Every year, many people around the world fall for immigration scams to Australia. While on the one hand, the only real damage might be lost time and frustration, it can sometimes lead to a lot more damage than that. Hundreds or thousands of dollars lost or being denied entry upon arrival to Australia can be devastating, so keep an eye out for the following five common scams for immigration:
Fake or Shady Websites Promising Work or Residency in Australia
Reputable and genuine immigration lawyers and agents will almost always have an up-to-date website available showing their services, credentials, and so on. Unfortunately, their content can be fairly easy to copy and paste into a fly-by-night website or landing page, perhaps fooling people into hiring them for their ‘services.’
It’s therefore hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. It’s also nigh impossible for the Australian Government to shut down a lot of these scam websites since most of them don’t actually operate here at all. That’s why the government has put together some useful tips on how to ensure that your agent/lawyer is reputable and genuine.
Can’t Help Falling in Love With You
Online romance, whatever you may think of it, has certainly been quite a lucrative avenue for immigration scams in the past few decades. Although there are many subjective red flags when it comes to legitimate dating, matters become a lot more complex when a potential match is looking to secure residency or citizenship through marriage, for example.
Always be wary of your potential matches online and be careful not to disclose personal information, but also be very wary of anyone that asks you for money or that proposes marriage in order to claim citizenship. While this can be legitimate, it often leads to heartbreak at best and a full scam costing perhaps thousands of dollars or more at worst.
Forged Document Submission
While applying for many different types of visa to Australia can be relatively straightforward (and much of it can be done online), this doesn’t mean that government agents are more lax or carefree. Australia’s immigration officials are very careful and attentive to details, which means that all of your documents must be submitted on-time and they must also be genuine.
Forged or photoshopped documents most certainly will be caught and can very quickly invalidate your application and will likely lead to an automatic rejection of any further requests. While you hopefully aren’t trying this yourself, a ‘cowboy’ immigration lawyer might do this to ‘guarantee’ you a visa to Australia. Be careful and always choose an authorised Australian immigration lawyers Melbourne.
Working on the Wrong Visa
Another common immigration scam is to apply for a visitor visa so that you can work on behalf of an employer in Australia. “Don’t worry, it’s normal here” or “Don’t worry, we’ll sort out your documentation once you arrive” are all petty excuses that can end up getting you (and the employer, if indeed he is legitimate) in hot water.
If you’re coming here to study, then study. If you’re coming here to work, ensure your work visa permits that activity. Don’t ever accept a visitor visa under the pretence of working, for example.
If in doubt, speak to a professional free immigration advice melbourne to get clarity about processes for popular work cisas such as:
- Temporary Skill Shortage Visa
- Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa
- Business Innovation and Investment Visa (Provisional and Permanent options)
Unregistered & Unauthorised Immigration Agents
Similar to the first point, many unauthorised immigration agents are working around the world who work tirelessly to scam their clients out of their hard-earned money on the promise of living or working in Australia.
If you notice anything strange or suspicious behaviour at the Australian border, you’re encouraged to flag it. Always be attentive and choose to work with a registered and authorised immigration agent.
Choose AIM Lawyers for professional Australian visa assistance.