official channels to apply for an ETA or Australian visitor visa, you risk:
- Lose any upfront cash or payment made to agent.
- Having your ETA or Visitor visa refused or cancelled.
- Which may lead to visa being refused and being excluded from obtaining a further visa to Australia for up to 10 years?
- Not being permitted on the flight to Australia.
- Being refused entry to Australia at the Australian border by the Australian Border Force.
- Being stranded at an Australian airport or city.
- Exposed to forced or slave labour.
- May end up not being paid at all by the employer or agent.
- Being located and detained by the Australian Border Force and removed from Australia.
- Going back home with far less money than when you arrived.
In order to protect yourself from visa scams, you should only deal with official Australian Government channels such as the departmental website, reputable travel agents, registered migration agents by MARA, Australian Visa Application Centers, or the Australian High Commission or Embassy in your country.